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Steve Tamari

Against Orthodoxy: The Story of Alawi Origins

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Since the outbreak of the popular uprising in Syria last spring, the media have focused on the Alawi minority which controls the levers of power in that country. Most often, one hears echoes of mainstream Sunni and Shi’i sources that Alawis represent a heretical or, at best, syncretic deviation from Muslim orthodoxy. Such allegations are not justified. They represent the tendency, especially among Western scholars, to accept Sunni orthodoxy as the norm. As my favorite ...

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