[Marxism] Religious Sectarianism and Killings in Syria and Turkey

Joseph Catron jncatron at gmail.com
Wed Aug 8 11:50:28 MDT 2012

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 5:03 PM, Thomas Bias <tgbias at ptd.net> wrote:

Alevi is just the Turkish pronunciation of the Arabic Alawi. It's the same
> religious group.

I can barely explain Sunni from Shia intelligently, but every resource I've
consulted tells me otherwise. Here's one:

"The Arab Alawites are a part of a syncretic and highly secretive offshoot
of Islam, thought to be open only to men and, in this case, an initiated
few.  The esoteric Alawite faith is considered by some to be close to
Shiism.  Recently, the Alawite identity has evolved; following the Islamic
Revolution, Iran reached out to the Alawites, disseminating propaganda
suggesting that they are really Shiites, in the hopes of justifying Shiite
Iranian support for the Alawite-backed regime in Damascus.

"The Alevi faith, on the other hand, is a relatively unstructured
interpretation of Islam, open to both genders and, historically, even to
non-Muslims.  Alevism is unique among Muslim sects, as it does not
segregate men and women, even during prayers. The Alevi faith is also
syncretic in nature, mixing Islam and Sufism, as well as harboring respect
for some traditions of Christianity and the Turks’ pre-Islamic religion,
Shamanism.  Unlike the Alawite faith, Alevism lacks written traditions and
does not emphasize religious practice.

"An additional key difference between the two nearly eponymous sects is
that while the Alawite faith might be considered an offshoot of Shiite
Islam, the Alevis are neither Sunnis nor Shiites."


"Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen

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