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Requested move 4[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. --BDD (talk) 19:56, 27 December 2012 (UTC) (non-admin closure)


This article was moved to "Alawi" some time back for some shaky reasons. Now with all the media attention, "Alawite" seems to in most common use. FunkMonk (talk) 20:06, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

  • Support a move to Alawites (i.e., a return to the article's original title) per WP:UE (cf. Britannica). In addition, Alawi is an adjective form and we should have a noun here. —  AjaxSmack  05:45, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Page moved as requested, along with this talk page. I've also manually moved a couple of archive pages - if I've missed any let me know.  An optimist on the run! 20:46, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Fringe theories[edit]

Many weird allegations against Alawites have been made over the centuries to demonise them, and now a user wants to repeat some of it here, without providing proper sourcing; a radio programme is not a scholarly, reliable source. Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. See: FunkMonk (talk) 23:12, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

look you dont OWN this page - i'll link to the programme if you like - extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence' - is that your own coinage - its apparently a kind of gnostic- , secretive religion - the source for the reincarnation material was an alawite woman, - she didnt uae her own name, and by your doolally reaction i can see why people are a bit wary - you cant dismiss radio 4 reportage because you know better - who the hell are you/ - your just an anonymous editor - pulling rank on journalists and academics wo madethe programme?! - and calling me a retard is offensive, - disgusting. Sayerslle (talk) 23:17, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
I didn't call you a retard. And yet again, read up on fringe theories. What you "like" is irrelevant to Wikipedia policy. Find scholarly sources or don't add anything. That means, you can add what you want, as long as it is stated by several, reliable sources. "Claims must be based upon independent reliable sources. A theory that is not broadly supported by scholarship in its field must not be given undue weight in an article about a mainstream idea,[1] and reliable sources must be cited that affirm the relationship of the marginal idea to the mainstream idea in a serious and substantial manner." If it is widely believed by scholars, that should be possible, no? As for the intro, events that have happened within the last two years should not be given undue weight. Alawites have existed for a millennium under worse pressure, what happens now is a footnote in history. FunkMonk (talk) 23:19, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
  • And just to be clear, an interview with an anonymous person claiming to be an Alawite during a time of conflict isn't exactly reliable and scholarly, when the purpose of said interview is demonisation of a religious group. FunkMonk (talk) 23:25, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
so you know she not an alawite? the bbc is out to demonise the alwaites now? great the way you trash the testimony of an alawite woman - what could she possibly know? are you an expert? wheres the policy says radio programmes compiled by academics and journalists are no good? why would she lie about her religion? if you know about it , is it a kind of gnostic-y, secret-y religion? are only men allowed to learn about the arcana side of it. do they not believe at all in reincarnation? is that a fringe-y belief anyhow. i thought it was pretty mainstream religious fare. i believe she told the truth so you are calling me a retard actually - how come you never get cautioned btw - you arent half bloody rude and uncivil. Sayerslle (talk) 23:35, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Only the initiated know the secrets of the Alawite faith. Since your anon woman claims Alawite women can not be initiated, yet claims to know about these secret beliefs, there's a huge lapse in logic that indicates it is utter bollocks. Do you follow? She can't know what she claims it is impossible for her to know. FunkMonk (talk) 23:44, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree with FunkMonk on this. I've been doing some research on the Alawites in the last few weeks for another article and (a) those aren't claims I've seen in any of the standard works (b) there's a long tradition of weird claims about what the Alawites believe, going back centuries both from orthodo Muslims and Western orientalists (c) the current situation in Syria means that any claims about Alawites need to be looked at very closely as they will inevitably be highly charged politically DeCausa (talk) 23:32, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
well , thats settled then. Not. is it gnostic-y?Sayerslle (talk) 23:35, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Unless you can tie it in with any reputable works on the Alawites, yes it is. DeCausa (talk) 23:38, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
at amazon books i just googled 'alawites and reincarnation' and got Nicholas Pelham, A New Muslim Order, p.236 - saying they believe in it - and the womans testimony is plausible, and sourced - this is the problem with wp - a religious clique can pov control certain pages. Sayerslle (talk) 23:43, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Lol, yes, I'm a one man clique now. Get over yourself. I dare you to add that Jews like to poison wells on the page about them, or add how many people the Germans killed during WW2 to the German people intro. And yet again, if you can find several, reliable sources that support your claims, no one is stopping you. FunkMonk (talk) 23:51, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
The programme didnt say it was one of their secret beliefs, one of their super scret men-only beliefs - i've already found the nicholas pelham rference about the reincarnation belief.. to dismiss the programme out of hand as an exercise in demonisiation,( without having heard a word of course) and dismissing all testimony outside of an elite - who will stay mum about beliefs - bit stifling really. the artcicle is pretty pov - the start to the hafez era for example - and where is the policy says radio programmes by academics and journalists are not RS enough? stifling,- if you dont hear 100% your version of the world in a programme, like from this Alawite woman, do you reflex dismiss it as an exercise in demonisation? Fanaticism that is. Sayerslle (talk) 00:07, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
If you tried to add controversial claims to the article about Jews, based on a radio interview with anonymous person, would you then whine about a conspiracy if you were reverted? Try to use some common sense. It doesn't matter what the radio show claims, the problem is that a radio show is not a reliable source for controversial claims on Wikipedia. As for other issues with the article, add whatever you want, as long as it is properly sourced. Partisan and "anonymous" sources are unacceptable. Also, what has happened within the two last years should not be given undue weight, there are other events in the history of the Alawite that are not even mentioned yet, but are much more important. For example history during the medieval, and various massacres. FunkMonk (talk) 00:13, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
in your opinion. - the programme started with a early 1500s klling of alawite religious leaders in one of the squares of Aleppo actually - this 'it doesnt matter what the radio show claims?' is that just you again, or is that policy? no radio programmes are to take precedence over Funkmonk? i wonder if she is anonymous because of intolerance and fanaticism? loads of religions are a bit misogynist , its not a great fringe leap. Sayerslle (talk) 00:24, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
The content is irrelevant. The issue is that we need several reliable, scholarly sources for extraordinary, controversial claims. Not one anonymous person on a radio show. And even then, many modern sources just parrot erroneous 19th century scholarship, or rumours spread by fundamentalist fanatics centuries ago. Also keep in mind how other articles about religious and ethnic minorities are written. Does Wikipedia say that Jews rule the world, or that Africans are violent? Some "anonymous people on radio shows" have unquestionably made these claims, yet I don't see them here. FunkMonk (talk) 00:28, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
oh dear. how many is several to be considered? and what is scholarly enough? and obviously alawite women are no good as they wont know about the religion. well the article just remains in your hands then. and no-one can convert to find out. its all closed up. but its not misogynist at all - just take funkmonks word for it. get over yourself. Sayerslle (talk) 00:36, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Two texts by non-partisan, reliable scholars is hardly too much to ask. In fact, it is the norm, if not less than what is generally expected to backup controversial claims on Wikipedia. You can whine and accuse all you want, but neither I or the worldwide Alawite illuminati made up those policies. FunkMonk (talk) 00:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
and i dont like being told i'm whining - double standards - you whine when you see Alawites 'demonised' as you (wrongly) put it, but its different rules for you when you seek to portray anti-Assad elements isn't it? - then you set about a bit of 'demonising' yourself dont ya? Sayerslle (talk) 18:37, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Poor babies. If I added a radio show to the Syrian war articles where an "anonymous person" was interviewed about the terrorist methods used by the Syrian opposition, you can bet your balls that it would be removed in a second by your FSA-cheerleading pals as "unreliable". FunkMonk (talk) 18:54, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
the regime has itself committed atrocities i believe. you want to start editing for the sake of enlightenment and not just backing your 'team'. what a yawp you set up when i added a few edits to your page here on alawites- you think they interviewed a woman who was just pretending to be an alawite? as if the BBC would risk that, the grief they get for the tiniest mistake. Sayerslle (talk) 19:28, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
You're wasting our time. This is not a forum where you can share your personal musings all day. The point is: reliable sources, or nothing. As for BBC credibility...[1] FunkMonk (talk) 19:34, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
remember WP:NPOV your personal pov is wasting our time when we read your articles. Sayerslle (talk) 19:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
My "POV" is that reliable sources are needed to back up controversial claims. This is also the "POV" of Wikipedia itself. Quit whining, and add reliable sources if that's what you want. If not, please stop wasting time here. FunkMonk (talk) 19:43, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
again, just googling alawite beliefs, theres an article in new york times from june 2011 says -"Nusayris believe in metempsychosis or transmigration. The souls of the wicked pass into unclean animals such as dogs and pigs, while the souls of the righteous enter human bodies more perfect than their present ones.

