2005/03/28

Myth No. 7: 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 Sunni-fication 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.
etcetera etcetera...
"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 Aalwie 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.

44 Comments:

Anonymous Catherine said...

It is so true that Allawis, as a sect has actually been a great victim of Assad's power and ruling. And the sorry thing is that others, pepole from other sects, don't see that. They are not allawits so they don't care about the situation of allawie as a religion/ sect , so they don't even see if it is oppressed or not.
They see what they care about..they see Allawis in control of mukhabarat (intelligence) and army, controlling Syria and Keeping the bloody criminal rulers, in power.I think, your hope, as allawis, is the same for the rest of all Syrians :
To organise yourselves! Defend yourselves! with a goal of, someday, organising wide vigils and demonstrations on the streets demanding emprisoning of all our bloody rulers, putting them to trial for what they did and gettig back all the money they stole from Syria, and fair elections, unfortunatlly I don't think only Bath threatens democracy in Syria, but some other parties as well, I don't trust Muslim Brotherhodd for 1 second, and I don't trust that disgusting Faird Alghadri that u can see on many American tv channels..So..For real hope in this poor country pepole should be prepared to make more than 1 wide demonstration.
But...I believe...As Allawis, if there would be a group of them critisizing our rulers as I just mentioned, it would have a bigger different effect in Syria than if it was by other groupes. It would show other Syrians that there is still hope, there is a reason to fight and stop acting like chickens..And that Syrians should NOT blame Allawis.
Everybody knows the absolute majority of Syrians cannot stand Baath, if they just could get ogranised and went peacefully on the streets..Baath would'nt have a chance!But..It has always been our problem...the mess!! We just don't what order and organisation is!Mabe we need a better opposition, and realise we are not chickens!..

28/3/05 19:08  
Anonymous Catherine said...

and 1 thing else, talking loudly about Alawits on the other side, as the 2 Karfan mentioned, so that Syrians know!!We should know, cause we don't!! And don't forget Aref Dalila, 1 of the most brave, great Syrians..is also an Alawi!!!!

28/3/05 19:11  
Blogger Brian H said...

tripes = tribes?

A complete democratic revolution may open the door, and I hope that if it happens Alawis will be far more tolerant / fair / unvengeful than the Sunnis.

28/3/05 21:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The alawis in the jbal southeast of latakia are very heavily armed. If they ever feel their rule is threatened they will respond, and a civil war will start . Call me a pessimist, but unless you can convince your fellow alawis and alawi leaders that there is no fear to losing an alawi control of the government, then things will get bad really quickly. If there was a civil war, the sunnis will eventually win out because their community is 7 times as large as the alawis.

28/3/05 21:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Karfan for this great post.

Your previous posts were great because they said what all of us always wanted to say but could not. This one discusses a subject that is seldom discussed and presents a point of view that is very novel.

I think the biggest challange to moving out of this sory state is how will the post-Baath government deal with the Alawiis. This is very important for 2 reasons:

1) The well being of this important minority in our country

2) If the Allawis have a suspicion that they will be massacred their defence of the Baath regime will become their priority and take precedence above their political, religious, national and personal values and interests.

Sad as it sounds, I think Bashar has in his hands the keys to save the Allawis. He can do it in 2 ways:

1) Gorbachev style, by delivering the state to the poeple in a bloodless de-baathification
2) Pinochet style, by making the sunnis share the profits of dictatorship and restructuring the power base to include Damascus Sunni Arsitocracy. This can be done through heavy encouragement of intermarriage at all levels of the 2 communities, to create a new super-class of military-business corruption. Bashar can flatter himself by pretending that it follows the principles of Alexander the Great.

Of course doing 1 is the best solution, but requires a lot of leadership from him to convince his Allawi brethren that it is the best for their future.

Unfortunately the events in Lebanon are pointing to a big lack of leadership and judgement on the part of the Young Lion.

