The Mufti of Jerusalem: Al-Hajj Amin Al-Husayni and the Palestinian National Movement

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Columbia University Press, 1992 - History - 191 pages

Muhammad Amin al-Husayni, the principal leader of Palestinian nationalism during the British mandate, was one of the modern Arab world's most controversial figures. He played a role in the 1992 Wailing Wall disturbance, took part in the Iraqi revolt of 1941, and was the target of British and Zionist assasins during World War II. Philip Mattar now offers the first full-length biography of this intriguing figure, weaving a fresh and objective revisionist account.

Mattar clarifies al-Husayni's role in the politics of Palestine in the mandate era and the Palestinian national movement. He describes his rise to religious power as Mufti of Jerusalem and head of the Supreme Muslim Council. He also demarcates two major phases in al-Husayni's career. During his first, between 1917 and 1936, he was a cautious and pragmatic leader who, while opposing Zionism, cooperated with the British mandatory officials. The second phase, however, after 1936, was marked by militancy, frustration, and ultimately failure.


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Rise to Religious Power
Political Struggle Over the Western Wall 19281929
The Politics of Moderation and the General Islamic Congress
The Challenge
Iraqs Quest for Independence 19391941
The Nazi Years
Decline of Power

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About the author (1992)

Philip Mattar is Director of the Institute for Palestinian Studies and Associate Editor of the Journal for Palestinian Studies.

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