Assad’s Fall Will Lay Ruin to The Alawis’ Once-in-a-Millennium Promised Land



A small, marginalized people, kicked around the Middle East for centuries by Muslim empires, finally carves out an independent home for itself on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. But life remains precarious: Islamists seek to delegitimize the newly established homeland, declaiming the ruling sect as a gang of infidel occupiers. Now, the simmering hatred of the occupied people finally has transformed into an unstoppable political and military intifada — cheered on by Western human-rights advocates.

The country I have just described is Syria. For all the pathological hatred that President Bashar Assad and his father Hafez have focused on Israel, the histories of the two countries betray some striking similarities. And those similarities help explain why the Assad clan and its hangers-on refuse to be dislodged from Damascus.

Like Israel’s Jews, members of the Alawi sect in Syria regard their control of the nation as an existential issue. There is only one Alawi state, just as there is only one Jewish state, and its destruction would mean the end of the Alawis as a political entity on the world stage — probably forever. With the passage of generations, it might even mean their gradual assimilation into other nations, as with Zoroastrians, Samaritans and a hundred other now-obscure Middle Eastern peoples.

For purposes of journalistic similitude, I am skating over huge and uncountable differences between the Syrian and Israeli origin stories. The Alawis never suffered a holocaust. And they comprise just an eighth of the Syrian population — as opposed to Jews, who comprise a majority within Israel. But I raise the broader parallel to explain why Bashar Assad seems willing to kill thousands, and even tens of thousands, of Syrians to protect his regime. He doesn’t see himself as the rest of the world does — as a power-mad monster in the twilight of his power. In his mind, he is a champion of a long-oppressed people who are one step away from history’s dustbin.

For insight into Assad’s perspective, a useful resource is Fouad Ajami’s newly published book, The Syrian Rebellion. The Lebanese-born American knows the region as well as any popular Western author writing today, and his scholarship does a fine job explaining how ancient history has led Syria to modern bloodshed.

The Alawi sect, he explains, first appeared in the late ninth century, as part of the general crisis in mainstream Shia Islam caused by the death of the eleventh imam and the disappearance of his infant son (the so-called mahdi, or “redeemer,” who still plays the starring role in ongoing end-times Shia mythology). The Alawis originally called themselves Nusayris, and settled in the eponymous mountain range that forms the spine of  northwestern Syria.

Like many Shiites, the Alawis (as they came to be called by the French in the early 20th century) emphasized the role of Imam Ali, the Prophet Mohammed’s cousin and son-in-law. But they took the veneration of Ali to a new level. “For both Sunni and Shia Muslims alike,” Ajami writes, “the Nusayris were ghulat (extremist) exaggerators who carried the veneration of Ali beyond the bounds of Islam.” The influential fundamentalist theologian Ibn Taymiyyah (1263-1328), who died in Damascus, described the Alawis as enemies of Islam who embraced “pure unbelief.”

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Discussion5 Comments

  1. “Bashar Assad seems willing to kill thousands, and even tens of thousands”

    and the “rebels” aren’t? this kind of hypocrisy in it’s articles is why i feel that pkkh, while considering itself a part of the alternative news media strays from reality on the syrian issue. it’s as if it’s writers and editors are completely oblivious to all the information on the internet concerning this conflict. they, ironically, stick to the zionist mainstream media version. let me break this down for u:

    1) assad family acted as oppressors and so the sunnis grew to hate them

    2) syria’s economic condition in current times was awful and created an even greater sense of disenfranchisement and frustration.

    3) the zionists and their stooges in the muslim and western world exploited this animosity for their own gain. want to know when they started preparing this “arab spring”? 2007 at the latest.

    4) naive and gullible (and u would have to be naive and gullible to the extreme) muslim activists thought that the zionist west out of all other potential backers was an acceptable candidates as an ally.

    5) this doesn’t only apply to syria but the others as well

    6) meanwhile the zionists had been gathering an army of mercenaries (alqaeda) since 2007 and unleashed them on syria and libya when the arab “spring” started.

    8) predictably assad and gadhafi fought back. these terrorists acted as agent provocateurs. so during the protests (which were organized by the aforementioned extremely naive and gullible activists) innocent ppl were killed to create a justification for regime change.

    9) syrian and libyan state media being shunned by the ppl due to distrust were not taken seriously. instead zionist proxies like aljazeera were given credence. and so many syrians (and others around the world) who of course were ignorant that AQ had infiltrated syria, could not help but believe that security forces were shooting at unarmed protesters.

    11) given that the rest of the dictators were their own proxies they didn’t have to use force to remove them.

    is this starting to make sense now, pkkh? this sectarian conflict was started by zionists and they are using it as a tool. the zionist bloc is being opposed by the russian one b/c the latter knows that they are the ultimate target. above all however zionists need to create a scenario for america to lose it’s present status as superpower and centre of the world.


    given that the so-called “rebels” are on a killing spree of kurds, christians and even sunnis who don’t agree with them, i would say that the “rebels” themselves are making a pretty good case for assad.

  2. As usual @321 is completely confused and just blames the Zionist conspiracy for every problem in the world…incredibly he even says that al Qaeda is the agent of the zionists?…he also now says that Al Jazeera and PKKH are zionists tools?….what a completely confused individual!…the free world is watching the Muslim world tear itself apart and cannot stop it…it is easy to succumb to conspiracy theories but honest people know that the ” Arab Spring” was initiated independently in various Muslim countries and the resultant discord should not be blamed on the west but on the extremist in the Political Islam…

    • oh look another moronic comment by the compulsive liar and zionist shill, eddied.

      as usual u have ignored the massive amount of evidence i have given in the past to support my claims. maybe u would like to see it again eddied? here u go!

      keep in mind that this is only for syria and even then it is not all of the evidence out there. also this doesn’t even include evidence concerning libya. of course given past experiences, i fully expect u to ignore all those links and continue to claim that i have no evidence.

      i never said pkkh was a zionist tool. u should really learn to read. isn’t english supposed to be ur first language? i only said that concerning the syrian issue, pkkh writers and editors seem to be oblivious, like u, to the massive amount of evidence showing the true nature of these so-called “rebels” and the true origins of the so-called “arab spring”. so u see, i never accused them to be zionist tools, only ignorant of evidence.

      and i wouldn’t call the west a “free world”…of course only a moron like urself would call it that while being spied on by the nsa. or while ur law enforcement is being militarized. or even as an honest person who exposes the gov’s crimes is painted as a criminal by his gov.

      “but honest people know”

      honest ppl either know that what i am saying is truth, are just ignorant of the evidence or for some weird reason are in denial.

      • 321, keep it up!! don’t give in to these zionist scumbags.

        Even though we don’t reply or post messages on these articles, know that we are here and observe and read everything that goes on. Keep up the good fight!

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