Whenever you run into someone who mouths the meme that Islam lived in peace with other non-Muslim groups in the lands of the Turkish empire/caliphate, kindly direct them to this article for a dose of wake up. This serves to underline the point that Islam has always been at war ”against the other”.
The spirit of fanaticism and narrow-mindedness, whose roots are deep in the heart of the Arab Muslims toward all those who are not Muslim, is the spirit that continually feeds the Islamic religion, and therefore there is no hope that the situation will change. If the Mandate is cancelled, the danger of death and destruction will be a threat upon the minorities in Syria, even if the cancellation [of the Mandate] will decree freedom of thought and freedom of religion.
Why, even today we see how the Muslim residents of Damascus force the Jews who live under their auspices to sign a document in which they are forbidden to send food to their Jewish brothers who are suffering from the disaster in Palestine [in the days of the great Arab rebellion], the situation of the Jews in Palestine being the strongest and most concrete proof of the importance of the religious problem among the Muslim Arabs toward anyone who does not belong to Islam.
Those good Jews, who have brought to the Muslim Arabs civilization and peace, and have spread wealth and prosperity to the land of Palestine, have not hurt anyone and have not taken anything by force, and nevertheless the Muslims have declared holy war against them and have not hesitated to slaughter their children and their women despite the fact that England is in Palestine and France is in Syria. Therefore a black future awaits the Jews and the other minorities if the Mandate is cancelled and Muslim Syria is unified with Muslim Palestine. This union is the ultimate goal of the Muslim Arabs.
I will begin on a personal note. Since the start of the pogroms in Syria a year and a half ago, I have written again and again in my articles on this honorable stage that the Alawites will behave with cruelty and severity and with total insensitivity toward their opposition, because they are aware that they are fighting not only to keep control of the regime in their hands but also – and mainly – in order to keep their heads connected to their shoulders. My words were an assessment based on lengthy research on the Syrian domestic arena, that was published in the doctoral thesis that I wrote (1998) and in the book that was based on it (2005). From time to time I have heard and read harsh expressions of Muslims toward the Alawites, but I have never seen proof that the Alawites indeed fear that the Muslims might slaughter them if they had the opportunity.
In the background is the historical fact that modern Syria was borne on the knees of the French Mandate, which was imposed on Syria after the First World War, and ended in 1943. As with other Arab states in the Middle East, many of the genetic illnesses that Syria suffers from stem from errors that were committed by the states charged with the mandates, France and Great Britain. Italy, which controlled Libya, is responsible to a certain extent for the chaos in that state. The main mistake of the European states in the Middle East was creating states that included different ethnic, tribal, religious and sectarian groups that are antagonistic to each other, with the hope that the day will come when all of them will sit around the campfire and sing patriotic songs in perfect harmony. This did not happen, this is not happening now and this will also not happen in the foreseeable future.
On August 30th of this year a discussion was held in the UN Security Council on the civil war raging in Syria, that was responsible for about five thousand deaths in August alone. Two of the spokesmen participating in the discussion were the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, and the Syrian representative in the UN, Bashar al-Jafari. The Syrian representative attacked the Western states and primarily France for its support of the rebels. The French minister responded by saying:
You speak negatively about the French Mandate, and I must remind you that the grandfather of your president requested France not to depart from Syria and not to award it independence, and this is in an official document which he signed and is today in the French Foreign Ministry, and if you want I will give you a copy of it.
Fabius was referring to a document that the Alawite leaders, including Suleiman al-Asad, the grandfather of the president of Syria, wrote, which is in the archive of the French Foreign Ministry. The document has the date of receipt – June 15, 1936, and was written shortly prior to that date, to the French prime minister at the time, Leon Blum.