28/3/05 21:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alawis are not really a Sect. They are Muslims on the tradition of Ahl bayt
and the 12 imams , they form a sufi spiritual community within the house of
Islam and do not have a separate jurisprudence.


Alawis never had strong clergy or religious institutions with "higher religious authority" and never will have,
It is one of their distinct characteristics.

A hierarchal system or star system of religious authority is simply incompatible with the spiritual and inward looking
orientation of this tradition.


Statement like:


>>"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."

is simply hilarious vulgar uniformed fiction.


>>"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."


was there ever one in Syria or elswhere in the last 1000 years !?

because there is no separate history or religion.

The word Alawi itself has no meaning
outside the context of Islam.


Kafran is definetly not an Alawi.

29/3/05 01:48  
Blogger Hadad said...

What does it matter if Karfan is or is not an Alawite?

It is not because there has never been a school that specialized in the Alawite religion that there should not be one today. The Alawites have their own taditions and culture as a distinct Syrian comunity.

See this entry on "Alawite" in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online:
_________________________
Alawite:

Arabic 'Alawi , plural 'Alawiyah , also called Nusayri , plural Nusayriyah , or Namiri , plural Namiriyah , or Ansari , plural Ansariyah

any member of a minority sect of Shi'ite Muslims living chiefly in Syria.

The roots of 'Alawism lie in the teachings of Muhammad ibn Nusayr an-Namiri (fl. 850), a Basran contemporary of the 10th Shi'ite imam, and the sect was chiefly established by Husayn ibn Hamdan al-Khasibi (d. 957 or 968) during the period of the Hamdanid dynasty (905–1004), at which time the 'Alawites had great influence in Aleppo. With the fall of Shi'ite rule, however, the 'Alawites, with other Shi'ites, became the victims of persecution. They were ill-treated by waves of Crusaders, by Mamluks, and by Ottoman conquerors, in addition to fighting a number of internecine wars.

Considered by many Muslims to be heretics, the present-day 'Alawites obtained a legal decision about their status as Muslims from the Lebanese leader of the Ithna 'Ashariyah (Twelver) sect of Shi'ite Islam. The 'Alawite sect has become politically dominant in Syria, particularly since 1971, when Hafiz al-Assad, an 'Alawite, was elected president of the country. The sect is predominant in the Latakia region of Syria, and it extends north to Antioch (Antakya), Turkey. Many 'Alawites also live around or in Hims and Hamah. They are second in number within Syria to the Sunnite sect, which makes up about three-fourths of the Muslim population of mostly Muslim Syria.

The name 'Alawi is more generally used to refer to all the groups affiliated with one of the 'Alis; thus the Muslims usually refer to the Syrian 'Alawites as Nusayriyah, or Namiriyah. Though well established in Syria since the 12th century, the 'Alawites were not able to fully adopt the name 'Alawi until 1920, the time of French occupation of the area.

The basic doctrine of 'Alawite faith is the deification of 'Ali. He is one member of a trinity corresponding roughly to the Christian Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 'Alawites interpret the Pillars of Islam (the five duties required of every Muslim) as symbols and thus do not practice the Islamic duties. They celebrate an eclectic group of holidays, some Islamic, some Christian, and many 'Alawite practices are secret. They consider themselves to be moderate Shi'ites, not much different from the Twelvers.

29/3/05 02:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually this entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online is quite extra-ordinary :

it ends with a note that contradicts the whole entry .

"They consider themselves to be moderate Shi'ites, not much different from the Twelvers. "

Seems like the guy who wrote that entry is another one of Karfan's friends .

29/3/05 03:05  
Anonymous Catherine said...

I don't think it's healthy to suspect that eveything we don't like /agree with is a lie and a big consperacy..it is too typical arab dictator way of thinking.
It must be a friend of Karfan that happens to work in : Encyclopaedia Britannica???? This is not just some anonymous writing on a wall in Damascus..This is something quite more scientific and respected!!
And if we don't like what Karfan is writing than he must be not an Alawi? he must be even not a Syrian? He is even surly an Israeli/American??..Yeah..Heard all that 10 million times before about any poor Syrian who dared to say the truth and think differently than others(Baath). And that is just sick..

