9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask

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http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2013/09/assads-letter-ci...

Relates to this paragraph in the Filing article:

Most Syrians are Sunni Arabs, but the country is run by members of a minority sect known as Alawites (they’re ethnic Arab but follow a smaller branch of Islam). The Alawite government rules through a repressive dictatorship and gives Alawites special privileges, which makes some Sunnis and other groups hate Alawites in general, which in turn makes Alawites fear that they’ll be slaughtered en masse if Assad loses the war.

Point # 2 from the Assad letter:

The Alawite nation refuses to be annexed to Muslim Syria, because the Islamic religion is thought of as the official religion of the country, and the Alawite nation is thought of as heretical by the Islamic religion. Therefore we ask you to consider the dreadful and terrible fate that awaits the Alawites if they are forced to be annexed to Syria, when it will be free from the oversight of the Mandate, and it will be in their power to implement the laws that stem from its religion. [According to Islam, the idol-worshiping heretic has a choice to convert to Islam or be slaughtered.]