Face the facts – Syria is an apartheid state
The west is conniving in Bashar Assad’s brutal suppression of opposition
Nick Cohen The Observer, Sunday 19 June 2011
The UN will never tell you this, but Syria is an apartheid-style state. Members of Assad’s Alawite sect make up only 14% of the population, but they control government, much of business and all the forces of coercion. Even the underworld is segregated on confessional lines. The shabbiha crime gangs that run the prostitution and smuggling rackets, and whose members the Assads are letting loose on the civilian population, are Alawite mafias.
I hope that liberals of my generation who beat their chests as they protested against racial apartheid in southern Africa will soon feel as outraged by religious apartheid in the Middle East. The Syrian opposition has as much right to our support as the African National Congress did because it has not targeted Alawites because of their religion. Indeed, it places its hopes on the Alawite-led army mutinying.
Tags: "palestine", alawite, Alawite apartheid, Apartheid, Arab apartheid, Arab racism, Arabs, Assad, discrimination, Islamic bigotry, Kurds, Muslims, oppression, racism, Syria, Syrian Arab Republic, torture