Now something else that has nothing to do with this, but I just thought it might be interesting to read, for Karfan and all other Karfaneen / others:http://www.nationmaster.com/red/graph-T/dem_dem_ins_rat&int=-1
Regarding democracy Syria is rated just before North Korea, and after countries like Somalia/Rwanda/Chad (!)

29/3/05 04:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Encyclopaedia Britannica does not tell us anything about the source(s) of its information and to what extent they are reliable.

It does not quote a single known Alawi source. That is not at all respectfull nor scientific.

This looks like an attempt to divide muslims. typical british.

Alawi , sunnni , shia , Hamas , Hizballah , we are all brothers fighting for our freedom.

29/3/05 15:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Encyclopaedia Britannica? sounds like an american high school or college student.


If you want to learn about Islam , you do not go to the Queen of England, you read the Qoran, talk to muslims or read books written by muslims.

29/3/05 16:50  
Blogger Hadad said...

I don't see what makes you question the validity of Britannica's assertions. The Encyclopaedia is NOT presenting any contentious opinions but is simply stating facts about the alawites i.e. general knowledge. The skepticism of the last two commentators is unfounded and childish.

29/3/05 19:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weather Karfan is a Syrian Alawi a 15 year old college prankster from Minnissota or a Mossad-hired group of professional Israeli writers is irrelevant.

The outcome is great political satire/commentary.

As for the Encyclopedia Britannica being wrong and not listing its sources; would the author of the comment send us what he thinks is a more accurate description of the Allawi sect (or even explain to us why they dont exist if this is the case)?

29/3/05 20:29  
Blogger Mohammed said...

in joshua landis interesting article about islamic education in syria, the alawis he intreviewed express very much similar opinions to karfan...
http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/L/Joshua.M.Landis-1/Islamic%20Education%20in%20Syria.htm

29/3/05 22:33  
Blogger Bryan Kerwick said...

What to do when there are no lions?

What to do when all Religions are respected?

What to do when no religion is forced on the people of Syria?

What to do when the voice of all is heard and respected?

What to do, what to do?

Deliverance is coming! So is destruction, but it's all good when you put it back together or is it?

The voice of reason is no longer heard. Go where you can be safe. That's all I can offer.

Syria as it is today is done for no later than May 31,2005.

Be well, let the God of your choice keep you safe and secure and try to make sense out of chaos.

Bryan Kerwick
bryankerwick@comcast.net

30/3/05 05:54  
Anonymous semite5000 said...

Anonymous wrote that ‘The Encyclopaedia Britannica does not tell us anything about the source(s) of its information and to what extent they are reliable.It does not quote a single known Alawi source. That is not at all respectfull nor scientific.This looks like an attempt to divide muslims. typical british.’

Anonymous, if the excerpt is wrong, perhaps you could enlighten us about the true facts about alawites, or more specifically, how is the encyclopedia Britannica incorrect. Instead of tossing out wild conspiracy theories about the ‘British’ trying to divide Muslims, could you explain to us the facts?

Anonymous added, ‘Alawi , sunnni , shia , Hamas , Hizballah , we are all brothers fighting for our freedom.’

Who are you fighting for freedom from? What is your concept of freedom? Do you really think that if Hizbullah and Hamas were the rulers of a country that they would allow their citizens to be free? Do you consider Iranians to be free, because they are ruled by an Islamic government that came to power after a revolution?

Finally, anonymous wrote, 'If you want to learn about Islam , you do not go to the Queen of England, you read the Qoran, talk to muslims or read books written by muslims.'

Are you saying that the Queen of England wrote the enyclopedia britannica?

-Semite5000

31/3/05 02:46  
Blogger Anton Efendi said...

