Major Religious Factions of Syria Essay

Major Religious Factions of Syria Essay

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The French’s mandate over Syria after World Ware One had an irrevocable impact on the nations’s communal factions. The mandate lasted from 1920-1946 and they begun their rule with intentionally made sectarian divisions. They were made in order to prevent Arab nationalism and stifle national independence movements. The divisions were made my religious and national minority. Granting the minorities independent status locations where they make up the majority. For example, there was a large population of Alawites in the mountain range behind Latakia, the French declared them a separate state. The Druze were granted the right and ability to govern themselves in the city of Jabal, just south of Damascus. The one religious group that did not enjoy the effects of the French mandate were the Sunni Muslims. In Syrian history, the Sunnis were viewed as the elitist, being dominant in politics, officer corps, gendarme and the police force. With the imposed separation of communal factions, the Sunnis had less power and influence. The divide-and-rule strategy the French imposed eroded the relationships among Syria’s religious and ethnic groups, ties that would have been valuable later in Syrian politics. Further analyzing the major religious factions of Syria thorough depicts development of their bitter relationships (Fildis).
Those who observe the Druze religion are part of one of the smaller religious factions, yet still have a notable presence in the Syrian culture. The Druze create 6% of the Syrian population; their small number made it easy to be overlooked or taken advantage of by those in power in Syria (Carpenter). As previously stated, the French granted the Druze an independent state in Jabal in 1922. Later that year, a Sy...

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Carpenter, Ted Galen. "Tangled Web: The Syrian Civil War And Its Implications." Mediterranean Quarterly 24.1 (2013): 1-11. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.

Fildis, Ayse Tekdal. "Roots of Alawite-Suni Rivalry in Syria." Middle East Policy Council. 19.2 (2012): n. page. Web. 4 Apr. 2014.

MacFarquhar, Neil (2000, June 10). Hafez Al-Assad, Who Turned Syria Into a Power in the Middle East, Dies at 69. New York Times. Retrieved from

Maoz, Moshe. Syria Under Assad (RLE Syria) Domestic Constraints and Regional Risks.. Hoboke, New Jersey: Taylor and Francis, 2013. eBook.

Zisser, Eyal. "Who." Middle Eastern Studies. 42.2 (2006): 79-198. Web. 4 Apr. 2014.

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