Splinter Groups Rise in Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon

[Washington Post] Scott Wilson - The decline of traditional political institutions within Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon has allowed the rise of militant splinter groups such as Fatah al-Islam. The popularity of political Islam has risen in the camps over the past decade as the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has fallen apart, experts said Monday. "These camps are no longer part of Palestinian society," said Bernard Rougier, author of Everyday Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam Among Palestinians in Lebanon and a professor at the University of Auvergne in France. "They are only spaces - now open to all of the influences running through the Muslim world." "Many consider Palestine a useless fight....By changing their own identities to one of a Sunni warrior, they also get money from Saudi Arabia and other private sources throughout the [Palestinian] diaspora. You are inventing a new figure of the fighter, and it is very exciting to young people," Rougier said.

2007-05-25 01:00:00

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