This is an excellent post Karfan. It highlights two important points 1- that Syrian society and education are fair game for rigid orthodox Sunni Islam, and 2- that the "secular" regime and the Sunni clerical establishment are very much in bed with each other, as is the case in Egypt and elsewhere. This is the basic dynamic that people who talk of that dichotomy always miss. These guys work together to the exclusion of any liberal voice. When the Islamist get ideas of overthrowing the regime, the regime puts them down. Otherwise, they have an agreement of sorts whereby the Sunni clerical establishment controls much of the education and societal norms, including much of the religious and cultural identities (Arab nationalism has always maintained this marriage anyway).

Geneve Abdo has documented this in Egypt, and Josh Landis has written a terrific paper on religious education in Syria that elaborates on the same points raised by Karfan.

This is a very important post. Thanks.

31/3/05 03:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mohammed


-->in joshua landis interesting article about islamic education in syria, the alawis he intreviewed express very much similar opinions to karfan.

How many alawis did he interview and how representative are they ?

he admits hismself that

"Alawis, who insisted they belong to the Ja`afari Shi`a mathhab (Twelver Shi’a Islam) as early as 1920, despite French attempts to encourage them to define themselves as a separate religion, have persisted in their drive to be recognized as main-stream Muslims ever since."

don't mind the suspicious and subjective wording of this sentence (despite french attempts .. they have persisted)
which uncovers his real agenda.

He (landis) clearly lays down his objective:

"Even after the well publicized and damning critique of the Syrian curriculum published in 2000 by the director of MEMRI, Meyrav Wurmser, entitled, The Schools of Ba`athism: A Study of Syrian Schoolbooks, there has been no change in the language of the texts. All the anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic quotes high-lighted by Wurmser in the texts for the 1999-2000 school year are still included in the 2002-2003 texts."

so Meyrav Wurmser "damning critique" was not enough and mr landis is here to complete her work by trying to play the sectarian card and championing sects and sectarian identities.

Here is an interesting article about the secret life of Meyrav Wurmser:

http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2003%20Opinion%20Editorials/May/30%20o/The%20Secret%20Life%20of%20Meyrav%20Wurmser.htm

and this http://rightweb.irc-online.org/ind/wurmser_m/wurmser-m.php

Frankly, i think the Syrian government should revoke Mr. Landis's visa and send him back home excatly like the Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan and others who's visas were revoked by US government.

more about this on this link:

http://www.antiwar.com/ips/fisher.php?articleid=5412

31/3/05 18:48  
Anonymous 3alloush said...

From Nahj Al-balagha.

The Last Will of Imam Ali (AS) to his sons Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS) :

My advice to you is to be conscious of Allah and steadfast in your religion. Do not yearn for the world, and do not be seduced by it. Do not resent anything you have missed in it. Proclaim the truth; work for the next world. Oppose the oppressor and support the oppressed.

I advise you, and all my children, my relatives, and whosoever receives this message, to be conscious of Allah, to remove your differences, and to strengthen your ties. I heard your grandfather, peace be upon him, say: "Reconciliation of your differences is more worthy than all prayers and all fasting."

Fear Allah in matters concerning orphans. Attend to their nutrition and do not forget their interests in the middle of yours.

Fear Allah in your relations with your neighbors. Your Prophet often recommended them to you, so much so that we thought he would give them a share in inheritance.

Remain attached to the Quran. Nobody should surpass you in being intent on it, or more sincere in implementing it.

Fear Allah in relation to your prayers. It is the pillar of your religion.

Fear Allah in relation to His House; do not abandon it as long as you live. It you should do that you would abandon your dignity.

Persist in jihad in the cause of Allah, with your money, your souls, and your tongue.

Maintain communication and exchange of opinion among yourselves. Beware of disunity and enmity. Do not desist from promoting good deeds and cautioning against bad ones. Should you do that,the worst among you would be your leaders, and you will call upon Allah without response.

