Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Reassurances for Syria’s minorities | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

The talk these days revolves around the necessity of providing reassurances to Syria’s minorities in order for them to abandon the Bashar al-Assad regime. In fact, we cannot say that all Syria’s minorities are with al-Assad so much as that they are reluctant to take a decisive stance. There can be no doubt that these minorities, particularly the Alawites and Christians, are now aware that the al-Assad ship is sinking.

The best way for these minorities to secure their position is to participate in drawing up the future of post-Assad Syria, and this by itself is taking a clear position. These minorities must express their view now, in order to protect Syria as a whole, and guarantee their own future. Al-Assad’s fall is inevitable, and all indications point to this, including the recent WikiLeaks documents that confirm Tehran is attempting to prepare itself for a post-Assad Syria. The Syrian minorities, particularly the Alawties and Christians, must look at recent experiences that demonstrate the danger of reading the political situation based upon wishful thinking or denying reality, namely the Sunni experience in post-Saddam Iraq. The Sunnis wrongly took the decision to initially boycott the political process in post-Saddam Iraq, and we now see them paying the price for this today.

Therefore, the Syrian minorities are capable of being different to the Sunnis of Iraq, and this is by participating now [in the revolution]. This participation need not necessarily be public, for some senior Gaddafi officers contributed to the collapse of his regime in coordination with the Libyan revolutionaries without announcing this publicly. There are, of course, many ways of doing this, what is important is that the minorities secure their future for themselves. Indeed it is the duty of all Syrians to secure the unity of Syria and the full integration of the country’s social fabric, thereby ensuring that Syria will be a state of law, not a state of majority and minority; hostility does not provide nations will long life.

Therefore the best party to ensure the future of Syria’s minorities is the minorities themselves, and this is by participating in this real revolution, which has made a lot of sacrifices. For what is happening in Syria today is that a minority is killing the majority, and there are those who reject this logic, however we must not forget that the truth has been twisted and that the people who are most taken in by this logic are those who are most defensive about the future of Syria’s minorities. How can anybody call for the necessity of providing reassurances to the minorities whilst the majority is being massacred? This is completely illogical. Therefore, it is important that these minorities provide reassurances to themselves by taking part in the post-Assad Syria project, rather than by committing themselves to this tyrant. It would be difficult to say that all Syria’s minorities are supporting the tyrant, however the problem lies in the misreading of the political situation – or the outright denial of reality – on the part of some of Syria’s minorities. However there are some indications that reveal that some of Syria’s minorities are actively taking part in the revolution. On Monday, there was important news about the formation of the first Alawite battalion in the Free Syrian Army [FSA].

In summary, the best party to provide reassurances for Syria’s minorities is the minorities themselves, and this is by taking the critical decision and contributing to drawing up the future of a post-Assad Syria. As for what is said and repeated about this being a Sunni revolution; this is not in the interests of Syria, its people, or the region as a whole. The tyrant must be punished for his crimes, and our region must turn the page on this dark chapter.