On September 29, Marcell Shehwaro, Thomas Pierret and Bjørn Olav Utvik will speak on a panel titled 'Misreading Syria: Sectarian Secularism'. We have collected a few articles which are relevant to the topic of this panel. We do recommend these articles to better understand the nature of the Assad state and the Syrian conflict today.read more
War of the Rocks published two revisionist articles by an author writing under a pseudonym that brought back to mind all these conversations and many more since the uprising-cum-civil war engulfed Syria and civil war recurred in Iraq. Here, I respond to the author’s account of Syria. I am not qualified to discuss Iraq, so I will refrain from addressing this angle.
The Syrian regime manipulated sectarian divides from day one. Does Rosen remember the first days of April 2011, when the Minister of Interior was branding the peaceful sit-in in Homs as a “Salafi Emirate”? Wasn’t that a not-so-subtle way to raise sectarian fears among minorities? Or was the Minister speaking so “out of fear of Sunni sectarianism”? Does Rosen remember that a couple of days later, Alawite auxiliaries were sent to kill protesters on Homs’ Clock Square? Did that also happen “out of fear of Sunni sectarianism”?
In September 2015, the Syrian Peace Action Centre (SPACE) organized ‘The Question of Syria’ — a three-day event of panel discussions and film screenings about resistance, art and revolution in Syria, introducing the works of Syrian artists, intellectuals and cultural actors. The Question of Syria tried to explain the Syrian cause in a common cultural language that demystifies the increasingly complex political landscape through highlighting underreported alternative narratives of the struggle, closer to the aspirations of the Syrian people. The overarching messages of this event were to portray the ongoing, multifaceted Syrian uprising, to introduce the alternative democratic forces in Syria and to provide a forum for interested public in Norway to engage in and reflect on the Question of Syria.read more