O Children of Abdul Mattaleb! Do not shed the blood of Muslims under the banner: The Imam has been assassinated! Only the assassin should be condemned to death.

If I die of this stab of his, kill him with one similar stroke. Do not mutilate him! I have heard the Prophet, peace be upon him, say: "Mutilate not even a rabid dog."

31/3/05 21:05  
Blogger Bryan Kerwick said...

Time for talk and reason have been over since 9/11/2001.
The scholars will be discussing the true meaning of a pissed off redneck who has guns and uses them....well.
I listened to the President make a solemn vow 4 years ago. The problem is most of the world including much of America don't realize the difference between a politician making a speech and a redneck making a promise. Funny when they find out the differece they all seem shocked and outraged.
To bad for them the pissed off redneck really doesn't give a s#it what they think.
At the end of the summer, Karfan and like minded Syrians will have an opportunity to find out what a diverse country can be like when they are united on new found common ground courtesy of US Marines.
Be well my friend and may the God of your choice keep you and your family safe. You will have much work to do in the fall.

2/4/05 13:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bryan,

The poeple of the world want to thank the US Marines of doing such a great job of bringing peace and prosperity to the world.

In particular the poeple of Vietnam and Korea, who witnessed first hand the capacity of the American soldier to help.

A grateful and hopeful Syrian

3/4/05 20:43  
Blogger Bryan Kerwick said...

Dear anonymous:

I guess you have to understand the night and day differences between the Situation in the Middle East and that of Southeast Asia.

For starters, those 2 actions were to halt the spread of Communism during the Cold War.

The US backed Government of South Vietnam was far more corrupted than the governments of Syria and Iran. The people of South Vietnam did not want to fight for their freedom and the United States homeland was not attacked by lunatics from Southeast Asia.

South Korea on the other hand did have a population willing to fight for their freedom and if you take a look at the 2 countries today, (North Korea & South Korea) you will notice they are as different as night and day.

North Korean people are trying to escape that country in droves to either South Korea or China as they are starving to death since the government of North Korea is more interested in the Military than the population. There is no comparison between the North and South with regard to the quality of life of the general population. They will have deliverance soon as North Korea will end up being invaded due to the senile, insane leader of that country insisting on being a nuclear power. They will be decimated and ultimately reunited with the South. It is their only hope of salvation.

Syrians want freedom just the same as the Palestinians, Iraqi's and Afghani's. They also want no part of the military action that is coming their way in May.

They have one shot at not being invaded. Regime change is a must, democratic reforms, disarming of hizbullah and getting off the States Sponsoring Terrorists list is their only hope but that must come before the May elections in Lebanon. This task is all but impossible at this point as Syria has run out of time. Nobody wants war but there are almost no options for Syria at this point unless the powers that be understand the difference between political rhetoric and a solemn oath that came from a redneck. I doubt the will ever understand but there is a slim chance if Syria takes the path of Lybia to avert war. There is no negotiations anymore after 9/11. This redneck president will change the landscape of the world and noone can stop him. That is the dilema of the Syrian people pure and simple and the clock has almost run out. Their mutual defense treaty with Iran makes it all the more attractive to Bush because he now can kill 2 birds with one stone using 1559 as political cover. Most Arabs want freedom and the more their neighbors acquire, (Lebanon, Palestine $ Iraq in particular, the more the general population of Syria will demand the same. Freedom and Democracy are coming, (at the barrel of a gun where necessary) and it will not be stopped primarily because that is the will of the people. The Vietnameese people didn't care and that is why they are under Communist rule today.
Understanding the facts makes all the difference in the world.
Oh, by the way, you really can kill all your enemies if you commit to doing it. Go listen to the Presidents speech after 9/11 and all this will now make sense to you. He's a redneck, not a politician. He said what he meant, meant what he said and is doing what he said, much to the displeasure of much of the world including many Americans. However, he really doesn't give a shit what they think, he is sticking to his principles of spreading democracy and eliminating terrorism. No one can stop him anyway so all the bitching and complaining about his agenda falls on deaf ears. That is the bottom line pure and simple whether you like it or not.

