By: Mr.Issam Khoury
Sociologists are unable to identify the identity of any community unless they penetrated into the nature and the whims of the residents, this is where the concept of the right to self-determination appeared as a Charter of Human Rights, and through this concept we can define the demands a lot of nations that wished to break away from their homelands of social groups that was imposed on them under some sort of political or regional conditions.
Syria is one of those countries that political compromises on its land have imposed divisions within the nation without a mature awareness of the tendencies of its inhabitants, and this in turn created a mixture of sectarian , ethnic and nationalist of extreme diversity and complexity, moreover; the successive dictatorship governments ” during the reign of al-Assad” that ruled Syria after the era of coups failed in the construction of a real state of citizenship where all People become gathered under constitutional justice and are joined and ruled in terms of social equality, on the contrary; these governments have created an era ruled by the security officer who suppresses people and distinguishes them according to race, sect, and even in their spoken dialect.
Of course these years of repression lead to social indignation and to the existence of esoteric blocs within the contiguous human groups in Syria, and by time the role of the military and security officer broke down, both national and sectarian partisanships appeared to dominate over and rule the Syrian scene.
The Syrian Demographic identity and its political tendencies according to nationalism:
Before starting to ask about Syria’s coming state, we should have a close look at its demographic nature, and tendencies in case they got in Syria free and fair elections:
Minorities who seek secularism as an option that protects them: (العلويين Alawites nearly 11% -13% 0.8% -11%, الدروز Druze2%, الاسماعيليين Ismailis 1%) where the total reaches between 22% -27%
Nationalities wishing for secularism: ( the Kurds الاكراد and most of them are politicized even the religious ones among them 11% -15%, Syriacs السريان, Assyrians والاشوريين, Chaldeans والكلدان, Armenians والارمن in case they were given the right to participate in elections as a whole through embassies, they form a big number that goes over 15% , but in case only what exist within the Syrian land is allowed to vote, they form only a part of the previously mentioned Christians, Sunni Arabs العرب السنة: There is no statistical confirm number of believers of secularism among them, however there is no doubt that their number exceeds 15%) which means that the proportion of this group is 26% -30%.
Arab tribes العشائر العربية: the majority of young people in these tribes would prefer absolute concept of Islamic sharia law, although the social nature of these communities are away from politics and a lot of them are not elected, and the rate of females allowed to vote is quite low, which means that nearly half of this society will be absent from the electoral situation in best cases.
Turkmen التركمان: The percentage does not exceed 1% -1.5%, which are mainly ruled by their Turkish sponsor, which is currently dominated by the Justice and Development Party where they will definitely support the project of the Muslim Brotherhood, and would rush to elections and votes in large numbers.
The Sunnis السنّة: they are always majorities who do not rush for the elections because they are beyond the fear experienced by minorities, but in terms of the Syrian case specifically the first elections will have a very high rate of participation that probably will reach 70% of those eligible to elect, and of course this percentage will diminish with each election, especially if the Assad and his team collapsed.
Of Course counting on our suggestions, we see that the capable proportion to vote and the blocks that are motivated by supporting the secular Syrian states range from 48% – 57% of the Syrian society and this percentage is going to dramatically head towards election, especially if it were in terms of a referendum on whether to choose “secularity of the state” or “the state existing on Islamic Sharia law, “while the remaining percentage ranging from 43% -52% is mostly comprised of boys and a large section of which is not authorized to vote even at such a young age and at all cases the proportion of them that is estimated to take part in elections will not exceed 37% of the Syrian people, while the proportion in support of the secular party will exceed rate of 40% even if participated with in minimum numbers.
According to this quick presentation, I think that the existence of a secular state is very possible in the Syrian state, and if the state could manage to open its embassies oversees, the proportion of the voters in support of the secular field from the Syrians will increase for two main reasons:
1. The large proportion of the Syrian Christians living overseas.
2. The phenomenon of Anti-terrorism that prompted a lot of Muslims living overseas, especially in Europe, to stay away from getting involved in such events, and the greatest proof on this matter was the absence of demonstrations supporting the Syrian revolution by the Sunnis living overseas.
3. The large proportion of Syrian Kurds overseas, who are all eager and yearning for electoral participation and their public line is a supporter of the secular state.
