This article explores the ideology of Fathi Yakan, the pioneer of Sunni Islamism in Lebanon and a principal founder of the Islamist party al-‐Jama'a al-‐Islamiya. It also traces the establishment of al_Jama'a as the first organized Islamist party in Lebanon. As Secretary General of al-‐Jama'a, Fathi Yakan blazed the ideological trail for Islamism's participation in Lebanon's political realm. Significantly, Yakan's political activism, in much the same vein as that of Druze "Socialist" Kamal Jumblat, was also more about removing Maronite hegemony over the state.
Robert G. Rabil, Florida Atlantic University
Dr. Robert G. Rabil is an associate professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of Religion, National Identity and Confessional Politics in Lebanon: The Challenge of Islamism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); Syria, United States and the War on Terror in the Middle East (Praeger, 2006); and Embattled Neighbors: Syria, Israel and Lebanon (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003).