Bryan Kerwick
bryankerwick@comcast.net

4/4/05 09:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to reluctantly admit that what Bryan is saying has a lot of truth.

The biggest danger in the world today is the unchecked power of the US. The extent of this danger will appear when the US economy will start lagging behind (and it will as all economies have ups & downs). President Bush has started an inevitable trend that will only get worse as long as the US power is unchallanged. So expect more redness of neck in the next few decades as America's self interest will show its ugly head.

The second biggest danger to the world is the vulnarability of prosperous liberal democracies to terrorism. Bin Laden is again the begining of a trend that will be more sophisticated with time and will not be limited to Islamic radicals.

What adds water to the mud is the merging of interest between the terrorists and the rednecks, both using each other as an excuse to escalate of conflict.

So what does this have to with Syria? Well, we live a similar situation where the regime is too powerful to be challanged and the only contender being a radical muslim revolution. As the regime discovers that really can do what it wants it gets more and more corrupt. While at the same time it justifies its actions as a protector of society against the Islamic invasion. Radical muslims on the other hand use regime actions as their recruitement platform.

In order to break this pattern we need to deal with these dangers as 2 enemies of freedom and democracy rather than deciding which side we lie on. We have to define a 3rd way. We dont want Coke, we dont want Pepsi, we want 7UP.

Sounds like we are doomed :)

4/4/05 15:59  
Anonymous Highlander said...

Anonymous 15:59 Thanks !!!!!:)

4/4/05 18:01  
Anonymous Highlander said...

anonymous 14:28 are u the same anonymous 15:59 ? ;)

6/4/05 16:10  
Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Have a look at this.
It's a testimony on the Mezze jail.

http://lwatch.blogspot.com/2005/04/hell-on-earth.html

I can't imagine what is done a Tadmor which is considered even worse.

7/4/05 13:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something seems wrong about this report.

Even though the events recounted are all happening in Syrian prisons, the whole narrative seems fabricated.

For one thing, the author does not want to reveal his identity but leaves clear clues that will allow any motivated person to identify him.

7/4/05 14:28  
Anonymous Basil said...

Karfan
I love this blog, when will you publish more? You have fans among the Syrian-American community; its nice to hear new voices.

You can ignore Brian, there is no second war coming in May or June. The U.S. Army is too overstretched in Iraq as it is, and we've already sunk $300 billion there, with little to show (except for Haliburton of course, they've done well for themselves). You can't bomb a country to make it democratic.

11/4/05 17:29  
Anonymous Kaz-Man said...

Karfan & Friend,

We haven't heard from you in a while. I hope all is well. I pray for you and those who want transparent government who respects individual liberties.

12/4/05 18:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As an alawite who has nothing to do with Syria, (and who is not Syrian) I am astonished by these facts the honorable gentleman Karfan brings.

It definitely is more interesting -and credible-to see the perspectives of an alawite, in a way, somebody who could potentially benefit from the existent regime, and who chose not to do so. It would be more enlightening though if Karfan gives very specific examples.

Olcay.

26/4/05 22:47  
Anonymous alawi-man said...

i am very sorry to say that whenever sunny syrian talk about a change of the power they talk about a new country ruled by sunny majority>>!!!!!
never heart one sunni talking about the rule of democracy or the rule of humanity or rule of equality..
what a pity, arabs are really pathiatic.
for me i'v never seen syria controlled by the alwite,thats a big lie was composed by the fanatic sectarian sunny people, who just hate alwaite for being alwite. and they think of assumed islamic country that will fullfill their goal.
i'v seen a persecuation and discrimination againest us the alwite what cant be believed.
i my self was discriminated many times whereever i go and show my idintity.

