The First Intifada and the rise of Islamism in the West Bank

“Moreover, long-term problems appeared which had to do with the position of Palestinian Christians in society, and which demanded concerted action on their part. A major problem was the appearance of religious tendencies in the course of the [First] Intifada. Islamicist movements tended to impose conservative standards especially on women’s dress and behavior in society. Another major problem was the emigration of the Christian minority discussed before.

From the Bethlehem Community Book (Bethlehem: Arab Education Institute, 1999), p 117

Many of the Christians (and Muslims) I have spoken with recently identify the First Intifada as the beginning of the rise of militant and intolerant Islam in the West Bank. Nice to find something like this in writing produced largely by Palestinians.

These insights are incorporated into the essay I co-authored with Phil Sumpter and which was recently presented in Rome.


Author: duanemiller

I was born in Montana and grew up in Colorado and Puebla (in Mexico). I completed a BA in philosophy at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and then an MA in theology at St Mary's University (also in San Antonio). Later life took me to Jordan where my wife and I studied Arabic, to Israel where I helped found a seminary, and to Scotland for doctoral work, among other places. I live in Madrid now where I teach and minister. I'm highly interested in the interactions of Islam, Christianity and secularism in modern contexts. My main areas of research for my PhD in divinity were religious conversion from Islam to Christianity, contextual theology, and the shari'a's treatment of apostates. I've also published research on global Anglicanism and the history of Anglican mission in the Ottoman Empire. I've had the pleasure of teaching in many places over the years: from Costa Rica to Turkey, and Kenya to Tunisia. I am associate professor at the Protestant Faculty of Theology at Madrid (UEBE) and priest at the Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer in Madrid, Spain. Visit my blog ( or page for more information.

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