|Seminar about Political Secularism and the Religious Question in Palestine|
Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies (RCHRS) conducted a seminar to discuss Dr. Iyad Barghoutis’ book “Political Secularism and the Religious Question in Palestine”. A number of intellectuals, journalists and University students attended the seminar in Gaza today.
Talal Okal, writer and political analyst, discussed how the religious question was dealt with in the secular parties in Palestine, at the forefront Fateh movement, the largest Palestinian political movement, with multiple intellectual and ideological sources which are disparate occasionally, and which describes itself as the movement of all Palestinians.
Okal clarified that the book describes the use of religion among the movements and factions of the PLO, in which they have their own masses and some leaders in the OPT. The study examines the use of religion, in addition to Fateh Movement, in twelve other Palestinian parties and movements, some of which were communist parties such as Palestinian Peoples’ Party, and some of which were National or Ba’athi and adopted the Marxist-Leninist intellect, and others were what could be described as Islamic Nationalist.
The participants considered the study to open wide doors for conducting explorer research studies about the subject and about the relationship between the Palestinian Political Parties and the Palestinian community in general, and that it is essential in examining the behavior of the Palestinian awareness towards many of the current issues.
The study has undoubtedly made clear the lack of differentiation between the agendas of the PLO factions and its attitudes and visions, these agendas do not go beyond the agenda of Fateh movement at all, some of them are identical with Fateh’s agenda and political views, whether it was about its vision to resolve the Palestinian conflict, or its attitude towards the state of internal division and struggle for power with Hamas movement.
The participants thought that the fundamental point which was aroused in the study is the variation of the viewpoints of the leaders of a single political party concerning some issues. This has probably occurred due to the abandonment of a number of parties to their ideologies, which is a more probable explanation than expanding the democratic margins within these parties.