and by the way alwite are more than 10 to 16 percent of the population, there are tenth of thousands who live in the cities of lattakia and banyas and aleppo and damas and homs and thought to be sunny people [my family is one of them] and i know many in homos and aleppo recorded in the early estimations as sunny . thats because our grandparent couldnt show their true ids

2/2/06 20:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi; as an alawite i must be clear about what i have to say.there is a very good reason why alawites are ruling syria today and why jews are ruling palestine and why christians head the lebanese government and why shittes rule iraq and sunnis rule saudi arabia, because it is Allahs plan, one of these sects is the correct faith and all others are going according to scripture to hellfire.in one of the sunnis books called ibn kathir the signs before judgment day mentions that just before the appearance of the messiah,an antichrist will surroud and imprison the true believers who live on jabal dhukhon [tobbacco mountain] for seven years, then christ will save them and destroy the dajjal [antichrist] now we all know that we alawites grow tobacco and our mountain is the only one in syria that grows it. so for all those who hope that the alawites in syria will fall, know this eventually we will be victorious.

3/5/06 20:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read on the SHRC forum from a post over two years ago about a discussion of a plan for Syria. The plan called for teaching the history of all religions and sects in public schools, especially minority religions such as Alawites and Druze. The poster reasoned that in Arab culture, people fear what they don't know about and enshroud it with big mystical myths all around it. By teaching Sunni kids about the heritage of Alawites and other religous minorities, the fear, suspecion and distrust will evaporate and the curse of "King Lion the 1st" will be no more. Syria is in a swirl of economic and social chaos topped by a rule of an unfit president. Undoing the myths and distrust is a very good trust.

One more thing, Hafez Assad relied on the tribal cohesiveness of Alawites rather than any secretive religous practices and beliefs. It is well established that his spiritual advisor used to be Imam el Sadr who had an open door welcome policy anytime he desired to visit Assad in Damascus. Imam El Sadr is a Twelver Shiite Imam from Southern Lebanon. Assad never had an Alawite clergy advisor.

What is also interesting is that Hafez Assad was very strict on his kids in their youth and stood in the way of his sons and daughter marrying from Sunni or Christian families, just to change his mind later on or probably he lost control!!! So at first, Bushra Assad could not marry the Sunni Doctor she admired for long, Basil's love story with a Christian girl was crushed by his father. Later, Maher would marry a Sunni girl from Dair el Zor originally and Bashar marries from Homs. Probably Bouchra's horrible taste when she picked the worst character ever (Asef Shawkat), made the choices of Maher and Bashar very easy to swallow.

2/9/06 09:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear,
i am Alawie and who say that alawies is bad muslims. You do not be fear with alawie. In the future Alawies in Syria they will do feelings sorrowful, peace, religous and respect to other group of muslims believer. Alawies believes in Allah and Messenger protect Muhammed. How rude Sunni people thinks thats Alawies did not doing care, religous, respects to other. Some Alawies have bad deeds and some Alawies have good deeds because they are different sin. i and my family respect to Sunni, Alawies and other muslims. And in the future i hope insallah i really want to do my religous and i would to like teachings Alawies in Syria about religions because they are losing their religions,respects from t.vs,radios,computers,dancing in some where. that's is way Sunni are look at Alawies and they knew Alawies is wrong. but i know Alawies is bad and that i can't very stright to Alawies to not doing bad against because Good Alawies are many copies wrong from Bad people who teaching them every happen goes wrong.

2/11/06 11:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does it matter what religion (or sect) you belong to if you fail to have morals? To speak ill of other religions is immoral and i suggest Karfan accept all people from all walks of life with tolerance and an open mind. Until we learn and become mature enough to accept a person for their integrity, self respect, morals and self worth we will always have narrow minded, fanatics who think their ideas and opinions are right and other people simply fail to see the truth like they do. I actually pity people like Karfan because they will live forever under the control of their supressed minds, and it's people like himself that have bought the world to where it is today. Acceptance and respecting other religions is the key to our problems in this world.

