From Revolutionaries to Muslims: Liminal Becomings across Palestinian Generations in Denmark

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Exploring generational changes and continuities among Palestinian families in Denmark, this article investigates why the children of the fid¯aᵓ¯ın (fighters) and many of the fid¯aᵓ¯ın themselves have turned their backs on secular politics and embraced Islam. The Palestinians who arrived in Denmark from Lebanon in the wake of the Lebanese Civil War were members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and were known as the generation of the revolution (j¯ıl al-thawra). Extending Karl Mannheim’s approach to generations, I argue that in order to explain the transition among Palestinians in Denmark from revolutionaries to Muslims we can rely on neither genealogy nor historical context alone, but need to pay equal attention to the structural continuities that crosscut generations. I suggest that rather than conceive of revolutionaries and Muslims as oppositions, we should think of them as substitutions, as liminal becomings that are actualized across historical generations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Middle East Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)67-86
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


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