It does not take much imagination to see how such beliefs, programmed into the community’s values for more than a millennium, and reinforced by customs such as endogamous marriage — according to which the children of unions between Nusayris and non-Nusayris cannot be initiated into the sect — create very strong notions of apartness and disdain for the “Other.” "

So beliefs the alawite woman described that you said were the demonising fantasies of the BBC believed in only by retards keep showing up when i google alawite beliefs - she said she got grief too for dating a Sunni lad - i must say your extreme whining chimes very well really with an exclusive inward-looking paranoid set up. are the Alawites over-represented in the security forces btw. Do you know? Sayerslle (talk) 20:14, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Where does that say anything about women? And I repeat yet again, so little is known about Alawite beliefs by westerners that erroneous 19th century sources are still cited today. No wonder you find the same shit all over the Internet, they just parrot the same old sources. And wow, a minority that looks down on exogamy? That's really unique! FunkMonk (talk) 20:19, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
are the Alawites over-represented in the security forces. Do you know . westerners are dupes and mugs in your gospel generally, arent they? can you suggest a good book on the alawite sect written by an easterner i could read with confidence? Sayerslle (talk) 20:31, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I doubt you read Arabic. Regardless of the views of the man himself, this 1989 article isn't bad. Even that article falls into the trap of using hostile medieval and 19th century sources as basis for statements about theology. As for theology, there are no authoritative sources, because all is based on 19th century scholarship. Contrary to these odd statements, Alawite women are treated far better than mainstream Muslim women, on par with how Middle Eastern Christians treat theirs. And no, the latter do not like exogamy (or "Sunni lads") either. FunkMonk (talk) 20:33, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
No i dont read arabic.are the Alawites over-represented in the security forces? daniel Pipes rings a bell, not a good bell, hes a right wing bloke I think,but i'll read it - that stuff about the french wanting 'the most warlike races' - you happy with that? it looks really lame to me. Sayerslle (talk) 20:47, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't matter what we "like", what matters is that the sources are reliable. And the take home message of the Pipes article is as follows: "Unveiled women and several other 'Alawi practices - in particular, that wine drinking is permitted, and that some ceremonies take place at night - long excited Muslim suspicions about 'Alawi behavior. Then too, the obsessive secrecy inherent to the religion suggested to many Sunnis that the 'Alawis had something to hide. But what? Over the centuries, the Sunnis' imaginations supplied a highly evocative answer: sexual abandon and perversion.
Thus, the theologian al-Ash'ari (874-936) held that 'Alawism encourages male sodomy and incestuous marriages and the founder of the Druze religious doctrine, Hamza ibn 'Ali (d. 1021), wrote that 'Alawis consider "the male member entering the female nature to be the emblem of their spiritual doctrine." Accordingly, 'Alawi men freely share their wives with co-religionists. These and other accusations survived undiminished through the centuries and even circulated among Europeans. A British traveler of the early 1840s, who was probably repeating local rumors, wrote that "the institution of marriage is unknown. When a young man grows up he buys his wife." Even 'Alawis believed in the "conjugal communism" of their religious leaders. Such calumnies remain a mainstay of the anti-'Alawi propaganda circulating in Syria today." In short, most info on Alawite theology circulating today is based on the imagination of fundamentalist Sunnis or 19th century Orientalists. FunkMonk (talk) 20:50, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
And this is what retards believe? but what the alawite woman was saying was nothing like any of this. Nothing near it. not remotely close. you aligned her personal testimony with this stuff? wow. no wonder we dont see eye to eye Sayerslle (talk) 20:55, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Enough of this nonsense, propose some changes based on valid sources, or don't. Everything else is a waste of time. And PLEASE, do not add duplicate material and misquoted material to the article, as you just did. And can you perhaps try to use the comment indent properly? The damn talk page is zigzagging. FunkMonk (talk) 21:01, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
look , you said 'the french' then it appeared it was some bloke in a 1935 letter - so 'the french' - all of them - becomes, oh, the minister of war in a 1935 letter - you are just a pov pusher who misuses sourcesSayerslle (talk) 21:26, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Jesus Christ, read the sources before spewing nonsense, and use the indents properly. Thank you. FunkMonk (talk) 21:29, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
What nonsense? and do you know are the Alawites over-represented in the security forces?Sayerslle (talk) 21:37, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Your above comment is utter nonsense. And now I'll explain to you what indent means. When I have one ; in front of my comment, yours should start with two. Then my next comment starts with three. Get it? As for security forces, how the hell is that relevant to this discussion? FunkMonk (talk) 21:40, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
"the truth will "play into the hands of the Assad regime " - !!lol. i was just curious about the security forces. i mean its not just Assads at the top and in powerful positions. anyway, like your latest ace comment on the syrian civil war talk page makes clear its pointless talking to you and expecting considered npov responses. the truth is for Assad! lol. Sayerslle (talk) 21:50, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Sure, it isn't "the truth" that Israel just attacked Syria. Now we're at it, since Islamist rebels are in vogue among young hipsters[2], why don't you go and do a little POV pushing on their behalf at the Northern Mali conflict (2012–present) page? And I see you finally caught up with the indent format, congratulations. FunkMonk (talk) 21:57, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
you believe same as Marine Le Pen basically. some 'leftist'. Sayerslle (talk) 23:10, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Arab Leftists despise Islamists (unless they fight Israel). You know why? Because they have to live with them. You pampered westerlings don't. Yet... You think the Leftists fighting Islamists in Egypt now even know who Le Pen is? Eurocentricity at its worst! FunkMonk (talk) 23:14, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
well i was talking to you not Egyptian leftists anyhow. personally i dont like Islamists - but do i therefore consider torture in Homs ok? or shooting refugees in Bosra as they try to reach Jordan? two wrongs don't make a right. anyway NOTFORUM. back to articles for me.Sayerslle (talk) 23:34, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Good. But to answer your question with another question, why have you thrown your weight in support of the armed, Islamist dominated opposition, instead of the secular opposition, which is against violence? Seems a bit comical to me. And before you start making spurious allegations against me; no, I don't pretend to support Bashar al-Assad, all I'm doing is countering the nauseating cheer-leading for Islamist insurgents by you and others around here. My own views on the conflict are similar to those of As'ad AbuKhalil. FunkMonk (talk) 23:39, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
who will you consider non-partisan though? and reliable? Radio Four not good enuogh for you - i'll ask at RS noticeboard.Sayerslle (talk) 00:56, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Make sure to provide a link to this discussion, so they can see what the actual issues are. Radio Four itself is not the problem. FunkMonk (talk) 00:58, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
To see an alawite woman saying the religion is somewhat closed to women,more closed than it is to men, to compare that with saying Jews rule the world , or that Africans are violent ? - well, its just bollox , to use your terminology Sayerslle (talk) 00:43, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Whatever, it's besides the point. Which I assume you get now. FunkMonk (talk) 00:48, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Let me chime in as a Sunni Muslim. The Syrian war is absolutely filled with propaganda. Both the government and the opposition have gone full gear and the truth is very to discern. Especially considering the fact that Syria is so dangerous for journalists they ns they often report what Syrians tell them. Syrians who have aren't journalists trying to report the truth but rather people trying to achieve political goals. The opposition is a lot more successful than the government and one of their main talking points in the religious sect of President Assad. The propaganda about Alawis having weird beliefs,doing strange stuff and "oppressing the Sunnis" feeds into the general feeling among a lot of Sunnis that we are superior to other Muslim sects because only we are true Muslims and they wish to harm us. Obviously anyone who knows anything about the Ba'ath government in Syria will know that it's a secular party. The security forces have a disproportionate amount of Alawis because they are more loyal to the President but the government doesn't in general discriminate based on faith. Wikipedia should be very careful and only report what is based on facts. If we report every sensational accusations against the Alawis, then we are setting up an entire group of people to be ethnically cleansed at best and massacred at worst. Don't forget what happened to the Tawerghans in Libya. The media around the world dutifully reporting Rebel propaganda lead to the belief that Black tawerghans were going around raping Arab women. It has lead to 30,000 people being ethnically cleansed, thousands of them in makeshift jails being tortured and murdered by Misratan rebels. Remember genocide always starts with the dehumanisation of the target group. (talk) 06:17, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