The form of the next Syrian state:
The Armed conflict eliminates the concept of the state and turns it into a state of soldiers and soldier followers, but human history states that this stage is not permanent, and that wars always end, especially if the state experiencing this conflict is contiguous to important countries, and actually if the absence of stability in Syria continues, this will definitely generate disorders across the region and this is unacceptable due to the existence of two pivotal and central countries in the region which are (Israel: America’s first protected country in the region, Turkey: the barrier to Europe facing and confronting the terrorist threats) heading out of here, the Syrian file is expected to end under one of the following scenarios:
1. The State under the Islamic law: دولة تحت الشريعة الاسلامية
Patrons of this project from the Syrians are movements of political Islam, and are supported by regional countries that want political Islam as the popular choice in order to justify their existence, and the most prominent of these countries are (Qatar, Iran, Turkey, “through the Justice and Development Party)
And actually these countries visualize the terrorists projects of both the states of ISIS and the Nusra as projects that threaten the countries neighboring Syria, and subject them to military land intervention to activate this decision, and here we face two central requirements:
– Turkish force in northern Syria: the excuse is to filter non-disciplined militias and terrorist groups, targeting mainly to create a state of stability where after all the displaced from Turkey returning toward northern Syria, which Turkey plans to dominate on economically and administratively through its partner the Muslim Brotherhood “Syria branch.”
– Iran’s absolute dominance in Iraq and a part of Syria: the rush of the Quds Force to support the Iraqi army and the peshmerga and Hezbollah against ISIS and the Nusra and the Syrian Muslim opposition clearly shows Iran’s desire for the need to restrict these organizations within the limits of the Arab Sunni- areas only and it wants to ensure that they never extend beyond the boundaries of Persia and the areas of the existence of minorities close to the Shiites such as the “Alawites العلويين، and Druze الدروز,” and according to this plan the Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria become futile areas, and also causes repeated failure to the state of the international coalition forces that would be added to their bad record in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in this way the international community believes in the adoption of Iran as a regional power in the region, mainly alongside with Israel, on condition that Iran vows not to harm the state of Israel, provided that the recent forgets all about Iranian nuclear project.
Of course both the Turkish and Iranian side and despite their difference claims regarding the fate and the role of al-Assad, but both are of the most beneficial countries Geo- strategically from what is happening in Syria, and actually “the movement of the global Muslim Brotherhood” is supported by the Iranian state movement because it is a religious movement that justifies the existence of the religious project of the mandate of the jurist, and this movement is the most fortunate rival to reduce the Saudi role in the Middle East, that is why we notice that the relationship between Iran and Qatar, who are the ” most important financial backers of the Muslim Brotherhood,” as a special relationship, and this relationship caused a series of problems within the Gulf Cooperation Council, as Qatar and Iran have strengthened the arrival of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, while Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have done the opposite and supported the military government led by al-Sisi السيسي to knock down the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood, “the Egyptian wing.”
Of course Iran is taking the most advantage of the Syrian regime more than the Muslim Brotherhood “Syria branch” because this regime is doing all practices to increase religious fanaticism and future convictions that secrete different human groups who need to establish a Syrian Sunni habitat and the habitat of another minority backed by Iran. Remarkably, in terms of this issue, all of the Turks and the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran reject this project in the media, but they are working forward to its implementation on the ground, in an effort to divide Syria into three sections:
1. One section ruled by the Islamic law in northern Syria.
2. Another section ruled by esoteric law of “Alawit-Shia” علوية-شيعية, and ostensibly claim Islam and inhabits the Syrian coast and Homs.
3. And a Kurdish nationalist Arabic Assyrian section that is in permanent disorder, where this disordered is supports both by Turkey and Iran.
2. State of Taif دولة طائف:
Patrons of this project are from the Syrians supportive of the Syrian regime and some minorities, and they are regionally supported by (Israel and Saudi Arabia).
The State of Taif in Syria will mean growing political divisions and the disintegration of a centralized security and military decision as what happened in Lebanon and this will generate numerous security breaches and weaknesses which will make Syria loose and always in need to the custody, which means it becomes a state that does not pose any future threat to Israel.
This thing also fits the Saudi state which is capable within the political capital to buy the largest parliamentary bloc and create an enclosed political team under its absolute wish and control, and the advantage of this team is that it is within a distinct and strategic geographical spot “Syria” and with a dominant social incubator, which makes it much better than the active future stream team that is in Lebanon.
