August 3, 2012

Syria's Crumbling Pluralism

Kapil Komireddi, New York Times

AP Photo

The day begins here with the call to prayer and ends with the roar of gunfire. Syria’s pluralistic society, which once rose above sectarian identity in a region often characterized by a homicidal assertion of religious belief, is now faced with civil disintegration and ethnic cleansing.

In Bab Touma, the Christian quarter of the old city, the magnificently restored Ottoman mansions housing many of the hotels that only two years ago overflowed with Western tourists have become temporary sanctuaries for Syrian minorities fleeing their homes and cities.

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Alawites, Christians, Shia, Sunni, Syria

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

July 30, 2012
Sunni vs. Shia Narrative Is Overblown
Emile Hokayem, The National
These days, there is a dark meta-narrative spreading in parts of the Arab world and beyond: if the previous decade was that of Shia ascendancy, this one will be about the revenge of the Sunnis. more ››
July 27, 2012
Assad Preparing Retreat to Alawistan
Tony Badran, Foreign Policy
Assad has one card left to play: The Syrian regime has been setting the stage for a retreat to Syria's coastal mountains, the traditional homeland of the Assads' Alawite sect, for months now. It is now clear that this is where... more ››
July 24, 2012
Assad Family Won't Allow an Alawite State
Faisal al Yafai, The National
The Assad regime, although composed mainly of Alawites, is not about one sect - it is about one family. Many Alawites have remained poor, even though they have received preferential treatment in the armed forces. If they could... more ››
July 23, 2012
Beware of 'Alawistan' in Syria
Benjamin Jensen, Financial Times
The international community should be mindful of the risks inherent in the fragmentation of Syria. Any intervention, whether diplomatic or military, that further splits Syria is liable to end with the creation of a rogue Alawi... more ››
July 30, 2012
Obama Must Match Syria Rhetoric with Policy
David Phillips, The Globe
Every US incumbent dreads the “October surprise,” a convulsive international event just prior to elections. Syria’s violent takeover by anti-American Sunni extremists is the last thing that President Obama wants on the eve... more ››