There is tendency among people in this article to present alawites as extremists. Even tough they are actually moderate in comparison with many orthodox sunni variations. Heterodoxy is not synonymous with extremism. The article must avoid stating blindly the possible negative variations of alawite thought, like for example the belief "women have no souls" , even if existing (which can be questioned), religions are known for presenting philosophical differentiations inside the community itself. Hence the alawite community may present differentiations of thought within it. An alwite leader may,for example disagree from other alawite leader, and the community can present differentiations within it. Different interpretation are known among religions, specially one so open to innovation as the alawites. The people who wrote this article most likely love demonizing alawites as "evil heretics", Wikipedia should not allow the demonization of an ethny. The ultra-orthodox sunnis and their supporters are the real extremists, and this is quite obvious, just look at their actions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:13, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


Never heard of the term 'ghulat' before but an experienced editor is willing to go to the 3RR limit to keep the category off the article. This Jerusalem Post article clearly states that other Shia have called the Alawites religion 'extremist' which in Arabic is 'ghulat'. [3] Alatari (talk) 21:59, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

The article cites a source several times calling Alawite a ghulat sect: # ^ a b c d Moosa, Matti (1987). Extremist Shiites: The Ghulat Sects. Syracuse University Press. pp. 282–283. ISBN 0-8156-2411-5.Alatari (talk) 22:03, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

And yet again, you answered your own question. "Other Shia have called" means it is their POV. Just like (by the POV of some groups) non-Muslims are infidels, Protestants are heretics, atheists are apostates, and so on. Get it? FunkMonk (talk) 22:47, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Matti Moosa, historian on the Middle East, calls them ghulat and wrote a book on the various ghulat sects of Shia and his text is used as a source for the article. That is a reliable, non-fringe source. That is what Wikipedia relies upon for the inclusion of the material. Here is the page: [4] Alatari (talk) 23:14, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Do we really need to continue the same discussion on three different talk pages? Please keep it focused. I've already answered this elsewhere. FunkMonk (talk) 23:36, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

This is the page that matters. Copy your answer here and we'll talk only here then. Alatari (talk) 23:45, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Moosa categorizes in his own words several religious sects as Ghulat Sects in this book: [5] Alatari (talk) 23:47, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

No, the page that matters is the category page, as no one is arguing that the term cannot be mentioned in this article. FunkMonk (talk) 23:49, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Then why has the article been purged of the term 'ghulat'? Many other pages across the internet borrow from earlier copies of this Wikipedia article and have the term ghulat but this article now has been censored. I concede the point that Category:Heretic is not applied to Galileo and others considered heretics throughout history. Alatari (talk) 23:52, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Then add that they are viewed as such by some Shias, no one is stopping you, but make clear that it is controversial. Remember, there are different rules for POV issues that affect live persons. A libellous fringe claim should not be stated as fact, but as opinion. In any case, it is a separate issue from the category. FunkMonk (talk) 23:56, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I was referring to long dead heretics, like Galileo. Alatari (talk) 00:03, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes. Alawites are not "long dead", you know. We are very careful with our wording on other religious and ethnic group articles on Wikipedia. I don't see why this one should be an exception. I guess the problem is that there are no actual Alawites on Wikipedia, but representatives of most other groups (who keep an eye out on libellous info on their respective pages). So people think they can just add whatever they want here, without keeping POV in mind. FunkMonk (talk) 00:10, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm reading Moosas book now and he clearly calls them Ghulat sects throughout the book with no reference to it being a pejorative. He is a recognized historian of Islam and the Middle East and we do not censor Wikipedia because you think it's a derogatory term. The Alawite religion is not a single person and is not covered by the rules about individual biographies. WP:PROFANEAlatari (talk) 00:25, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Again, no one mentioned censorship. Only that POV should not be presented as fact. Labelling someone as "extremists" is POV by default. The "extremists" hardly see themselves as such. FunkMonk (talk) 00:27, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I understand your objection so find some reliable historian to offset Moosa's view as calling them extremists. The Alawites were persecuted for being considered heretics by Sunnis. This is the nature of religious fighting. Someone's divine dogma is someone elses heresy. Alatari (talk) 00:38, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I noticed you removed the Alawites from the ghulat article even though Moosa is a reliable source for their inclusion there. [[6]] Alatari (talk) 00:38, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Ghulat is obviously a derogatory term, used to demonize an entire ethny. A justification for the real extremists to repress and even kill a religious minority. Also, "ghulat" is given not supposed to be a term given in the sense of them being religious fanatics, but in the sense of they supposedly giving too much Importance to the character of ali. Maybe now they are masking their persecution of muslim minorities by calling them "extremists" to seek sympathy from non-muslims.

Another source[edit]

The Encyclopedia of Islam has an article on the Alawites written by Heinz Halm. Here is the first paragraph:

NUSAYRIYYA, a Shīʿī sect widely dispersed in western Syria and in the south-east of present day Turkey; the only branch of extreme (ghuluww) Kūfan Shīʿism which has survived into the contemporary period.

Also here is the first line of the "Doctrines" section:

As ghulat, the Nusayriyya venerate Ali b. Abi Talib as supreme and eternal God (al-ilāh al-aʿẓam, al-qadīm al-azal).

It is obvious that the term "ghulat" is an important distinction here that should not be ignored. It is also being used to describe their beliefs from an academic/historical perspective.

As a side comment on the previous discussion, Halm also has this to say on their beliefs concerning women:

He who recognises the identity of the maʿnā is saved and may escape from metempsychosis; his soul, released from the body and transformed into a star, resumes its journey back across the seven heavens to arrive at the ultimate objective (ghāya), sc. contemplation (muʿāyana) of the divine light. Women are excluded from this because they are born of the sins of devils; for this reason, they are not entitled to participate in the rites of men (Sulaymān, Bākūra, 61). The popular religion of the Nusayriyya, especially that of women, retains traces of paganism (veneration of high places, of springs, of green trees). (p. 148)[1]