3. The Secular state:
Supporters of this project are many in Syria and exceed 40% of course provided that the elections are run in a free and fair way, but they will not dare to vote unless they guarantee their Self safety, and that it will only be international guarantees, as happened in Iraq after the US occupation of Iraq in 2003. According to Obama’s remarks this matter will not occur in Syria because he refuses to flood his soldiers in the Syrian land. But it is possible to be achieved under the pro-US military state that is free of al-Assad, as what happened in the Egyptian experience.
Of course, important countries like France and Britain support such a project, but Britain might consider having a closer study to the Syrian reality demographically and is anxious about the reactions of some radical Islamists, where it applying the other change option through cooperating with Washington in the introduction of a suggestion to a secure military state through imposing a pluralistic civil thought on society gradually, as is currently done by General Sisi in Egypt.
4. The Military state:
Supporters of this project are divided to two main sections, namely:
– Russia and China: They want a country where the Assad regime rules and It does not matter that the Assad was personally in it or not, this desire comes in an effort to reap the fruits of the price of the double veto, which both the countries used more than once in the Security Council in favor of the Assad regime. Of course with the continued pressure on the Assad regime, the Russians started of search for pro alternatives to them, or at least parties that are not their enemy, moreover; the Russians believe that a military regime in the transitional period, is essential and of great importance for the liquidation of radical jihadist groups, which were not killed in Syria and Iraq, and of course they will cause unrest in the Eurasian camp that is currently led by the Kremlin.
– The International Alliance: with the failures of the coalition to achieve a sweeping success against the terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, as well as Washington’s desire that these battles should be run by local soldiers, thereby reducing the losses of its soldiers, the alliance has been obliged to support military organizations described as moderate, and actually it is not minded that the allied moderate opposition groups fight along with the Syrian army in order to achieve the goal of filtering these groups, and actually this integration cannot be achieve in the presence of the person of President al-Assad and his brother at the top of the military and presidential hierarchy of Syria, that is why we notice the phrase “al Assad has lost his legitimacy and cannot rule Syria in any form “as the axioms of foreign diplomatic language of the White House, despite the fact that the White House is not urgent to filter Assad.
Of course in this option we see an international trend of the need to preserve the Syrian nation from being split, and we also see in the horizon the alternative as the military ruler under international tutelage, which means that the military ruler will allow the civil society to be active and allow freedom of the press, but it will be tough in suppressing the schools of political Islam.
5. Group of conflicting states:
The absence of viable political solutions will lead to the continuation of the military conflict, and the transformation of this conflict from two parties to become a conflict between different groups for the goal of achieving selfish gains here and there such as “theft, smuggling, domination of a particular product or trade” Of course, this case will lead to the formation of militia organization in the form of gangs, and the process of elimination of these bands is very complex, and that would impose clump heterogeneous human groups with each other to achieve the level of special respective self-safety, which means the repetition of the experience of “self-administration, which get under the auspices of the Democratic Union Party in the Syrian island areas.” Of course the life span to achieve such a project could take a decade and actually 4 years have already passed now. And these four years have created a kind of blocs in some areas as well as those years created a huge oppressed class of the displaced, and this category will be satisfied with any settlement that would return them to their homes without punishment, especially after the bitter experience of the Diaspora. However; one should not think that things will end at this point, but that each bloc will be responsible for the protection of its borders, which means a kind of militarization of society, and this also means excellent gains and profits to arms dealers and the arm manufacturing countries, for as long as the Shiite-Sunni prosperous conflict exists, the bounties of the “Persian- Arab ” oil will be going on to support the safe of the countries manufacturing weapon.
The state of Israel may also see this option as a burnout factor for Syrians, and would invest this issue to create a barrier or a safe area on the northern border to protect itself against jihadists, however; this option will not be productive for the Israelis because they prefer the existence of a unified state Syria on the northern borders, provided that the state is not hostile to the Israeli state .
