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States of Exception: Effects and Affects of Authoritarianism Among Christian Arabs in Damascus

  • Andreas Bandak
Chapter

Abstract

The Syrian regime has, for decades, emphasized the strong and authoritarian focus of national security. Following independence after World War II, various regimes took charge of the country, most notably the current Ba’ath party, which seized power in 1963. The Ba’ath party staged a series of coups or “corrections” in 1966 and 1970, which ended up with Hafiz al-Asad as president, and the Alawite minority as his immediate power base. Throughout Hafiz al-Asad’s reign, he was known to be ruthless and brutal in fighting all sorts of radicalism and religious fundamentalism, in particular the Sunni Muslims. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, several attempts by the Muslim Brotherhood to denounce the president culminated, in early 1982, in a bloody massacre in the city of Hama in middle of Syria, where more than 10,000 people were killed by the army. This incident marked the regime as authoritarian with a strong will to uphold power in a region known for its instability. The authoritarian line has also been continued, since the death of Hafiz al-Asad in 2000, by his son Bashar al-Asad. In this chapter, I explore the effects and affects of authoritarianism on the Christians of Damascus. This minority, consisting of a great variety of denominations, 2 regards security as a necessity with which to guard the country against Muslim fundamentalism.

Keywords

Truth Telling Religious Fundamentalism Muslim Brotherhood National Anthem Rienner Publisher 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Jens Dahl and Esther Fihl 2013

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  • Andreas Bandak

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