Wiqi(55) 00:14, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Yet again, it is still POV to label someone an extremist. That should be pretty obvious. To Catholics, Protestants are extremists. To Jews, Christians are extremists. To Sunnis, Shias are extremists. Why should we be less careful with the POV here than on other pages? We can mention the accusation, but simply not state it as fact. Even Wahhabism is not called "extremism" on Wikipedia, only that some have claimed it to be so. Let's not have double standards, please. FunkMonk (talk) 00:19, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Don't confuse the literal translation of the term with its meaning/usage. The term is commonly (and casually) being used in the scholarly literature to describe and categorize the Alawaites. We should just follow suit. To hide or ignore such terms would be a POV. Wiqi(55) 00:30, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
And I repeat for the fourth time, no one is stating it should not be mentioned, simply that it should be mentioned as the opinion/POV of a specific group (as in some Shias). FunkMonk (talk) 01:08, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
But it is the view of experts of Shia Islam, like Heinz Halm. Wiqi(55) 01:27, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
He is simply parroting what some Shia scholars say. It is not objective terminology. FunkMonk (talk) 01:31, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
That's just original research on your part (and probably due to you not understanding what "ghulat" means). Re-read the parts I quoted above. Wiqi(55) 01:37, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Lol. Ok. So who invented the term? This German guy, or some Shia theologians? If the latter, then I'm sorry to say, it's POV. FunkMonk (talk) 02:40, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Most likely by medieval Arabic historians. The term is now used by modern historians to describe those minority groups who "exaggerated" their veneration of Ali (et al) to the extant of considering him God or an incarnation of God. BTW, "exaggerators" is also one literal meaning of "ghulat", not just "extremists". Now beside "ghulat", I can't think of any other term that is a) common in the scholarly literature, and b) have been used to describe/categorize these distinctive minorities and their beliefs. Do you have any suggestions? Wiqi(55) 03:59, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Here Moosa says that the extremist Alawites (Nusayri) are considered heretics by the majority of Sunni followers. [7] If his opinion is not notable then that is another matter. If he is a recognized authority on Middle Eastern religions then it needs to be included and it is not fringe as FunkMunk has been trying to claim. Alatari (talk) 00:32, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I watched the Dan Snow programme on Syria the other night and theres a view expressed there by a very extreme Sunni labelling the Alawites as all kinds of evil [8] 47:44 - 50:00 )) - I think labels put on the Alawites by theological opponents should certainly be treated with care to say the least - (I dont accept at all the Alawite woman in the previous discussion was demonising - that was just testimony about misogynistic implications of certain beliefs imo)Sayerslle (talk) 00:47, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Here is a usage in a Jerusalem paper. Alatari (talk) 01:13, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Reuters doesn't use 'ghulat' or 'extremist' but instead says they're beliefs differ sharply from traditional Islam and to call them an offshoot of Shi'ism is like calling Christianity an offshoot of Judaism Alatari (talk) 01:17, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I won't repeat what I've already said plenty of times. So I will leave "WP:words to watch"[9] here. "Value-laden labels—such as calling an organization a cult, an individual a racist, terrorist, or freedom fighter, or a sexual practice a perversion—may express contentious opinion and are best avoided unless widely used by reliable sources to describe the subject, in which case use in-text attribution. Avoid myth in its informal sense, and establish the scholarly context for any formal use of the term." FunkMonk (talk) 01:22, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
This is the best evidence you have provided. A Wikipedia words to watch that has had the terms 'extremist' in there since 2010 and earlier. Still a major source for the article uses the term 'ghulat' and in this case the term is to be described and mentioned in the article. Alatari (talk) 18:37, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  1. ^ Halm, H (1994). "Nuṣayriyya". Encyclopaedia of Islam. 8 (2nd ed.). Brill Academic Publishers. pp. 145–148. ISBN 9004098348. 

deletion nomination of the category ghulat[edit]

The discussion and vote is taking place here [10]. I changed my vote to delete per Johnlambert's opinion it can be misused on Wikipedia. As for this article and the ghulat article I think the word ghulat should be added back to the article per the authority of Moosa and the usage in other sources. If it is offensive to the Nusairis then Funkmonk can provide sources as to why it is a hurtful pejorative term. Alatari (talk) 00:55, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Something illustrative like an Alawite being stoned to death while people chant 'Ghulat, ghulat' around the scene kind of source that gives us readers an idea how hurtful a term it is. Alatari (talk) 01:08, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Since Shias are the ones who use the word "Ghulat", there have not been such massacres, since both groups have historically been oppressed as minoritis/heretics themselves, and are therefore allied by necessity. That does not make the term less offensive. FunkMonk (talk) 01:25, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Just PROVE that the term is offensive. All we have is your constant decrying that it is an offensive term but no sources. People come here to read about what is an Alawite who have no prior knowledge of the terms and the regional matters or even who Ali is. They have no idea that ghulat is an offensive term unless it is illustrated for them in some emotionally wrenching manor. It's just another word to me with no emotional meaning. The connotations come from some hate crime usage of the term. Alatari (talk) 18:24, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm having trouble finding a consistent definition for the term 'ghulat'. In some flash cards it's meaning is 'mistake' in other sources it is 'one who went too far' which are two innocuous meanings. How has 'ghulat' taken on a further more sinister connotation? Alatari (talk) 18:39, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Grammar Issues[edit]

I've repaired most of the grammar issues. Can someone just make sure they're okay? 19:25, 22 March 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Cultural differences?[edit]

Aside from living in a specific area of Syria, I can't see what cultural differences this group it ethnicity or theological differences? Do they have a smaller range of occupations, food or clothing differences? Specific stories they tell about their culture or different mosques? In a completely neutral way, what "marks" Alawites as different from the majority culture of Syrian? This entry is a bit of an outline of modern Alawite integration into Syrian population but doesn't say much about Alawite "culture". (talk) 12:58, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

The differences are religious, not cultural. But there are a few other slight differences apart from religion. FunkMonk (talk) 18:59, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Propose section renames/deletes[edit]

The section names Heterodox, Orthodox, are not fitting in Wikipedia since Wikipedia takes no religious stance about what is what. I propose either deleting the section headings, or renaming them to something that does not give the impression that Wikipedia have an opinion. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 10:19, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

You're right, removed. FunkMonk (talk) 13:28, 22 August 2013 (UTC)


I will remove the last section about alawis being slaughtered by Ali, this story is obviously aimed to discredit alawis, the source is...just a guy on the internet with his blog. I find it hard to believe there is absoutely nothing on that webpage about their true belief. I don't think it's that hard to find. I also think Saudi should nor be allowed to write on wikipedia until they acknowledge the existence of logicKlinfran (talk) 16:13, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Alawites are Shia?[edit]

Our Shia Sheikh told us multiple times that Bashar al Asad is a kafir and Alawites are not Shia Muslims at all because they believe in reincarnation and drink alcohol, among many things. They also don't pray five times a day. He also pointed out that when they tried to convert Alawites to Islam, Bashar forbid of building new Shia mosques in Syria and even went after them, Twelvers. Categorizing Alawites as Shias is very debatable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:04, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm continuing as nobody answered my facts, moreover, somebody not only spread lies in this article that Alawites are Shias but also that they are Twelvers. Both claims are completely false. No Shias, especially Twelvers believe in Alawite doctrine:

-Reincarnation: this appears to have been an original ibn Nusayri teaching, that one can reincarnate several times. Women do not reincarnate. Men, however, can live 7 lives as faithful `Alawis, and then finally join 'Ali (as) in a celestial heaven. If they are not faithful, they will be reborn as Christians as a punishment. Non-Alawis reincarnate into animals.

-Trinity: `Alawis believe in three incarnations of God: `Ali (as), Muhammad (pbuh), and Salman al-Farisi (ra). Each of the three have their own mystical significance, `Ali being the meaning, Muhammed being the name, and Salman al-Farisi being the gate. The short version of the `Alawi shahada is "I testify that there is no God but Ali," (la ilaha illa-`Ali), the long version (`ayn meem seen) which recognizes the full Trinity says: `I have borne witness that there is no God but He, the most High, the object of worship [al-'Ali al-Ma'bud] and that there is no concealing veil (hijab) except the lord Muhammad, the object of praise, (as-Sayyid Muhmmad al-Mahmud), and there is not Bab except the lord Salman al-Farisi`

-Rejection of the Qur'an: `Alawis reject the literal meanings of the Qur'an, and instead emphasize spiritual, mystical, and metaphorical practices and sayings.

-Celebration of Christian and Persian holidays: Since the religion had a long standing in Christendom, they adopted some Christian celebrations including Christmas, Easter, Palm Sunday, and have their own unique practices for these days, which include the communion associated with Catholic tradition. `Alawis also celebrate Nawruz, marking the Persian new year.

