Exploring the Syrian Conflict Essay

Exploring the Syrian Conflict Essay

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Syria's population is mostly divided into two dominations: Alawites and Sunnis. Both are a part of the Islam religion but they have their differences which separates their beliefs and traditions completely. The Alawi make up about 12 percent of the population and its' teachings were brought by Al Khasibi to Syria in the second part of the tenth century. They are mostly found in the mountainous part on the Mediterranean coast in the country's west. Also, they are known to be in the central province of Homs and in the capital Damascus mixed with the Sunni's population (Manfreda, Primoz). This minority has provided Syria's rules for nearly two decades, Hafiz Al Assad from 1970 to 2000 then Bashar Al Assad, his son, took over after his father's death from 2000 until the present. As far as the Sunni Muslim, they constitute about 70 percent of the population therefore they are considered the majority of Syria. It gave them the power to develop the initial principles of nationalism along with the Christians which helped them resist the French (Kramer, Martin).
Some Alawites' doctrines developed in A.D. are known to be derived from the Twelver or Imami branch of Shi'ite Islam and others are derived from Phoenicians but what all Alawites' doctrines share is their affinity with Christianity. Meaning, Alawi ceremonies involve bread and wine identically as a Christian ceremony where as the drinking of wine represents God in both religions. They believe Ali, the fourth caliph, is the incarnation of divinity considered Jesus-like compared to Christianity. A holy trinity is developed for this branch as well which includes: Muhammad, Ali and Salman Al Farisi, known to be a freed slave of Muhammad's. Another comparison to Christianity i...

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.... 2013. < http://middleeast.about.com/od/syria/tp/The-Difference-Between-Alawites-And-Sunnis-In-Syria.htm >
6. "Sunni Muslim." BluePage.org Topic Studio. Bluepage.org, n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2013. < http://www.bluepage.org/religion/sunni-muslim.html >
7. "History of Syria." Nationsonline.org. One World Nations Online, n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2013. < http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/History/Syria-history.htm >
8. Kramer, Martin. "Syria’s Alawis and Shi‘ism." MartinKramer.org. Geocities, n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2013. < http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/Alawis.htm#2 >
9. "Alawi Sect." Discoveringislam.org. End Times Research Center, n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2013. < http://www.discoveringislam.org/alawi_sect.htm >
10. Blanchard, Christopher M. "Islam: Sunnis and Shiites." Crs.org. Congressional Research Service, 28 Jan. 2009. Web. 06 Oct. 2013. < www.fas.org/irp/crs/RS21745.pdf‎ >

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