Who Are the Alewites?

You know what’s at stake in Syria: removing Assad from power is the declared goal of the MuBro’s and of  misguided ‘humanitarians’ in the west.  Once the Muslim Brotherhood  comes to power, they will eliminate the last remnants of tolerance for minorities in the ME. Our ruling elites pretend to be clueless about the inevitable  slaughter of the ruling Alewites, Christians and Druse. The Obama-Klintoon charade will result in genocide and millions displaced.

Who and What Are the Alawites?  (Harry’s Place, Alec, July 5th )

After a millennium of deeply insular and secretive life in the Alawite Mountains along the coast of [what now is] Syria, their clan leaders and emerging urban classes responded to the developing pan Arab nationalism of the 19/20th Centuries first by efforts to establish their own nation state and then by efforts to present themselves as indistinguishable from Sunni Arabs who make-up the majority of Syria’s population.

The first tactic is reputed to have been attempted by Grandpa Assad in a speculative letter to Leon Blum from 1936, in which he appealed to Blum’s Jewishness and spoke favourably of the Zionist project next door:


The Alawites refuse to be annexed to Muslim Syria because, in Syria, the official religion of the state is Islam, and according to Islam, the Alawites are considered infidels.

The spirit of hatred and fanaticism imbedded in the hearts of the Arab Muslims against everything that is non Muslim has been perpetually nurtured by the Islamic religion. There is no hope that the situation will ever change. Therefore, the abolition of the mandate will expose the minorities in Syria to the dangers of death and annihilation, irrespective of the fact that such abolition will annihilate the freedom of thought and belief.

The condition of the Jews in Palestine is the strongest and most explicit evidence of the militancy of the Islamic issue vis a vis those who do not belong to Islam.

We assure you that treaties have no value in relation to the Islamic mentality in Syria. We have previously seen this situation in the Anglo Iraqi treaty, which did not prevent the Iraqis from slaughtering the Assyrians and the Yezidis.


I am assured that this letter is authentic, although the online trail appears to endon the departmental website of Joshua Landis; who has received negative write-ups on HP because of his credulity towards the Assad regieme. That said, although he is married to the daughter of a senior Alawite Admiral, he strikes me as much more reliable a source than, say, Neil Clark.

From the letter, it can be seen that despite contemporary assertions that the Alawite religion is an iteration of Shi’a Twelverism, the grandparents of the current generation certainly may not have considered themselves to be Muslim.

Indeed, just as the Quran permits the consumption of extinct mermaids (if theyever existed), it also considers followers of the extinct religion of Sabianism to be Children of the Book whilst Alawites are not.

Along with emphatically non-Islamic groups such as the Yezhidi, and arguably para-Islamic groups such as the Alevi, I have seen sources which suggests Alawites are linked Kurdish lineages possibly to Kartvelian/Georgian origins. Despite what George Galloway might say about blonde hair and blue-eyes marking regional inhabitants as non-native, these physical characteristics are present amongst many Alawites and Kurds.

Writing last year in New Republic, Theo Panos describes a pantheist and highly esoteric religion which worship(ped) the air and sun and moon and considered all humans to be descended stars awaiting return to the Milky Way and where initiates are sought through sons. As such, transmission of knowledge and traditions were not conducted through written sources or attending mosques, and reconstructing Alawite religious practices could be caught-up in vituperative descriptions by Sunni writers and marginally less antagonistic descriptions by Twelver writers.

Following the massacres of Levantine Christians in 1860/1, and the French-led intervention in Greater Syria as response, French missionaries began to take an interest in this odd religious sect believing it to be lost or proto-Christians.

This prompted the Ottoman rulers and dominant Sunni leaders to initiate the first Sunnification or de-Alawitification process of the Modern Era, leading to Grandpa Assad’s appeal some three quarters of a century later. Not only was the Alawite State not granted independent governance, but it was not incorporated into Lebanon which may have buffered the Alawis from overwhelming Sunni Muslim majority.

The Assad family’s sympathies towards Zionism was, of course, short-lived with the infiltration of escaped European Nazis and rise of a domestic Nazi Party the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.