-Mysticism: In the `Alawiyya, there are many connections with the Isma'iiyya, as they both view the Islamic shari`ah esoterically and allegorically. They believe in a hidden meaning behind the commands, and take these concepts over their literal meanings. `Alawis even believe that these secret meanings were hidden from the Prophet (pbuh), and was revealed to the Imams (as) and ibn Nusayr instead.

-Salat: Most Alawites don't pray five times a day, however, they gather every Thursday and dance (like Sufis). Dancing includes mixed sexes; both men and women dance together.

-Clothing: Most Alawite women don't even wear hijab.

Some Alawites even worship Bashar al-Assad besides Allah (swt) which is a shirk: [11].

I'm a Twelver Shia Muslim and we don't believe at all in any of these. Twelver Shias are very tiny minority in Syria. This article contains anti-Shia propaganda. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:03, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Where is the "anti-Tvelvwer propaganda"? And no, Alawites do not worship Bashar al-Assad. Furthermore, I believe Khomeini and Musa Sadr had just a wee bit more credibility than your local sheikh. FunkMonk (talk) 11:53, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
There was a Lebanese (Shi'a) ayatollah who declared the Alawis followers of Islam, which might lead some to think that the Alawites are Shi'ite. They also are, according to the article in the Eliade/Jones Encyclopedia of Religion, rather pronouncedly sympathetic to the Shi'ites, which may provide reason for additional confusion. But saying that they are sympathetic to Shi'ites, and perhaps have some vaguely similar beliefs, is not quite the same thing as saying they are Shi'ites. John Carter (talk) 17:25, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
It was Musa Sadr (not an Ayatollah). Alawites are no doubt a Shia offshoot. What is contested by some is whether they've ceased being Shias. Most Shia authorities consider them Shias. But they are not Twelvers. FunkMonk (talk) 17:38, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you mujtahid for your input about Alawites. If they would be "no doubt a Shia offshoot", nobody would have to declare them as such or there would be no questioning about it. They are NOT Shia, Alawism is a system of belief in its own. No Shia believes that we were starts who fell fro mthe night sky, that we can reincarnate and other non-Islamic nonsense. They are NOT Shias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:58, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

I've read in some articles on the Internet and some books (Matti Moosa's "Extremist Shiites: The Ghulat Sects", Bar-Asher & Kofsky's "The Nuṣayrī‐ʿAlawī Religion", and Yaron Friedman's "The Nuṣayrī‐ʿAlawīs") that the Alawis tend to believe in the list of Imams that the Twelvers adhere to, and that they view the last Imam as the Mahdi. It almost seems to me that Muslim history consists of the shaving off of large groups of people at different points in time. The Shias believe that the Sunnis are kufr because they stole the caliphate from Ali. It seems like with the death of Hasan al-Askari that the Muslim community was further divided when they could not find a son (and a heir to the Imammate). There are also some articles on the Internet that believe that the Alawis adhere to the list of Imams given by the Twelvers but the key issue is with the Twelfth Imam. Since the origin of the Nusayri religion was with Ibn Nusayr, the Alawis believe that the true religion followed Nusayr and his successors into Syria (where it remains to this day), the mainstream Shias (Twelvers) have thus lost the faith. It's just a lot of irony, is the point.

It's important to distinguish between the different sects of Islam, in reality there are only three: the Sunni, Shi'i, and Alawi. They are characterized by further growing extremism. In general the Twelvers are called the mainstream Shias whereas the Alawis might be referred to as extremist (ghulat) Shias. But I think the Alawis are on whole 'nother roll. It's also pertinent to note that the Alawis are the only group in Islam that acknowledges the doctrine of the trinity. Anyways I agree that the Alawites constitute a separate religion. It is my personal view that the "true believers" were shaved off in a variety of tests since the death of Muhammad, the first test being the Sunni-Shia split. Before the Shia themselves split via the "great test" (the occultation), several of the Imams prophesied the existence of a test that would "let stand only our true Shi'is", I believe that that test was the death of Hasan al-Askari and the sudden (apparent) disappearance of the Imam. In reality the truth followed Nusayr and the 11th Imam did not have a son. This is probably why a lot of Islamic eschatology centers around Syria, the Prophet once said: "the people of Syria have been promised to me." A lot Muslims will cite the "adhere to the main body" Hadith, but my personal (and ironic) view is that the main body has been shaved down to the point of being unrecognizable. The truth is with the Alawites in Syria, all the other branches of Islam are in the fire.

Last note: this splaying has happened to other religions as well. The Alawites state that "there is no spiritual union without physical union" (in other words there is no spiritual enlightenment without sexual intercourse). That statement was made in response to accusations of sexual licentiousness amongst Alawis. The Alawis also partake of wine. This same type of Tantrism occurred to the Buddhist religion. There are only three branches of Buddhism: the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. The Vajrayanists state "without Karmamudra, no Mahamudra" (meaning: without sex, no enlightenment), the Vajryanists also partake of alcohol. It's pertinent to note that both the Theravada and Sunni branches of Buddhism and Islam, respectively, prohibit the use of alcohol. The former is celibate while the latter reserves sex for marriage. It's important to notice the same pattern being found in both religions: namely the splitting into three (theologically) different branches and the presence of antinomianism in the farthest branch. BboyYen (talk) 06:25, 16 August 2016 (UTC)


I see the part about Khomeini's recognition was removed. It was in the source used at one point, found through Google Books. Perhaps it was replaced in the meantime, but if found, the content should be put back. FunkMonk (talk) 20:47, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Here it is: FunkMonk (talk) 20:48, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
FunkMonk, I took it out through these edits. The article had 5 citations for this statement: "Alawites ...have been recognized as [Twelver Shi'tes] by Shi'ite authorities such as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the prominent Lebanese Shi'ite cleric Musa al-Sadr." When I went through each of the citations there was nothing of the sort in them, except for one which said that Sadr had recognized them in this way. There was no mention of Khomeini or any other Shia authorities. I'd like to AGF, but frankly this was mis-use of citations in a major way. (In passing I would add that I'm also highly dubious of the existing offline Arabic source citations that are claimed to support the "Alawites-are-just-orthodox-Muslims" POV) As far as the source you refer to is concerned, I think it is questionable as a WP:RS on this. The Strategic Studies Institute is closely associated with the US military and the Carlysle Group. What was said fits the "Shia crescent" agenda popular in US military circles at the time of its publication (2005). I think it highly unlikely that Khomeini took this religious view. I suspect that the author has drawn conclusions from the political closeness between Iran and the Alawites and extrapolated that into the religious sphere. But that's a guess. If you really want to reinstate the statement about Khomeini with that source I won't revert. DeCausa (talk) 22:26, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I'll see~if I can find another source stating the same. FunkMonk (talk) 22:41, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Other sources: "Iran’s sectarian posturing was not limited to mobilizing Shi‘a minorities. Khomeini issued a ruling (fatwa) declaring the ruling Alawi sect in Syria, which is an offshoot of Shi‘ism and viewed by the majority of Sunnis and the Shi‘a as not Islamic, to be within the pale of Islam."[12][13][14] FunkMonk (talk) 22:51, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. The first source is SSI too, I can't read the third, but the second is clear enough. I was wrong! DeCausa (talk) 23:00, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Summary of Alawites beliefs in lead[edit]

I'm reverting this edit because it is not tenable to make some reference to Alawite theology in the lead. The belief section now sumarises the main tenets of Alawite belief. The key sentences are each sourced to at least four inline citations of WP:RS. These include the product of modern neutral scholarship in the last decade. There is in fact no WP:RS which contradicts these statements. There is, IMHO, no legitimate reason to leave this out of the lead. However, it is quite noticeable that over the last 18 months SPAs have consistently re-shaped the article with the POV that Alawite belief is equal to Twelver Shi'a. DeCausa (talk) 23:19, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

