In This Review

Hizbu'llah: Politics and Religion
Hizbu'llah: Politics and Religion
By Amal Saad-Ghorayeb
Pluto Press, 2002, 254 pp

The value of this book lies in the author's reconstruction of Hezbollah ideology as gleaned from the interviews, party speeches, publications, and the daily press. Separate chapters address such subjects as "The Islamic State and Democracy," "The Concept of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent," and the thorny issue of whether there is a role for nationalism in Islamic universalism. Readers will find especially compelling chapters on the ideological underpinnings of Hezbollah's anti-Western and anti-Israeli stance. The author also details Hezbollah's harsh and distortingly literalist interpretations of Koranic verses to project a chillingly Manichean image, which views not just Zionism but Jews and Judaism as the enemy. One might have wished for more extensive coverage of Hezbollah statements after the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which is noted only in passing in the short conclusion.