As a supplemental footnote to my previous post, here is a sharp entry from the classic blog Syria Exposed, easily the funniest blog of all-time, it discusses the self-imposed conversion of Alawites from a cryptic sect into a personality cult for al-Assad that depends solely on him for survival, some of the passages match word-for-word the testimony of the Alawite woman in the report I linked to in the previous post, several comparisons with the Sunnis status in Iraq warrants mention, but they have grown too long to be added as a comment and I'll give them a post of their own after this one.
A significant theme in Karfan's classic 13-posts blog is sectarainism,Other highly recommended Karfan posts that discuss sectarainism frankly and openly include the posts "Myth No. 5: We Will Slaughter Each Other" and "Myth No. 2 : We Have An Identity"
Myth No. 6 : Alawie Is Still A Religious Sect
It might be very surprising for many people to know that the Alawie (the sect that the ruling thugs belong to) is the most oppressed religion in Syria!! Of course in terms of ideology not in terms of the status of the people belonging to it.
"King Lion the 1st" long ago realized how much he relies on the support of his sect to stay in power, and realized who much dangerous would be to rely on something that can be easily manipulated such as religion. He then diverted this lurking danger to his rule by imposing an overwhelming Sunnification policy on the very Alawie sect that supported him. This extreme policy took the shape of so many aspects that everybody here knows very well:
Introducing only pure Sunni Islam education to all schools;
Banning any public manifestation or even mentioning of any Alawie religious activities;
Banning and oppressing any Alawie religious organizations or any formation of a unified religious council or a higher religious authority; Many were killed by the great gangster Duba for starting to utter such ideas among people in Tartous and Jableh;
Building Sunni-style mosques in every little Alawie village and encouraging people to perform the pilgrimage through public and private (his late brother's Hadjee Jameel) organizations;
Encouraging the Late Grand Mufti of Syria to brake down any attempt to present the Alawie religion as anything but a bad old mistake which people should renounce and forget.
Releasing the hands of the Sunni clerks to do whatever they whish regarding establishing a clear religious identity to all Sunni youth, and facilitating Sunni Islam educational and media sources (as long as it does not tackles politics and the King’s eternal right to his crown) while banning any sort of similar activities for Alawies and other minor sects. There are in Syria hundreds of Sunni religious schools while there is not a single school that is specialized in teaching not even the history of the Alawie sect.
"King Lion the 1st" managed even to convince many Alawies, especially young generations, that they are actually just Bad Muslims, someway or another.
"King Lion the 1st" and the rest of the gang around him knew well that this is not going to lead to any real results in term of unifying the Alawie sect with the main stream Sunni Islam. Everybody knows, especially those Alawies who tried very hard to integrate with their Sunni surroundings after moving to the main cities, that they will never be accepted by the Sunnis. There isn't a single Alawie house in Damascus without a story or two on failed experiences in... what you may name: go out of own skin attempts. Alawies are still bad Muslims, the mosques the government built are still deserted, and the number of Alawie-Sunni "mixed marriages" is even much lower than the number of the mixed marriages between Syrians and foreigners. Of course excluding the upper class mixed marriages, where the thugs marry into each other's families for the sole reason of solidifying their rule.
The Sunni-fication attempt did not work simply because it was not meant to work in the first place. While "King Lion the 1st" and his thugs were trumpeting this integration policy, they were at the same time systematically building a culture of separation and segregation between Alawies and Sunnis, and between all sects and ethnic and religious groups in Syria for that matter.
The real reason behind this policy was never integration with Sunnis or establishing an acceptance for the Alawies by the Sunnis. The real reason was to deprive the Alawies from any solid unified religious ideology that might one day pause a fatal danger on the rule of the King. To turn them into meaningless tribes ranked by how much they support the King.