What you have added is controversial, therefore it should not be stated as fact in the lead. FunkMonk (talk) 00:35, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
It's not controversial among scholarly RS. Please provide RS (of equivalence to that cited in the Theology and practices subsection of the article) to support your statement. (Sunni/Shia/Alawite partisan literature would not be RS) DeCausa (talk) 08:07, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Erm, this very article states the "Ali is God" theory is controversial/a misinterpretation. There is no "Alawite partisan literature" on this issue, because Alawites do not discuss these matters in public. That's why so much hogwash has been circulating for centuries. FunkMonk (talk) 05:21, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that's one report by a journalist which simply says that "Ali is God" is considered to be a "misinterpretation by some scholars". (The word "controversial" is not used). I had thought of removing that, but on balance I've left it in. The fact is that in itself it is an unsubstatiated statement. The reality is that all modern scholarship on the Alawites confirms that their belief is based on the divine triad - and this is not treated as being "controversial", in the sense of it being in doubt. This includes all the recent academic studies:
  • Friedman, Yaron (2010). The Nuṣayrī-ʻAlawīs: An Introduction to the Religion, History, and Identity of the Leading Minority in Syria. ISBN 9004178929. 
  • Prochazka-Eisl, Gisela; Prochazka, Stephan (2010). The Plain of Saints and Prophets: The Nusayri-Alawi Community of Cilicia. ISBN 3447061782. 
  • Bar-Asher, Meir M.; Kofsky, Aryeh (2002). The Nuṣayrī-ʻAlawī Religion: An Enquiry Into Its Theology and Liturgy. ISBN 9004125523. 
as well as more generalist but equally scholarly analysis such as
  • Peters, F.E. (2009). The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition. ISBN 1400825717. 
  • Glasse, Cyril (2008). The New Encyclopedia of Islam. ISBN 0742562964. 
  • Böwering, Gerhard et al. (eds.) (2012). The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. ISBN 0691134847. 
  • Encyclopaedia of Islam (Heinz Halm's article Nusariyya)
You have to separate what is politically controversial and where there is an actual dispute among WP:RS scholars. I have not seen any dispute in reliable scholarly sources on this. I don't think it exists. However, this article has seen significant POV editing over the last 18 months. There used to be a section that explained Alawite belief. But this has been gradually removed - until I recently restored it. Can you provide reliable academic/scholarly sources that contradict the above sources, i.e what I've suggested for the lead? DeCausa (talk) 10:25, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
All of the above are based on the same old unreliable sources, information allegedly leaked by one Alawite in the early 20th century I believe, combined with Western "scholarship" from the 19thcentury. Look at the references used by your sources. FunkMonk (talk) 22:07, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
All the above are the accepted modern academic scholarship on Alawite belief. What you have asserted is WP:OR. Once again, do you have any WP:RS of at least equivalent standing to suport your assertion? DeCausa (talk) 23:33, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
All modern "scholarship" is based on old, Orientalist crap or extremist Islamist rumours. Most in the West is based on Samuel Lyde's faulty old musings, see for example here.[15] Western scholarship on Alawites is at best based on third hand accounts, as Alawites themselves never reveal what they believe in to outsiders. FunkMonk (talk) 23:34, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
That is a sweeping generalisation which is as untrue as it is unsourced. What I've cited earlier in this thread are serious academic studies written in the last decade, not journalism or internet memes based on Lyde. You are out of date: the study of Alawite belief in the last decade is entirely different. For example, the Prochazka-Eisl/Prochazka work I cite is based on field work amongst the Alawites by two scholars. Unless you can produce critiques of these specific academic works from the last decade that they are either based on "orientalist crap" or "Islamist rumours" I think we should take this to third party dispute resolution. Do you agree? At the moment the article clearly breaches WP:LEAD. DeCausa (talk) 06:18, 5 July 2014 (UTC) DeCausa
@FunkMonk:, could you respond please. To clarify, my proposal is that to comply with WP:LEAD the 2nd paragraph of the lead should be amended to read:
"Alawites have historically kept their beliefs secret from outsiders and non-initiated Alawites, so rumours about them have arisen. Arabic accounts of their beliefs tend to be partisan (either positively or negatively).[1] However, since the early 2000s, Western scholarship on the Alawite religion has made significant advances.[2] At the core of Alawite belief is a divine triad, comprising three aspects of the one God. These aspects or emanations appear cyclically in human form throughout history. The last emanations of the divine triad, according to Alawite belief, were as Ali, Muhammad and Salman the Persian. Alawites were historically persecuted for these beliefs by the Sunni Muslim rulers of the area."
Citations [1] and [2] are Friedman, Yaron (2010). The Nuṣayrī-ʻAlawīs: An Introduction to the Religion, History, and Identity of the Leading Minority in Syria. ISBN 9004178929. . Citation [1] is page 68 and citation [2] is page 67. The remaining additions are already in the main body of the article as unqualified statements supported by citations to multiple scholarly sources, and there is no need to repeat the citations therefore. DeCausa (talk) 08:49, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Claims of "field work" counts for little when it is a death-sin for Alawites to reveal the secrets of the faith. FunkMonk (talk) 04:23, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Have you read WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS? DeCausa (talk) 18:36, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Have you read WP:UNDUE? Citing mainly Sunni and Israeli scholars (no less than four or five of these are by Israelis) about people they are in conflict with is POV. Not a single source written by an Alawite is used. FunkMonk (talk) 20:28, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
That's a rather sectarian comment. It's scraping the barrel resorting to that to discredit internationally recognised scholarship. There are also major western academics in the list. You, on the other hand, have produced not one reliable source for your assertions. How can WP:UNDUE apply when the only sources produced support what I'm saying? DeCausa (talk) 21:05, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
You're ignoring my point, there are no Alwite sources used, which is giving undue weight by default. Sectarian? If the article about Jews was written mainly using sources written by Palestinians, you can be pretty sure there would be an uproar. But no one cares about Alawites, they can be demonised at will, so this article even cites arch-neocons like Daniel Pipes, who just wants Arabs to kill each other. No, Israelis are no friends of Alawites, or Shias in general for that matter. Therefore they should not be cited when it comes to their theology, especially not when the claims are as controversial as here, and are currently used as an excuse to kill Alawites. Parts of WP:Biographies of living persons would also come to play here. And before you complain about "sectarianism", I'm pretty sure you wouldn't cite Iranians in articles about Jewish theology. FunkMonk (talk) 21:47, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
But you are ignoring my point. You have cited no sources for what you are saying. WP:UNDUE is where there is 1 source saying X and 20 saying Y, the X point of view is given undue prominence. But here we have 7 sources saying X and zero saying Y but you's undue because none if them are Alawites. It's total nonsense. Please post the reliable sources that deprecate the description of Alawite belief that I have given based on these 7 sources. If you can't, then say so. The fact is, you haven't taken out the description of Alawite belief that I have included in the body of the article - you can't because it's well sourced. This is only about WP:LEAD and the lead reflecting what's already in the article. Anyway, post below the sources you are relying on please. DeCausa (talk) 22:11, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Lol, so you want me to provide sources that say none of the articles cited here were written by Alawites, but that several were written by Israelis, Sunnis, and neo-con antagonists? Well, that's already inherent in the sources! Yes, this article used to have sourced text that explained that many theories about Alawite beliefs are based on rumours which are denied by Alawites themselves. But these have, funnily enough, been removed. FunkMonk (talk) 17:52, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Oh really. You haven't produced one WP:RS to support your POV that what's in the article now is not a WP:NPOV summary of current mainstream scholarship on Alawite belief. Until you do that you don't have any credibility. Until I came across this article a year or two ago I had no interest or views on what Alawite belief may or may not be, and actually I don't care one way or the other in RL. It really is no RL concern of mine whether they are the most orthodox Muslims on the planet or they think that Ali is the Flying Spaghetti Monster. My personal POV is that all religions are equally ludicrous and there's nothing to choose between them. But what I do object to is flagrant disregard of WP:RS to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. It goes to the heart of what Wikipedia is about. DeCausa (talk) 19:30, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Address the obvious WP:UNDUE issues, please, I don't care about your personal opinions. I've not removed anything, and I don't suggest to. An article about a religious group needs to present its views about itself. Wikipedia cannot present controversial opinions about living people or groups as "fact" without putting these claims in context and by clear attribution. This is not something I've made up, so spare me the lame accusations. FunkMonk (talk) 20:02, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
FFS, my point for the umpteenth time is that you have produced absolutely zero evidence to support your personal opinion that what's in the article is "controversial". It just isn't. Just stop claiming it is and instead put a single scholarly RS into the discussion that says it is controversial. If you do that I'd be quite happy to look at it. I literally cannot find any scholarly sources that indicates it is controversial. I'm really quite frustrated with this discussion because if it is genuinely controversial in mainstream scholarship (as opposed to just in local politics) then I would be more than happy to see that in the article. I genuinely want to establish whether I have missed scholarly RS. What I find most frustrating about your stonewalling is that I can't tell whether there's any truth behind your point - and part of me thinks there might be - because you refuse to cite RS. DeCausa (talk) 20:15, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
FFS/FYI, a sample found in five minutes: "The details of Alawite beliefs are almost impossible to confirm—divulging them to a nonbeliever is punishable by death."[16] "One must be careful here, because an esoteric religion like that of the Alawis often uses strongly metaphorical terms." "I mention Lyde because his colourful account still exerts a strong influence, being widely referred to on the internet. Just as false an idea of Alawi belief is to be had by claiming it as a survival of Zoroastrianism or making it an Ismaili sect."[17] "With false accusations ranging from indulging in incestuous relationships, homosexuality, to sharing sexual partners, myths around the mysterious sect have done little to appease tensions."[18] "“They invent stories about our deification of Imam Ali Bin Ali Taleb, God forbid. We believe in the one and only Allah and follow his Prophet Mohammad’s path. These unjust rumors have a lot to do with the marginalization and deprivation that we suffer from,” Kaddour adds."[19] "But some scholars argue this is a misinterpretation and Alawis actually believe Ali to be an essence or form, rather than a human being, through which followers can try to "grasp God""[20] "Friedman stresses that Nusayri beliefs are grounded ultimately in the Qur’an and that those elements that strike some as un-Islamic (like celebrating Christmas and the ritual use of wine) are derived from the same pre-Islamic Near Eastern traditions that shaped Islam as a whole, if in different ways."[21] FunkMonk (talk) 21:40, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Is this some sort of joke? You've cited 6 sources, all of which are journalists. None are scholarly academics. I have only cited ONLY works by internationally recognised academic scholars - specialists in their fields. STRIKE ONE. All the first three journalists you cite do is dispute accusations against Alawites that are NOTHING to do with what's stated in the article as being Alawite belief. Straw man. STRIKE TWO. The subsequent journalist just quotes an Alawite spokesman making denials about Ali's alleged status. How does those sort of non-neutral partisan statements override the academic sources? (Although I have no problem including them in the article aas alleged counter-claims) The fourth (BBC) piece is too vague to be meaningful? What scholars? Are they significant? Is the quote inconsistent with what's in the article anyway. This is the problem with using loose journalism in a very academic topjc. STRIKE THREE. The sixth journalist's piece doesn't even contradict what's in the article. OUT. If you're serious about this, produce scholarly articles and books providing an academic critique of the scholarly works I've cited - not journalists making generalised statements that "there's a lot of unsubstantiated rumours about what Alawites believe floating around the internet" or quoting Alawite spokesman who clearly have an agenda to present their community in a certain way. DeCausa (talk) 22:09, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Could we please quit the strawmen and snide remarks? I repeat yet again: I'm not proposing to remove anything. I'm proposing that controversial claims be attributed to author x of y nationality for context and caution, and that we add that no claims about Alawite beliefs have been confirmed by Alawites themselves, and that many claims may even be based on rumours/misinterpretations/outdated scholarship. This is what Wikipedia guidelines indicate we should do (WP:UNDUE). And as I said, I found those articles (which are reliable enough for inclusion anyhow) in five minutes through a Google search to demonstrate what's out there, so spare me the gloating. Scholars who base their "research" on century old observations, hearsay, and "revelations" by Alawite apostates are worth no more than the old crap they're citing. FunkMonk (talk) 22:22, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
No, I won't quit the "strawman and snide remarks" until you come up with sources as serious as the ones I've produced. You've made a knee-jerk ABF assumption that I'm relying on Lyde-esque derived sources and the like. There is no evidence whatsoever that the sources I have used rely on "century old observations". You've jumped to that conclusion without any evidence whatsoever. Do some proper research and come back with compelling academic works instead of lazily relying on generalised through-away comments from journalists. Just because there are a lot of internet based rumours about the Alwaites doesn't mean that recognised academic scholarship can be tarred with the same brush. As for attributing the nationality of the authors, what the fuck? We don't degenerate to that level of sectarianism in Wikipedia. Either it's an RS or it's not. DeCausa (talk) 22:45, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
This is getting so entrenched that we'll need outside comments. All my propositions are encouraged by Wikipedia policies, see WP:In-text attribution. And what exactly does stating ones nationality have to do with sectarianism? Is it "sectarian" that I mentioned the nationalities of various scholars on the hoopoe starling article? Are you fecking kidding me? It is for context. Which is even more important when claims are as controversial as here. I see I'm arguing with a trained lawyer, which should put me in a pretty bad position. Am I "sectarian" for nothing that? You keep implying that I want to refute or remove claims of whatever writer, but as much as I'm doing that here on the talk page, that's not what I proposed for the article. So yes, quit the strawman. FunkMonk (talk) 22:58, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
I suggested an outside opinion 7 months ago. I think an RFC is the way to go. As a reminder, you are defending this revert, which to my mind is a fairly obvious breach of WP:LEAD. I think the RFC questiin should be "(1) Should the lead contain a summary of the section "Beliefs" in the article and (2) if so, should this proposal be adopted: [here insert this proposal I made last summer]". DeCausa (talk) 23:35, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Done (see below) and listed under "Religion and philosophy". DeCausa (talk) 08:07, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not "defending" any one revert, the original discussion was years ago. What I'm suggesting is what I outlined directly above, which the RFC should reflect. FunkMonk (talk) 16:09, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Your comment is too generalised. What specific amendments to the article are you proposing? Please provide the text you want to see added and where. DeCausa (talk) 20:10, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Conversion to Alawite religion[edit]

