Over 1,000 protesters have been killed in Syria (Photo: Reuters)
As tales of horror filter out from Syria of the brutal treatment of protesters and rebels, The Jerusalem Post reminds us that the Alawite minority who have ruled Syria for the past 60 or so years are simply doing to their citizens what they once feared would be done to them:
"In so desperately and violently clinging to power, the behavior of the Alawite ruling minority conforms with perfect consistency to fears it has expressed for 75 years of what majority rule would mean for them.
Understanding these fears helps to understand the present crisis.
In 1936, six Alawite notables sent a memorandum to French prime minister Leon Blum. To explain why they refused to be annexed to a Muslim Syria ruled by the Sunni majority who regarded them as infidels, they pointed to the treatment of Jews under Islam: “The condition of the Jews in Palestine is the strongest and most explicit evidence of the militancy of the Islamic issue vis-à-vis those who do not belong to Islam. These good Jews contributed to the Arabs with civilization and peace, scattered gold, and established prosperity in Palestine without harming anyone or taking anything by force, yet the Muslims declare holy war against them and never hesitated in slaughtering their women and children, despite the presence of England in Palestine and France in Syria.
“Therefore, a dark fate awaits the Jews and other minorities in case the Mandate is abolished and Muslim Syria is united with Muslim Palestine... the ultimate goal of the Muslim Arabs.”
One of the signatories of this remarkable appeal was none other than Sulayman Assad, father of Hafez and grandfather of Bashar."
Once they got into power, however, the Alawites showed no understanding for the Jewish state in Palestine, nor indeed for anyone but their own.
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