22/11/06 08:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am alawi.
end of the day, its been about two years since kafarn talked crap, and none is true.
no facts, not scientific bullshit boo boorah rah ffs.
zzzzz all false.

and all your views about our secret "sect" religion is pure ellaborating and jargon.
yuo guys are just guessing cause you scared. pure and simple/

oh and by the way ,belive it, we will rise and crush all kafrs. peace my sons.

9/4/07 20:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an alawi.
... but the great essence which makes up the very term has to be left unsaid . If only I can tell you, but sure there is a day when you yourself knew what it means. there some very huge fallecies about alawism, but there is only one thing i may say: alawism is a relationship primarily between man and ideas, yes ideas. instead of telling you what it means let me show you a living example: whats is the greatest risk of all for an alawi? to be associated with judaism. But i stand firm with this peculiar sect of judaism that claims the word is intelf not created but a creator. Let the worst come; how far should we always be afraid of the worst? what remains when we are all gone is ideas, dropping ALL considerations of this great organism called the universe and of which i am part.

11/10/07 22:22  
Blogger mewmewmew said...

I hope that 37 years from now, our sons and daughters do not have to ask the same from king lion the 3rd. Good to see you back, Karfan. Majd



bulk sms
Uebersetzungsbuero Deutsch Spanisch

25/1/11 19:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

karfan dear
I do not know..actually I do not expect that you will read this
but those little Syrian boys want a revolution!
they do not understand the civil war fear. They are hoping to be like Tunisia..they forgot that they are more like Iraq.

they have no comprehension beyond children and teens little fights.
they do not understand there will be no tomorrow once the ones with the arms and the one with the big number finish each other.
they want to get ride of lion2
he will go to France of course
or die..who cares!
but they will destroy everything with their utter stupidity

I am sad Karfan
I am so sad
and worried
the world is falling apart

31/1/11 16:48  
Anonymous Umniyya said...

didn't read the whole post, but i believe that one of the main reasons why assad hung on moderate sunni is coz when he took over power, all the arab regions , Saudi, Kuwait , Iraq , Egypt, whom he was concerned about their support were Sunni and wouldn't accept anything contrary to this.

30/4/11 13:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that a person who had been discriminated against must reject discrimination and stop abusing people who have different views and aspirations. The essence of faith is respect and understanding. Hence, it's high time all people realized that democrasy is about accepting all people, regardless of their differences or religious affliations. The aspiration for freedom has nothing to do with one's sect; it's a human thing. All people should have equal rights. No one has the right to torture those who disagree with them.

24/6/11 16:59  
Anonymous أحمد نظير الأتاسي said...

Dear Karfan (Qarfan)
I thank you so much for this brilliant article. It is brilliant in analysis and courageous in positioning the self outside the group while looking inside. I hope you are living in Syria, for people like you are the solution. I will be honored to some day be your friend and communicate with you.

10/7/11 10:34  
Anonymous hp samsung said...

nice blog :)

20/4/13 11:29  
Blogger IPA35 said...

I always wondered why modern day Alawi's believe the position of being a 'believer' is passed through the father. So you need to have an Alawi father to be initiated into the religious secrets.

This is in stark contrast with the Alawi history and the Alawi scriptures.

Alawites did allow conversion to their religion. This is how the sect was founded after all. The last documented case was in 1520-ish when Shia Turkmens who were settled by Sultan Selim were converted.

Also Alawi and canonised pre-Alawi scriptures clearly state things about conversion and the idea that the 'true believers' are spread among all nations and that god appeared before different, if not all, nations. In a book by Alawi leader Tabarani he explicitly says a Christian or Jewish converts can not become a religious leader. This does imply they can join the sect however. We find similar things in his predecessor Al-Jilli.

So how did the Alawi's come to believe they are the only true believers and that this position is based on parental lineage?!

22/11/13 02:35  

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