Are Alawites just like the druze in that they reject converts or are they like the bohras and nizaris? do they accept convers? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:15, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

They believe that you have to be "born or reincarnated" as an Alawite. They don't accept reverts. They barely even discuss their belief system in public. I'm a Twelver Shia and when I talk to them I realized that they are of Ismaili branch of Shia Islam, not Twelver for sure. I posted above why they aren't Twelvers. All what's there I gathered from them themselves. Reincarnation, Imam Ali (as) as a deity etc. it has nothing to do with the Twelver Shia Islam, they are from Ismailis. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:52, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

"secular al-Hassad family"[edit]

What do the last two sentences of the lede have to do with the article? Probably some nuance that escapes me. "Since Hafez al-Assad took power in 1970, the government has been dominated by a political elite led by the secular Al-Assad family. During the Islamic uprising in Syria during the 1970s and 1980s the establishment came under pressure, and the conflict continues as part of the Syrian civil war." --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 04:25, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

It is a summary of the current situation for the Alawites in Syria. And what is "Hassad"? FunkMonk (talk) 11:51, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Avoid demonization[edit]

There is tendency among people in this article to present alawites as extremists. Even tough they are actually moderate in comparison with many orthodox sunni variations. Heterodoxy is not synonymous with extremism.

The article must avoid stating blindly the possible negative variations of alawite thought, like for example the belief "women have no souls" , even if existing (which can be questioned), religions are known for presenting philosophical differentiations inside the community itself. Hence the alawite community may present differentiations of thought within it. An alwite leader may,for example disagree from other alawite leader, and the community can present differentiations within it. Different interpretation are known among religions, specially one so open to innovation as the alawites.

