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…show more content…
A small faction making up 12% of the Syrian population, were referred to as Nusaryi, a label that emphasized their religious groups different approach to Islam, were viewed as heretics of the Islamic religion. During the Ottoman rule, the Nusaryi were the most numerous and poorest of the peasants. Of the Nusaryi who were fortunate enough to have a job, were most likely worked for the Sunni Muslim landlords in the mountain region. In 1920, the French changed their named to Alawite. The term “Alawi” suggested an adherent to Ali, the son in law of Muhammad. This was done to highlight the similarities to the Shiite branch of Islam. The Alawites thrived more than any other faction from the French mandate. The villages on the mountain range and bordering city of Latakia were composed of high amounts of the Alawite faction. The French mandate allowed the areas the govern themselves and jurisdiction over their own people (Fildis). Because the French viewed the Alawites in the mountain range area as potentially strong allies, they took exceeding measures to ensure their support and progress. They introduced schools into the villages, providing opportunities for large amounts of Alawite children to have an education and a future that leads to more than being a servant to a Sunni (MacFarquhar). Many Alawites chose to join the military, it being one of the best outcomes and ways for the Alawites to change their social condition. Over time, an Alawite military
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