The Islamic soccer league in Israel: Setting moral boundaries by taming the wild

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This article strives to use the institutional and discursive strategies employed by the Islamic Movement in Israel in the soccer sphere to illustrate wider theoretical arguments about setting boundaries of inclusion and exclusion in the public sphere. The Islamic Movement uses an isolationist strategy, by creating the independent Islamic Soccer League. In contrast, social agents who strive to promote integration in Israeli society or, alternatively, Arab-Palestinian national pride encourage the involvement of Arab teams and players in the Israeli Football Association. The article argues that the isolationist strategy is inherent in the attempts of a religious movement to articulate a definition of collective identity that is based on a sacred moral code. Then, relying mainly on the contents of the sports sections of the Islamic press, the article analyzes the inevitable tensions stemming from the use of an institution with a strong secular orientation for the purpose of reproducing religious identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-470
Number of pages26
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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