North Africa/Southwest Asia

Terms in this set (64)

Alawites (12% of Syria's population) - not really even considered
-they believed that Ali was the true successor of the Prophet Muhammad, but over time, elevated Ali to divine status himself, which the Shi'a never did.
-In the late 1960s, Alawites used this power base to overthrow the government in a coup. Hafex al-Assad, father of the current president, assumed power in 1970 and remained there until his death in 2000.
-Sunnis = majority of population, Alawite = political power (President Bashar al-Assad belongs to Alawites)
-Christian & Druze support Alawite
-Sunni Islamist rebel militia went door-to-door in a town called Adra in the central part of the country and killed Alawites and Druze because of both those groups' frequent support of the government and their deviations from Islam
-finding out who was who was easy for the killers, since the Assad government required all Syrians to carry an identity card indicating the group to which they belonged - a practice no doubt intended at its inception to benefit thse minority groups
-one of the most heavily censored states in the realm.
*Young boys spray painted a wall with anti-government sentiments, which led to their arrest. ~20 people, mostly children were detained, questioned, and beaten. (Bashar al Assad REFUSED to step down)
-brought changes: promise greater political and social freedoms and granting the stateless Kurds citizenship, attempted to appease Muslims, announcing the closing of a casino, giving a teacher who had been dismissed for wearing a head scarf her job back, and allowing the formation of an Islamic political party and TV network.
-By the time 2012 arrives, there are 5,000 casualties and more to come. Chemical weapons, random and unprovoked air raids on civilians.
-Rebel groups, now active in the fighting, kill several top officials, while others defect from the crumbling government, which is starved of money as sanctions set in and oil production plummets.
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