6.THE PLURALISTIC CIVIL DEMOCRATIC STATE:
The National Coalition claims to be the supporter of this project, but reality shows that the coalition falls weak in front of the dominance of Muslims by the Muslim Brotherhood, and actually the Muslim Brotherhood is the only maneuvering Islamist political wing, which is assumed to get the approval of the Sunni group in Syria, and because it is not classified as a terrorist organization, on the contrary, it is characterized by the existence of a political and advocacy group within the staff of this organization, that is possible to dialogue with, moreover; it has two important regional partners comprised of Turkey and Qatar. And actually the Muslim Brotherhood organization sought to create a political party of its own body, and it even called it as the “WAED PARTY” “حزب وعد”in a desire to repeat the experience of the arrival of President Morsi to power in Egypt.
However, the developments of the Egyptian scene and the equilibrium of the Kurdish View regionally make the opportunities of such an option look so weak, especially that the team of the Muslim Brotherhood, “Syria branch” suffers implicit differences between both the (the Aleppian mass, and the Hama mass) (الكتلة الحموية، الكتلة الحلبية), more than that; the body of the national coalition is getting weaker day after day and public criticism toward its personalities is also increasing day after day.
7. The extremist Islamic state:
Advocates of this project from the Syrians are few and mostly were drift in ignorance towards Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s للشيخ اسامة بن لادن theory of loyalty and disavowal الولاء والبراء, of those wo ,in a moment of weakness, called the foreign Muslims to come to his home and support him against the Assad regime, but then was surprised that this strange foreigner only expelled the Syrian from his home and got residence in his place, of course, the only regional supporter of this orientation is the schools of Islamic extremist ideology, which grew in the shadow of military dictatorships, and this thought with time will wither away because the world cannot deal with the identity of an extremist state, and the greater emphasis on this matter is the emergence of an international coalition with it huge war artillery to eliminate the ISIS organization and the Nusra “the two Qaeda branches that grew up in Iraq and Syria. “
8. The State of safe areas:
This advocates of this project are civilians activists who had not been involved in any bloody clashes, and they do not have an influential pressure on both ends of the military conflict, they turn towards movements of international human rights for pressure to convince internationalist Representatives of the need to find gates for hope that provides the type of social security to areas housing civilians, and allow civilian activists the provision of services to citizens while acknowledging that military conflict is an ongoing matter but also stressing out the need to keep this conflict far from residential and civilian areas, especially since both ends of the military conflict now do not possess heavy weapons.
Of course, this option is not a convincing option for the future, but for some activists it seems the best possible solution for the time being until better future political settlement opportunities are found to navigate the country from the armed conflict stage to a country that needs reconstruction “such as the initiative of the Damascene Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib,” الشيخ الدمشقي معاذ الخطيب” with the Russian mediator.
Of course both sides of the conflict as it seems are not at all interested in this initiative that has carried a kind of acceptance by de Mistura, who has sought to persuade the parties in the city of Aleppo, as an initial step.
The regime arrested a number of peaceful human rights activists “Omar Alshaar”عمر الشعار، “,Jadii Nofal جديع نوفل,” and some peaceful domestic politicians “Louay Hussein, “لؤي حسين”” stressing on the idea that it did not abandon its oversight repulsive security role over the Syrian society. Moreover; the military opposition asked the international envoy for a series of Terms and conditions which are impossibility to be accepted by the principles of a security system like the Syrian military.
The extremist organizations also did not address this initiative, but on the contrary, has stepped up its attacks on new geographic areas in Aleppo, it is certain and there is no doubt that these organizations will not hesitate to fail any project offered by the international envoy, and it looks at the Envoy as an agent of the West, like all the other peaceful activists, and, unfortunately, the Syrian regime also classifies those peaceful Syrian activists in the same classification, where the civil activist of human rights is an infidel against the Syrian military boot, which has become today a slogan promoted by the close circles media to the regime by all possible means and classified “as a binding option ” through which it imposes the mobilization and recruitment campaigns that converted all the Syrian youth to recruit in this service of this military shoe that destroyed the whole civilian life in Syria.
Of course all the previous scenarios are the result of the military conflict in Syria subsidized within the regional and international conflicts, and obviously the Syrian citizen and the politician are the two weakest parties in it, and they sometimes appear in the form of supervisors or observers, while the Syrian human rights activist turned to the task of monitoring the dead and martyrs within a functional work that serves the global study centers that in turn plan the aforementioned strategies, and make the coming Syrian leaders through pursuing mechanisms that ensure the subordination of those leaders to the countries that created them.