The Alawites and the Politics of Religious Legitimacy

 The Asad family that has ruled Syrian since the 1970s belong to a small offshoot of Shi'ism commonly referred to as the Alawites. During the 1970s, Hafiz al-Asad sought political legitimacy on religious grounds. In this week's episode Mike and Danny discuss the intersection of religion and politics in relation to Alawite rule in Syria.

Prominent Shi'a cleric Musa al-Sadr gained Syrian patronage after he issued a fatwa declaring the Alawites to Muslims. This edict helped lend the Asad regime legitimacy as the Syrian constitution required the president to be Muslim.

Prominent Shi'a cleric Musa al-Sadr gained Syrian patronage after he issued a fatwa declaring the Alawites to Muslims. This edict helped lend the Asad regime legitimacy as the Syrian constitution required the president to be Muslim.

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