Tawhid Al-Islami, Harakat Al-

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Lebanese Sunni Islamicist group ("Islamic Unity Movement" in English), formed from the unification of three smaller groups in 1982 in Tripoli by Shaykh Said al-Shaaban (1928–1998). Shaaban had studied at al-Azhar University in Cairo where he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He taught in Algeria, Iraq and Morocco. During the Lebanese civil war (1975–1990) this group supported the Lebanese National Movement (LNM)–Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) alliance and remains a supporter of the Palestinian cause. It controlled Tripoli in 1983–1985, imposing its version of sharia, or Islamic law, but was ousted after a violent fight with the Syrians and their Lebanese allies in November 1985. Many of its members were imprisoned in Syria and were released only gradually through 2000. In recent years al-Tawhid, now led by Shaaban's son Bilal, has grown close to the Syrians.

SEE ALSO Azhar, al-;Lebanese National Movement;Muslim Brotherhood;Palestine Liberation Organization;Sunni Islam.