Pluto Press, 2017
This study analyses Kurdish Hizbullah as a social movement and investigates this biggest Kurdish Islamist group by means of ethnographic fieldwork in their daily lives. As opposed to Hizbullah in Lebanon, whose followers are mainly adherents of the Shiite sect of Islam, Hizbullah in Turkey is populated by Sunnis, more specifically by Shafii Kurds. Mehmet Kurt charts the development of a particularly powerful Islamist social movement – Kurdish Hizbullah – from its origins in violent militancy to a more ‘civic’ mode of engagement, an engagement which nonetheless provides a rationale for disenchanted young Islamists to engage in political violence. It offers a unique insight into Kurdish Hizbullah, its political rise and the apparent power of Islamism amongst Kurds in the region, particularly in a context in which the leftist Kurdish political movement is the hegemonic political discourse. Through ethnographic field work and extensive interviews with members, leaders and supporters of Hizbullah, Kurt revelsa the manner in which Islamic civil society has taken root in a region where ethnic identity has been the primary organising tool against a repressive and violent state.
Dr. Mehmet Kurt studied Theology and Islamic Studies, and has a PhD in Sociology. He worked as a visiting researcher at Yale University Department of Anthropology. His areas of expertise are Kurdish Islamist groups, social movements, radicalisation, the Kurdish issue in Turkey, visual ethnography and oral history. He is the author of Turkiye’de Hizbullah (leti im Publication, 2015), and is the British Academy Newton Advanced Post-Doctoral Fellow at Queen Mary University of London.