When Hafez Assad and his fellow Alawite officers assumed power in 1970, acceptances of the Alawite minority was by no means guaranteed, and he accelerated the Sunnification process. Mosques appeared in Alawite villages, and through clan loyalty or totalitarian force, any remaining practitioners of Alawism were instructed to become Sunnier than thou.

One feature of Alawism which does seem to have survived is the veneration of patron saints and earthly authorities. Starting with the greater Alawites of them all, the Assad family.

When Bassel Assad wrapped himself around a lamp-post in 1994, the grief amongst ultra-loyal Alawites was immense. According to Panos, a group broke into a cemetery on Baghdad Street in Damascus, and proceeded to desecrate the graves of designated martyrs from the 1973 War with Israel. Such was their quasi-religious loyalty to the beloved Bassel, they could not tolerate the thought of any mere mortals sharing the same order of heaven with lesser mortals: be they Sunni or Alawite.

Although, this video purporting to show Government soldiers forcing a prisoner to express loyalty to Bashar Assad before Allah is now accepted as forged, the fact remains that Government sources put out a parody of the Shahadah (and equally distressing video does appear to be authentic).

The damage which almost certainly been done inter alia to Alawites in the eyes of revaunchist Sunni extremists will be of terrifying scope; as this interview with fleeing Alawites suggests.

Although DaveM discussed Panos’ piece last year – when he included the accompanying photograph of a pseudo-religious portrait of Hafez and Bashar with Bassel hovering behind like an angelic visitiation – the question remains in my mind, what are the Alawites?

Occult, Alawite religion

Women have no souls according to Syrian President

By Judi McLeod

Friday, July 21, 2006

The father of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the late Hafez al-Assad, like his Iraqi counterpart Saddam Hussein, leaned heavily on the occult.

While Hussein consorted with the Jinn, the King and Queen of the desert sands, who he believed gave him immortality, al-Assad led a regime dominated by the belief that women do not have souls.

Al-Assad originated from the Alawite religious minority, though in essence a sect of Shiite Islam, is a world apart from Islam in doctrine and practice.

“The secretive faith–in name indicating followers of Ali, son-in-law of Islam’s founding Prophet Mohammed–also combines elements of Christianity and astrology.” (Apologetics Index).

Politically Bashar al-Assad is a chip off the proverbial old block. Shaped by his father’s lifetime crusade against Israel, he has steadfastly resisted Israeli and American pressure to abandon support for Hezbollah.

It was the terrorist group’s capture of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers and barrage of rocket attacks that sparked major Israeli military action against Lebanese targets for the first time since it withdrew from south Lebanon in 2000 after a 22-year occupation.

Bashar al-Assad finds an ally in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. His alliance to Hezbollah has been called a “love affair”.

Gary C. Gambill and Ziad K. Abdelnour, who wrote Hezbollah: Between Tehran and Damascus for the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin got it right back in February 2002:

“Bashar’s love affair with Hezbollah is attributed by some observers to naiveté. “A Syria that can be manipulated by Hezbollah, which in turn, under Iranian guidance, could well miss the crucial moment when Iran and Hezbollah attempt to spark a huge conflagration…on Israel’s northern border,” says Israeli commentator Ehud Ya’ari, “A weak and naïve Syria acts as an accelerator for Hezbollah, not a brake.”

Elected president of Syria with 97.99 percent of the votes in a nationwide election on July 17, 2000 al-Assad is an ophthalmologist by profession. Once head of the Syrian Computer Society, an organization dedicated to developing an interest in computer technology among the young people of Syria, he also joined the Army, becoming a staff colonel in 1999.

The Alawite religion practiced by his father, a longtime president of Syria, is believed to date to the 9th century,

Peculiar to the Alawites is the belief that women do not have souls.

“Astrological phenomena also take on special meaning. There is a belief, for example, that the Milky Way is made up of deified souls of believers. (Apologetics Index).

