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The Illusionary Salvation Offered by the Druze Clergy

The sudden protests that swept Sweida province recently ended as quickly as they had begun
The Illusionary Salvation Offered by the Druze Clergy

The sudden protests that swept Sweida province recently ended as quickly as they had begun.


All the voices upon which they depended represented a dead awakening, or an attempt to join the revolution that had stopped at the gates of this province for more than three years. Until today, these voices have faded.


The sudden appearance disapearance of these protests left no doubt that it had not reached the level of a serious protest movement. It was merely a bubble, a fit of wrath from a marginalized religious group excluded from the religious decision-making, and which made it look indignant towards its religious authority, as if it were fed up with the arrogance of the Syrian regime.


These protests had no intellectual depth or revolutionary dimension, but by their explicit public appearance and their clear expression of resentment got authorities worried, especially since they were accompanied by a feeling of overwhelming dignity and immunity because of its religious character and the religious uniform of its members, and especially after the deterioration of civil traditions even in the most stable city of the country -Sweida.


This explains its strong appearance at the time of its outbreak, which defied the security services through the insistence on the specific demand of dismissal of a powerful member of the security services in Sweida. This demand was not supported by the will of the spiritual leadership of the sect, which helped the regime to control it and to pretend to comply with the demands of the protesters, in spite of rumors abou the dismissal of this person. Later this was proved false, when he appeared with the three most important religious elders of the Druze sect at his side, defying who demanded his dismissal.


Implicitly, the opponents of the regime in the Druze community, the majority of which secular, realize that any religious uprising, no matter how large the numbers grow, don't think of salvation. This is because this religious uprising is the historical enemy of innovation and tends towards isolation and insularity. The scope of its work does not live up to the national level.


Consequently, it cannot be regarded as a revolutionary or liberal movement. However, many voices among them were raised demanding the secular currents and other opposition forces cheer this movement, or at least not to be hostile towards it. Revolutionary and moral faith, according to them, requires finding a way to test these arising religious forces to see whether they are able to fill the void temporarily, regardless of whether they are based on conservative religious identity.


It does not matter to these voices whether these religious forces are compatible with the goals of the revolution. They find it enough to have the hope that they may move the stagnant water or start to break the relationship with the regime, at least, perhaps, pushing Sweida towards neutrality when it becomes strong enough.


The failure of local opposition forces in Swaeida to break through the case of stagnation in their province towards the revolution is the reason these events were magnified and portrayed as a revolutionary awakening. Not so long ago, Sweida was cheering for the statement of t he "chieftains of Shihan" – a holy place for the Druze – which was amplified before it reverted again to nothingness. It reminds us of the cheers for Daesh and the other similar movements that proved a curse for the Syrian movement.


The question now is: Where are the protesters today? What are their programs and their aims? Why has the file of their weapons been closed? Should we wait for the arrest of anyone of their group in order to rise up again? After the bodies of nearly 20 young people who were killed under torture and nearly 500 others who were killed while fighting alongside the regime forces in different areas of Syria and all this failed to make them revolt, the bodies of several of them are still not found.


Despite this, Sweida hides more than can be seen from the general image that portrays it as an oasis of endless calm and which is incapable of rising up. But no one can predict when this will change, especially with the growing tensions taking place in the province with the nomadic tribes.


The two parties have aggressive historical relations which were bloody on numerous occasions. In addition to the presence of hundreds of families who hide their sons at the age of military service from the regime and the severe state of discontent experienced by the people due to high prices and the lack of basic services and the lack of job opportunities, and the most important thing is the arrogant policy exercised by the regime against the public while getting closer to its elite support.



It seems that having nothing to lose is the primary motivation which has led some people to portray what happened as a salvation which will be given by the hands of strict and marginalized young clerics, in the public life, to the paralyzed opposition which is incapable of acceptance of their reality-an opposition had always said:” the real revolution excludes the clergy away from State and politics.”


If these protestations have taken the form of spontaneous bursts that lack the organization ,but the security forces considers their sudden appearance to be a show of force simulating: a case of rebellion  which the security should not be lenient in considering its results, it is true that the authorities didn’t suppress them like they used to do with the previous attempts of protestation, but those who know the regime know that it does not believe in forgiveness and it has always dozens of ways and methods of revenge against his opponents, and until that time the regime will leave the young clergy who participated in the protestation to enjoy their fake victory.



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