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Origins of Terrorism in the Middle East   Tags: history, middle east, modern world history 2, terrorism  

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Why print?

As powerful as electronic sources are, not everything is on-line.  Print sources often have easier-to-find primary documents.  For historical topics, print materials often provide more depth.  Therefore, don't be afraid to think print!


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Helpful Definitions


Fatah: A Palestinian militant group and political party dedicated to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Fatwa: A statement of religious law issued by Islamic clerics.

Fundamentalism: A movement stressing adherence to a strict or literal interpretation of religious principles.

Haganah: The underground defense force of Zionists in Palestine from 1920 to 1948. It became the basis for the Israeli army.

Hamas: A Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group and political party operating primarily in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with the goal of establishing a Palestinian state and opposing the existence of Israel. It has been labeled a terrorist organization by several countries.

Hezbollah: A Shiite militant group and political party based in Lebanon.

Islamism: A fundamentalist movement characterized by the belief that Islam should provide the basis for the political, social, and cultural life in Muslim nations.

Jihad: An armed struggle against unbelievers, in defense of Islam; often interpreted to mean holy war. The term also refers to the spiritual struggle of Muslims against sin.

Martyr: A person who dies for his or her religion.

Muslim Brotherhood: An Islamic fundamentalist group organized in opposition to Western influence and in support of Islamic principles.

Occupied territories: The lands under the political and military control of Israel, especially the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Palestine: A historical region in the Middle East on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, comprising parts of present-day Israel and Jordan.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): A political and military organization formed to unite various Palestinian Arab groups with the goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state.

Palestinian Authority (PA): The recognized governing institution for Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, established in 1993. Also known as the Palestinian National Authority.

Palestinians: An Arab people whose ancestors lived in the historical region of Palestine and who continue to lay claim to that land.

Sharia: A system of Islamic law based on the Koran. Sharia attempts to create the perfect social order, based on God's will and justice, and covers a wide range of human activities, including acts of religious worship, the law of contracts and obligations, personal status law, and public law.

Shiites: Followers of the Shia branch of Islam. Shiites believe that only direct descendants of the prophet Muhammad are qualified to lead the Islamic faith.

Suicide bombing: An attack intended to kill others and cause widespread damage, carried about by someone who does not hope to survive the attack.

Sunnis: Followers of the Sunni branch of Islam. Sunnis believe that elected officials, regardless of their heritage, are qualified to lead the Islamic faith.

Weapons of mass destruction: Any nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons capable of killing or injuring great numbers of people.

Source Citation

"Terrorism Based in the Middle East." Middle East Conflict. Sonia G. Benson. 2nd ed. Vol. 1: Almanac. Detroit: U*X*L, 2012. 275-303. Student Resources in Context. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.



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