Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi reports on Jabhat al-Nusra and the Druze of Idlib Province:
While most analysis of the Druze in Syria focuses on their positions in Suwayda province- where they constitute the majority of the population- as well as Jabal al-Sheikh in Damascus/Quneitra provinces, it should be remembered that there is also a Druze community in the Jabal al-Samaq area of Idlib province, more widely known as Jabal al-Zawiya. This community consists of numerous villages, whose names can be found here. Unlike their co-religionists in the south, these Druze have no capacity for the formation of self-defence militias analogous to the banners of ‘Jaysh al-Muwahhideen‘ (‘Army of the Unitarians/Monotheists’) or ‘Forces of Abu Ibrahim’ (named after Druze figure Abu Ibrahim Ismail al-Tamimi). The Druze in Jabal al-Samaq are therefore dependent for preservation on the good-will of whichever external actors are present in their areas….
… a document has emerged of a meeting between JN officials and proclaimed Druze village representatives who have converted to Sunni Islam, agreeing on the implementation of Shari’a and Sunni Islamic supremacy:
“Statement on the first meeting for the villages of the mountain [Jabal- i.e. Jabal al-Samaq]
Attendants of the session:
Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Tunisi [the Tunisian]: area official
Abu Hafs al-Homsi: Shari’a official of the area
Abu Muhammad and Abu Khadija: Administration guys.
Representatives of the area [NB: names blocked out but villages listed, compare with the first listing of Druze villages in Jabal al-Samaq]:
The representatives of these aforementioned areas have disavowed the Druze religion and have said that they are Muslims of the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamaat [Sunnis]. And an agreement has been made between them on one side and the representative of Jabhat al-Nusra (Sheikh Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Tunisi) on the other on what follows:
a) Implementation of God’s law in the aforementioned areas with focus on the following points:
(i) Searching of the idolatrous tomb-shrines, destroying their structures and flattening them on the ground.
(ii) Securing of places for prayer in all the aforementioned villages in which there are no designated places for prayer; teaching of the Qur’an, aqeeda [creed] and jurisprudence therein for the youths and children.
(iii) The obligation of wearing hijab according to Shari’a for women outside their homes.
(iv) No display of gender-mixing in schools.
b) Choosing of two persons from each village for the organization of matters concerning services, aid, and oversight of contraventions under the stead of JN.
The beginning of that operation is to be implemented before the appointment of the next meeting…
…These regulations imposed on the Idlib province Druze by JN are of some concern when one also considers that there is a growing JN presence and influence in areas like Azaz where other minorities are to be found. Were JN to gain sufficient strength to take over Azaz from Northern Storm, it is certainly possible that the group would attempt to assert supremacist authority over the area’s Yezidis as well.
More about Jabhat al Nusra, thanks to Stanford University.Advertisements