Category Archives: News Global

  • Syrian “revolution” or “civil war”

    Posted on December 18, 2013 by niyazsky in News Global.

    e need to understand what the Syrians want, fear, believe, and why they act in the way they do. It is not an easy task. But it is the only way if you really hold that the future of Syria must be in the hands of the Syrian people and not in the hands of external powers. Opinions are divided on the Syrian crisis between those who view it as a revolution, and those who view it as a civil war. We believe that there is no fundamental contradiction between civil conflict and revolution. Revolution inevitably bears elements of civil conflict; moreover, there is an aspect of civil conflict that must not be overlooked in all revolutions. There is a tragic fact about the Syrian case which is undeniable; that there are Syrians fighting and killing other Syrians on Syrian soil. Obviously, denying or ignoring these facts on the ground will harm the revolution. Rather, what is required is to pose the following questions; what is the nature of the civil conflict in Syria? What is the relationship between the revolution and civil conflict? And does this conflict overshadow the revolution? On the nature of the civil conflict in Syria The civil conflict taking place in Syria is not a purely sectarian one. The international community and media (in particular the western media) exaggerate the extent to which the conflict can be so described. An arrogant Orientalist set of views refuses to understand Syrians, or Arabs in general, In terms other than those of their sectarian identities. According to this reading, sectarian war is the inevitable destiny of Syrians. Furthermore, according to this reading, sectarian identities are essentialist and static, lying outside history and Independent of any socio-economic context. We reject this reading. Not every civil conflict is necessarily sectarian or religious. The Spanish Civil War was a conflict between the supporters of the Republic and the fascist followers of Franco. The Russian Civil War erupted in the context of the revolution against the Tsar. To a certain degree, the aforementioned applies as well to both Libyan and Yemeni Revolutions. The situation in Syria is closer to the previous examples than to a fully-fledged sectarian civil war. Contrary to the Orientalist view, the Middle East does not bear a special characteristic that makes it vulnerable to a purely sectarian conflict. One of the most significant reasons behind civil conflict in Syria is the uprising of Syrians against a new feudal class that had enslaved them entirely. For instance, the majority of Muslim Sunni rebels are driven by an inclination towards social justice and revenge against these feudalists, rather than exclusively by a sense of Sunni sectarianism. On the other hand, the feudal ruling class includes different sects; the ruling family and its retinues who belong to the Alawite sect enjoy the largest share of wealth and influence. This overlap between the socio-economic on one hand and the sectarian on the other hand demands in-depth study. In Syria, Syrians are fighting for different political projects, and not for sectarian projects disguised as political ones. Certainly some parties have religion-oriented political projects, and some others have sectarian ones. Also there is sectarian “rhetoric” from both ends of the conflict. Nevertheless, the civil conflict cannot be reduced to a sectarian one. These conflicts have multiple dimensions such as internal sectarian, religious, ethnic, territorial, class-related tensions and so forth, in addition to external factors, such as regional and international political demands. Nevertheless, sectarian tension […]

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