Mueller, Chelsi. “The Educational Philosophy and Curriculum of the Palestinian Nationalist Movement: From Arab Palestine to Arab-Islamic Palestine.” Middle Eastern Studies 48.3 (2012): 345-362.
The educational curriculum produced by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) is said to be situated on the intellectual basis of faith in Allah. The curriculum presents Islam as one of three essential components of the Palestinian identity. The place given to Islam in the educational philosophy and curriculum of the PA signifies a departure from the place given to Islam in the PLO’s earlier documents and Fatah’s earlier discourse; in fact, owing to the elevated position of Islam, the discourse in the curriculum more closely resembles that of the PLO’s Islamist opposition, namely Hamas. This article compares the Palestinian identity discourse as it is presented in the PA educational philosophy (1998) and school curriculum (2000-2006) with the identity discourse in the PLO’s earlier philosophy of education as well as Hamas’ philosophy of education. The explanation for this change in the discourse of the Palestinian nationalist movement takes into account Fatah’s bid to maintain legitimacy in a deeply divided society and Hamas’ challenge to Fatah in the Palestinian arena as well as the background of the Islamic revival across the greater Muslim world.