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Word Count: 1,870
Outline the radicalisation of the Shiite community in Lebanon In the final quarter of the twentieth century Islamic radical groups have become a significant force in Lebanese politics and throughout the Middle East Particularly startling is the rise of Shiite groups This essay will look at how a small and dominated community became a strong influential fighting force in such a short space of time It will look at the factors behind the change the major players in the movements and finally the movements themselves the outward manifestations of the radicalisation At the beginning of the twentieth century the Shiites in Lebanon were a weak minority force in Lebanon In 1932 5073 of the population were Christian with Muslims constituting 4926 Of this minority the Sunni Muslims well outnumbered the small number of Shiites They were located mainly in agricultural areas and when with the rise of Capitalism they moved to the cities they were instantly seen as a threat They had traditionally been the underclass and were given menial jobs to do In 1943 there was an attempt to create a democratic confessional form of government in Lebanon The power was to be equally divided among the different groups with a separation of powers The Presidency of the Republic was held by a Maronite the Presidency of the Council was given to a Sunni Foreign Affairs was held by the Greek Orthodox and the Shiites ruled the Chamber of Deputies This was seen to confirm Lebanons place as a country with an Arab appearance The first part of this essay will look briefly at some of the factors which led to the radicalisation of the Shiite community in Lebanon Following the six day war in 1967 there was a massive influx of Palestinian refugees into Lebanon so large an invasion that they constituted 12 of the population They mostly settled in Beirut and Southern Lebanon in the areas which
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