Sunday, January 16, 2022
Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
This study examines what motivates an organization representing a religious-national minority to provide social services. The case study for examining this issue is the Islamic Movement in Palestinian society and Israel, and specifically its social activities in the town of Kafr Qassim. The article analyzes the factors leading to the development of the movement’s various services in the town by tracing their historical development and current offerings. This case study analysis is informed by two theoretical bodies of knowledge: the development of NGOs and the development of faith-based organizations. The data is based upon 17 semi-structured in-depth interviews with the heads of all the social services, social activists and municipality representatives in Kafr Qassim – the town where the movement was established. Some of the interviews also include tours and observations of actual services provision. Additional sources include archival documents, such as the organization’s regulations and work plans. The findings identify three main factors in the development of minority religious organizations: the government’s failure to provide services (necessary factor); and religious ideology and mobilization of political support as secondary factors. All three are grounded in the ongoing conflict between the Palestinian minority group and the state.