Let Karfan explain this in his simple words: Imagine what the King's position would be if all the Alawies in the Republican Guard, Special Forces, and Security Services (all composed of 95%Up Alawies) told him to go fuck-him-self because an Alawie higher religious authority decided it is not in the sect's best interest to support him anymore? What exactly do you think this regime is hold together by? Baathis? That is the biggest joke that every five year old Syrians knows. Everybody here knows that these forces are the regime real power which prevents any opposition from even pondering on the idea of opposing publicly. The army in general has been long ago marginalized and made weak to have any real effect on the power balance. That was when many army units refused to carry out "King Lion the 1st" 's destruction plans against the Sunnis at the time when the regime and the Muslim Brothers were waging holly wars against each other. Many army officers who refused orders were fired and are still sitting in their houses doing nothing since. But that experience taught the King that he had better rely on very well organized, brain-washed, and loyal smaller units such as the infamous "Sarya Eldefaa" of his brother who eventually carried out the attacks on Hama. Since then, he learned how to balance these power tools by multiplying them into several separate entities: Republican Guard, Special Forces, and many strong Security Services Units. Those units are where the real military power of the regime exists.
Such essential power centers should be kept under the sole control of the King. That is why, unlike the Sunnis or Druuz or Smaeilis, the Alawies were doomed not have a religion in fear that this religion or whoever controls it might be in control of these essential power centers one day.
By erasing all sort of religious identity while making sure that Alawies will not find another one elsewhere, Alawies were simply transformed into a sort of tribes that are unified around one purpose: Keeping the King in Power. A couple of tribes that does not have any real religious conviction or ideology but are hold together by the fear of the others and the fear of revenge by the others for the regimes deeds. A sort of army units which sole purpose is to protect the leader, nothing else.
Meanwhile every one around them keep labeling the regime an "Alawie Regime" and keep throwing all the faults that this regime did on the Alawies shoulders. We will be doomed to carry the burden of the faults of the same people who destroyed our religion and destroyed any religious identity we might have had. The same people who instead of seizing the chance of being on top to establish a real secular society were all would be respected regardless of what they believe in, they encouraged Sunni extreme religious teachings and built a society were you have only two books to read: Ibn Taymeiya, or Michael Aflak.
After this systematic destruction of any unified religious authority, it seems unlikely that Alawies would bring themselves together to get rid of the gang ruling in their name and destroying the future of this country in their name. What makes it even more difficult is the accusations that the other sects keep building: An Alawie Regime, An Alawie Baath etc.. to the end of the list of everything bad+Alawie. Not a single opposition group had come forward to present a vision or an idea of what would be their stance on the thousands of Alawies serving in the Security Services and army. What should Alawies expect if they actually manage to realize that the ruling thugs are going to destroy what is left of the other's trust in them? No one is saying anything about that: Sunnis are vague or just silent at best, and that is what the King exactly whishes for. With no bright future, Alawies are just maintaining the present, no matter how bad it is.
The Alawie sect had suffered hundreds of years of oppression and negligence before, but the biggest harm to it came when one of it's own followers controlled the country! He succeeded in doing what long Sunni oppression and mighty Osman Emperors couldn't do over hundred of years: erasing the Alawie religion and turning its followers into an identity-less supporters of his rule.
One day the King and his gang will go and he will join his uncle "White Knight of Tadmur" in France in his luxurious life style and white suits, like all ousted kings and rulers. And only the Alawie King Lion and his dynasty and thugs will remain in people's memory. People will forget all other great Alawies like Saad Allah Wannous and Nadeem Muhammad, and we will be responsible for all the backwardness of Syria and its society. Alawie will never have the right to build religious schools or demand a secular education, the majority would say: You didn't do that when you were in power, why should we do it for you now? And they will be damn right in saying that.
Alawie, as a religion or sect, no longer exists like all other sects in Syria. But Alawies have one thing in common: they are the ones who keep this regime alive. And according to Karfan there is another thing that is common between us, Alawies: We have no future, at least not one that is worth looking forward to.