Hassan never says he thinks Assad may be toppled, but he believes the future will not be kind to Alawites
, belonging to a distant but secretive branch of Shi'ism, are remnants of the Safawid movement which was a Shi'ite theocracy.
<![CDATA[ This is a religious civil war between Alawites
Assad is from Syria's minority Alawite
sect and critics say the president has filled senior political and military posts with Alawites
to impose his rule through sectarian loyalty.
"I left the meeting and found Israel's media had reported the IDF is preparing to receive refugee Alawites
are a secretive sect of Islam and have come to the foreground in contemporary times thanks to their key role in ruling Syria where they are a minority.
Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford said that minorities in Syria, among them Alawites
and Christians, fear that should the Syrian regime collapse Islamist influence will grow, reported the pan-Arab daily AL HAYAT.
Dalila, an Alawite
, has repeatedly warned against Latakia being used by the authorities to whip up sectarian fears among Alawites
of a backlash against them if they lose power, instead of concentrating on transforming Syria into a democracy where all sects would enjoy equal treatment under a new constitution.
ANTALYA, Jun 2, 2011 (TUR) -- Syrian opposition groups, who gathered in Turkey for a conference, reaffirmed their support for anti-Assad protesters in Syria and pledged respect to Alawites
on the second day of the "Conference for Change in Syria".
Khodr said that there is historical animosity between the Alawites
and the Sunnis in Bab al-Tebbaneh, but that the conflict today is purely political.
Both Sadat and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia held the belief, as do virtually all practicing Sunnis, that the Alawites
are kuffar (unbelievers) and mushrikun (idolaters, p.
The murdered were believed to be primarily Alawites
, although the government said some Sunnis and Christians were killed as well.