Zionism as told by Rashid Rida

Uriya Shavit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Muhammad Rashid Rida, the editor of al-Manar and one of the preeminent Muslim thinkers of the twentieth century, published between 1898 and 1935 dozens of reports, analyses, and Quran exegesis on Jews, Zionism, and the Palestine question. His scholarship greatly influenced the Muslim Brothers and still reverberates in the Arab political discourse today. Based on the first systematic reading and contextualization of al-Manar's pertinent texts, this article examines and explains the radical shifts in Rida's views: from describing Zionism as a humanitarian enterprise of a virtuous nation to depicting it as a plan for ethnic cleansing; from expressing doubts about the ability of the Arabs to prevail against the Jews to proclaiming certainty that they would; and from condemning French anti-Semitism to embracing hateful theories about Jewish conspiracies and vices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-44
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2015


  • 1929 riots
  • Balfour Declaration
  • Islamic modernism
  • Muhammad Rashid Rida
  • Syrian-Palestinian Congress
  • Young Turk revolution
  • Zionism
  • al-Hilal
  • al-Manar
  • al-Muqtataf
  • anti-Semitism


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