Druze and Ismaili Cities Protest Against Assad in Syria
|March 28, 2012|
While Syrian government propaganda invariably tries to portray anti-Assad protesters as Islamists who hope to turn Syria into a strictly Islamic state, demonstrations among Syrian religious minority groups show that the dissent is more widespread.
The Druze are a monotheistic religious minority that comprise roughly three percent of the Syrian population.
The Ismaili-dominated city of Salamiyah, in Western Syria, has also been the site of several anti-Assad demonstrations in recent days. Ismailism is an offshoot of Shia Islam, and is thought to have approximately 200,000 adherents in Syria.
The Syrian government, which largely belongs to the Alawite minority, has tried to encourage sectarianism in the country since the beginning of the uprising. These anti-government demonstrations in Druze and Ismaili communities, however, confirm that the current political unrest transcends religious and regional boundaries.