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Islamic rhetoric of the Palestine Liberation Organization

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2006
Gürseler, Ceren
This thesis aims to analyze Islamic rhetoric of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its underlying objectives and reasons by examining policies, speeches and declarations of the PLO, Fateh and Yasser Arafat. It is widely accepted that the PLO functiones according to secular rules; perceives Israel, Palestine and the Israeli-Palestinian question on Palestinian nationalist and Third worldist grounds. However in spite of its secular functioning and goals, the PLO since its inception has referred to Islamic rhetoric on natinal struggle of Palestine’s liberation. Henceforth it is argued that the PLO has chosen a pragmatist and instrumentalist language in referring to Islamic symbols and discourses. Islamic rhetoric of the PLO has aimed primarily to mobilize the Palestinians for national goals and to legitimize the PLO against rising power of political Islam headed by Hamas. Furthermore the thesis also demonstrates that the PLO’s Islamic rhetoric was affected by Palestinian society’s shift along Islamic lines and Islamic component of Palestinian nationalism and culture. The PLO seemed to intensify its resort to Islamic rhetoric with every crisis that decreased the PLO’s authority and power. It is concluded that content of the PLO’s pragmatic Islamic rhetoric was never related with making Islam as normative and legal basis of Palestinian society, rather it was related with mobilization and legitimating.