The Alawites, at about 1.5 million strong in Syria and representing about 12 percent of the country’s population, are considered by some to be a distant offshoot of the Shiite branch of Islam. Most members of the sect live in Syria, although there are scattered communities in Turkey and Lebanon as well.

Founded by a man named Ibn Nusayr, who declared himself the gateway to truth, the belief system of the Alawites has been a matter of speculation, rumour and suspicion from more orthodox Muslims of both Shiite and Sunni sects from their beginnings in the 9th century.

As secretive as the Masons in nature, only a small group within the sect is initiated into Alawite rituals and doctrine, but researchers who have studied the group say they drink wine in some ceremonies, incorporate elements of Phoenician paganism, and hold that Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, is a divine. All of that is, of course anathema to conventional Islam.

Meanwhile, if there were ever two reigning presidents who live up to the old adage of “like father like son, it’s Bashar and Hafez al-Assad.

Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at:judi@canadafreepress.com


Assad: The devil we know


We do not understand the Arab world. We think we do, we like to think we do, but we don’t.It’s far more complex and nuanced than we give it credit for, and few parts of it are as multifaceted and layered as Syria. The struggles of the Middle East are seldom about good and bad or black and white. In this case, western arrogance and presumptions of knowledge and moral superiority could lead to strife and violence almost beyond comprehension.

President Bashar al-Assad is a dictator, as was his father. More brutal than Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, less sadistic than Saddam Hussein. His father was a man of substance, and while prepared to use horrible force and kill anybody who stood in his way, he was a leader to be reckoned with.

His son was never supposed to inherit power, and did so reluctantly and with none of his father’s capabilities.

The country is a composite of disparate groups: Sunni Muslims, Alawites, Christians, Kurds, Druze and various others. The Assads are from the Alawite minority, and are Baathists, meaning they’re secular Arab nationalists rather than Islamic fundamentalists.

And here is the essential problem for the West. While Syria interfered and still interferes in Lebanon, while it has close ties to Iran, and while it supports Hezbollah, it is directly opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood and its many front groups throughout the region.

Lefties, labour militants and anti-Semites will tell you the whole area is divided over Israel and Palestine. Laughable. It’s divided because the four main local powers – Iran, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia – want to either control their neighbours or, in the case of Israel, neutralize them to guarantee their safety and stability. Frankly, nobody really cares about the Palestinians, unless they can use them to digress from genuine domestic problems.

Syria is caught in the middle of all this. President Assad would probably like to be part of the West’s orbit and did at one point make overtures to Israel and the U.S. via intermediaries. But he now knows that he can’t rely on a naive, weak, and basically pro-Muslim American leader, and that Iran would have him killed if he moved too far.

Shortly before the revolt began, Assad had further liberalized the country’s laws regarding women and minorities, and Christians and non-Sunni Muslims know that if he is removed, they will face persecution and murder – witness Iraq after the fall of Saddam. While some of his opponents are genuinely progressive, the heart of the opposition is the Brotherhood, who swore long ago that they would bring down the Assads and impose Shariah.

Israel and London want Assad gone because they know chaos will ensue, Iran will be weakened, and Hezbollah emasculated. A civil war in Syria will also make Israel safer and strengthen western ally Saudi Arabia. Apart from the horrible cynicism of it all, it’s short-term. Christians, a moderating force, will hemorrhage the country, Egypt will attempt to aid their Brotherhood friends, and ambitious Turkey will rush to fill the aid vacuum.

The devil is never a good friend to have. But the devil you know is usually less monstrous than the one who follows.

3 thoughts on “Who Are the Alewites?”

  1. It was obvious that the replacement to Mubarak would not be a liberal democratic regime but a choice between a military junta and fanatic Islam. In fact in Islamic countries, the best option is a stable moderate dictatorship.

    Syria is among the best of moderate secular dictatorships, considering what is on offer in the rest of the ME from Saudi Arabia and the rest. Syria is a “beacon” of freedom of opportunity for religious minorities and women (comparatively). Christians can practice their faith publicly and without fear. Women can get an education and job, drive cars and do just about anything. What exactly do the opposition MB offer?


    Syrian Rebels Plundering and Destroying Churches


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