Country Listing

Lebanon Table of Contents


Independent Nasserite Movement

The Independent Nasserite Movement (INM) was the oldest of several organizations in Lebanon that embraced the ideas of the late Egyptian president, Gamal Abdul Nasser. Despite its claims of nonsectarianism, the membership of the INM has been overwhelmingly Muslim; 1987 reports estimated it to be about 45-percent Sunni, 45- percent Shia, and 10- percent Druze. Its ideology was reflected by its motto: "Liberty, Socialism, and Unity."

The INM came to prominence in the 1958 Civil War and remained a strong force throughout the 1970s. At the height of the 1958 conflict, its militia, the Murabitun (Sentinels), clashed with the forces of pro-Western president Shamun. Consistent with its panArab ideals, the INM was a firm supporter of the Palestinian movement in Lebanon in the late 1960s. During this time, it reenforced the Murabitun. When the 1975 Civil War began, it was well positioned to play an active part. The Murabitun engaged Phalangist fighters in the most severe combat during the early stages of the war, and absorbed many casualties (see Appendix B).

In the 1980s, the INM weathered difficult times. It fought with the Palestinians against the Israelis during the invasion of 1982 and with the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) against the Lebanese Army in the Shuf Mountains in 1983. Its alliance with the PSP was short lived, however. In 1985 a joint PSP-Amal campaign virtually eliminated the Murabitun as an important actor in Lebanon and forced INM leader, Ibrahim Kulaylat, into exile.

Data as of December 1987