Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Treading on Hallowed GroundCounterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342048.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2020

Counterinsurgency and the Problem of Sacred Space

Counterinsurgency and the Problem of Sacred Space

(p.13) 1 Counterinsurgency and the Problem of Sacred Space
Treading on Hallowed Ground

Ron E. Hassner

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the key problems that counterinsurgency operations pose in sacred places. It first delineates the concept of a “sacred space” and explains the key features that grant such spaces a sacral quality. It then examines how insurgent groups can usefully occupy and exploit sacred places. It argues that insurgents can mingle with pilgrims and worshippers and can also use the sacredness of shrines, mosques, and temples as sanctuaries from counterinsurgent forces who may be understandably loath to offend local religious sensibilities by using force against such locales. The chapter outlines possible strategies and potential pitfalls for security forces when they are seeking to flush out insurgents who have taken refuge in sacred arenas. Finally, it looks at some of the lessons derived from the Israeli siege of the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, where several Palestinian militants retreated in 2002.

Keywords:   counterinsurgency, sacred space, insurgents, sanctuary, Church of Nativity, Israeli siege, Palestinian militants

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .