Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
6Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Syria's Uprising: Ethnic Conflict and National Unity

Syria's Uprising: Ethnic Conflict and National Unity

Ratings: (0)|Views: 710|Likes:
Published by Christopher Haynes
Protests against the regime of President Bashar al Assad began on January 26, but did not turn violent until March 15, when security forces attacked protesters in the southern city of Deraa and Damascus held demonstrations in a “day of rage”. The UN estimates that 5000 people have been killed since then. Tens of thousands have been arrested, including some 14,000 reporters. Some observers of Syria are speculating that we are seeing the beginnings of a civil war. The bolder among them believe that it will be an ethnic civil war, with the Sunni majority pitted against the ruling Alawi sect. This paper holds that the forces dividing Syria are matched by the forces uniting it.
Protests against the regime of President Bashar al Assad began on January 26, but did not turn violent until March 15, when security forces attacked protesters in the southern city of Deraa and Damascus held demonstrations in a “day of rage”. The UN estimates that 5000 people have been killed since then. Tens of thousands have been arrested, including some 14,000 reporters. Some observers of Syria are speculating that we are seeing the beginnings of a civil war. The bolder among them believe that it will be an ethnic civil war, with the Sunni majority pitted against the ruling Alawi sect. This paper holds that the forces dividing Syria are matched by the forces uniting it.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Christopher Haynes on Dec 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

03/15/2013

pdf

text

original

 
 
Syria’s Uprising: Ethnic Conflict and
National Unity
Christopher Haynes15/12/11
 
The popular uprisings that have swept the Middle East and North Africa have had similar causesin each country: economic stagnation, corruption, decades of dictatorship. Not all of them haveoccurred in ethnically-divided societies. Egyptians widely held nationalist sentiments and unitedacross the Muslim-Christian divide in opposition to Hosni Mubarak. Syrians, however, amajority-Sunni population ruled by an ethnic minority supported by other minorities, are variedin their attitudes toward the ruling party.Protests against the regime of President Bashar al Assad began on January 26, but did not turnviolent until March 15, when security forces attacked protesters in the southern city of Deraa andDamascus held demonstrations
in a “day of rage”.
1
 
Youths had written “the people want the fallof the regime”, the slogan of the other Arab Spring movements, on walls in Deraa, and were
tortured and killed as a result.
2
Since March, protests have taken place around Syria, and mosthave been brutally crushed. The UN estimates that 5000 people have been killed since then.
3
 Tens of thousands have been arrested, including some 14,000 reporters.
4
Some observers of Syria are speculating that we are seeing the beginnings of a civil war. The bolder among thembelieve that it will be an ethnic civil war, with the Sunni majority pitted against the ruling Alawisect.This essay will not look at the situation of all ethno-cultural groups of Syria. Syria has some ninesuch groups
5
(including Palestinian and Iraqi refugees) with populations over 100,000. Itconsiders only relations between the Sunnis and the Alawis, as the commentators and experts seethem as the two key parties. If any two groups will fall down the hole of ethnic conflict, it will bethem.Is Syria in civil war? British prime minister David Cameron warned it was heading toward civilwar in late November.
6
President Abdullah Gul of Turkey said Turkey is preparing for theworst.
7
Joshua Landis
 ,
director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma,
 
predicted in April that Syria would descend into a civil war between Sunnis andAlawis.
8
There is evidence of an inchoate civil war, but it is truly an ethnic conflict? If we canfind clear evidence of major, sustained clashes between sects, or systematic violence against onesect by the army, we will have reason to say an ethnic conflict is occurring in Syria.
1
Unknown author (March 16, 2011). Middle East unrest: Syria arrests Damascus protesters.
BBC 
2
Unknown author (November 22, 2011). Syria protests: What you need to know.
BBC 
3
Unknown author (December 12, 2011). Syria: 5000 dead in violence, says UN human rights chief.
The Guardian
4
Nasseri, Ladane (December 11, 2011). Syrian protesters urge general strike, pressure on Assad grows.
BusinessWeek 
5
World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples. Syria overview.
Minority Rights Group International 
6
 
Unknown author (November 22, 2011). David Cameron: ‘Civil war a real possibility’ in Syria.
BBC 
7
 
Unknown author (November 21, 2011). Turkish president, Gul, ‘prepared for worst’ in Syria.
BBC 
8
Bakshi, Amar C. (April 26, 2011). Why Syria is descending into civil war.
CNN
 
There is a certain difficulty in gathering information about an ongoing conflict, particularly onetaking place in a country from which journalists are banned. This essay attempts to paint anaccurate picture of what some are calling (and others are hesitant to call) an ethnic civil warbased on the obtainable evidence. Its contention is that there is no clear answer at present, andthat the evidence points both ways: certain ethnic cleavages are coming to the fore while unity inopposition to the ruling elite is nationalist and has brought people together.This paper first sketches the history of ethnic relations in Syria, with emphasis on the BaathParty and Alawi dominance of it. Second, it considers other sources of division and examines thepossibility of horizontal inequalities, the sources of ethnic division. Third, it looks at the forcesthat unite most of the population of Syria, the common grievances, from economic stagnation tolack of democracy. Finally, it outlines the protests that have taken place and the violence withwhich they have been met. These factors all display the forces dividing and uniting Syria duringthis uprising.Sunni Muslims make up approximately three quarters of the population of Syria, the remaindersplit among Christians, Alawis, Druze and Ismailis. As a secular state, official censuses do notcover religion or ethnicity, so accuracy is difficult. Alawis represent between 8 and 15% of Syrians. Though they populate the upper echelons of the military, as a community, Alawis arenot in an advantaged position.
9

Activity (6)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
batuza liked this
Fajri Julisyah liked this
FrasierCrane liked this
mihaibalan liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->