The people who wrote this article most likely love demonizing alawites as "evil heretics", Wikipedia should not allow the demonization of an ethny. The ultra-orthodox sunnis and their supporters are the real extremists, and this is quite obvious, just look at their actions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 5:13 am, Today (UTC+1)

It certainly needs more attribution, in the vein of "the Israeli historian XXX states that", etc. Now, such claims are stated as facts, which is incorrect, as none of them have ever been confirmed by Alawites, and much of it is based on mere hearsay. Even the claims of some weird Finnish convert to Sunni Islam are taken at face value. FunkMonk (talk) 04:18, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

(1) Should the lead to the Alawites article include a summary of the section of the article entitled "Beliefs"?

(2) If "yes", should that summary be as follows:

Alawites have historically kept their beliefs secret from outsiders and non-initiated Alawites, so rumours about them have arisen. Arabic accounts of their beliefs tend to be partisan (either positively or negatively).[1] However, since the early 2000s, Western scholarship on the Alawite religion has made significant advances.[2] At the core of Alawite belief is a divine triad, comprising three aspects of the one God. These aspects or emanations appear cyclically in human form throughout history. The last emanations of the divine triad, according to Alawite belief, were as Ali, Muhammad and Salman the Persian. Alawites were historically persecuted for these beliefs by the Sunni Muslim rulers of the area.
  1. ^ Friedman, Yaron (2010). The Nuṣayrī-ʻAlawīs: An Introduction to the Religion, History, and Identity of the Leading Minority in Syria. p. 68. ISBN 9004178929. 
  2. ^ Friedman, Yaron (2010). The Nuṣayrī-ʻAlawīs: An Introduction to the Religion, History, and Identity of the Leading Minority in Syria. p. 67. ISBN 9004178929. 

DeCausa (talk) 08:03, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

The above is a misrepresentation of my position, which I will outline here: I'm not proposing to remove anything. I'm proposing that controversial claims be attributed to author x of y nationality for context and caution per WP:In-text attribution, and that we add that no claims about Alawite beliefs have been confirmed by Alawites themselves per WP:UNDUE, and that many claims may even be based on rumours/misinterpretations/outdated scholarship, per sources linked above. FunkMonk (talk) 16:15, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

This RfC is about the content of the lead not the Beliefs section. The lead currently has no description of the Beliefs section. If you want to make changes to the Beliefs section, please propose them elsewhere. DeCausa (talk) 19:48, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
You may have noticed that I already did. Inn any case, yes, even the lead should use cautionary language. FunkMonk (talk) 20:04, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
You have dismissed even my general proposal for no apparent reason, so writing a text would be premature. FunkMonk (talk) 14:56, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
That's ridiculously obstructive and non-constructive. I've lost all patience with you and have gone ahead and added it to the lead.DeCausa (talk) 17:34, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Your patience has little relevancy, as I'm not here to please you. What matters is consensus, and we're not getting any comments so far, so I re-added the request tag. FunkMonk (talk) 09:32, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
The text has been there for 4 months now without challenge, so per WP:EDITCONSENSUS this thread is concluded I believe. DeCausa (talk) 18:38, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

IP's claims of Kurdish origins of Alawites[edit]

Numerous IPs keep attempting to add info to the article stating how Alawites groups have Kurdish origins. The text cited does not back up this claim. Thanks. Ism schism (talk) 15:10, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

It is of course possible that some do, though most certainly don't, but it would need solid sourcing. FunkMonk (talk) 15:17, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. I've read the book which the IP says backs his claim. It does not say the Alawites are from Kurds. It only says that some had lived in Singar and fought against the Kurds. Thanks. Ism schism (talk) 15:24, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

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Sourced fragment that was removed[edit]

There was a long and sourced fragment completely removed from article. Some people try their best to "prove" that Alawites are Twelver Shia Muslims while they themselves do not consider themselves as such and hold VERY distinct system of belief than mainstream Shia Islam. Removed fragment:

"The tenth-century Twelver heresiographer Abu Muhammad al-Hassan ibn Musa al-Nawbakhti claimed the Alawi founder propagated the un-Islamic belief of the transmigration of souls and permitted homosexual relations. Jurists such as the eleventh-century scholar Muhammad bin al-Hassan al-Tusi accused the Alawis of heresy and cursed them for permitting what was forbidden. In 1834 Twelvers raised troops for the Ottomans to quash an Alawi revolt.

When European travelers began visiting Syria in the eighteenth century, Alawis informed them they were Christians. To prevent missionaries from claiming them as lost Christians, the Ottomans asserted they were Muslims. Mosques were built. But the Alawis rejected these attempts of integration into the Islamic community. When the French ruled Syria, they too tried to incorporate them into the Islamic fold. Twelver judges were imported to establish courts. But the Alawis rebuffed them as well. In 1948, Alawi students went to the Twelver center of Najaf, Iraq to learn their doctrines. But after being ridiculed and scorned, most quickly returned home.

In the 1960s, Alawis officers took power in Syria. But they did not establish cordial ties with Iran. Instead, it was the Iran-Iraq war that proved a turning point. But religious ties between the Alawis and Twelvers were as strained as ever. A 1985 American diplomatic cable noted that Twelver scholars “view the Alawis as heretical and despicable.” Indicative of the abyss between them, Twelvers sought to proselytize among the Alawis. Six Twelver preachers were arrested for doing so in 1996." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Alawites not Shia but different religion - Alawite leaders[edit]

We can finally put the fight about Alawites and their belief to the side as their own religious body issued a public note on that [22]:

"The community and religious leaders say they hope to "shine a light" on the Alawites after a long period of secrecy, at what they call "an important moment" in their history.

In the eight-page document, termed a "declaration of identity reform", the Alawites say they represent a third model "of and within Islam".

Those behind the text say Alawites are not members of a branch of Shia Islam - as they have been described in the past by Shia clerics - and that they are committed to "the fight against sectarian strife".

They also make clear that they adhere to "the values of equality, liberty and citizenship", and call for secularism to be the future of Syria, and a system of governance in which Islam, Christianity and all other religions are equal.

In the document published on Sunday, the Alawite leaders insist that their faith is "solely based on the idea of worshipping God". They add that "the Koran alone is our holy book and a clear reference to our Muslim quality".

While acknowledging that they share some formal religious sources, the leaders stress that Alawism is distinct from Shia Islam, and decline previous legal rulings, or fatwas, by leading Shia clerics that seek to "appropriate the Alawites and consider Alawism an integral part of Shiism or a branch of the latter".

The leaders also acknowledge that Alawites have incorporated elements of other monotheistic religions into their traditions, most notably Judaism and Christianity, but say they should "not be seen as marks of deviation from Islam but as elements that bear witness to our riches and universality".

So the anonymous user who fought previously for so long was right, Alawites are a different religion within itself, NOT a branch of Shia Islam. This should go to the Criticism of Wikipedia, as it caused all foreign Wikis to basically repeat an English one on that causing massive misinformation.

It is obviously some kind of propaganda hoax. Here is some commentary by Asad Abukhalil:[23] FunkMonk (talk) 15:46, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Personal blogs are not sources. They are private opinions. It was outlined above on multiple occasions that Alawites have nothing to do eith Twelvers in history and theology.
Personal opinions of Wikipedia editors hold even less weight than blogs. FunkMonk (talk) 07:46, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
You people cultivate this nonsense that Alawites are Twelvers because it suits your agenda to label the Syrian regime as a "Shia government". Alawites never felt Shia, they told the French that they were Christians, they told the Ottomans they were Sunni Sufis. They tell Twelver Shias that they are Shias. That's because they place Ali higher than any other companions, doesnt make them automatically Shia Muslims nor Twelvers. It was outlined before in detail that their aqida runs contrary to the one of Twelvers. Twelvers do not meet in mixed gathering, do not dance, do not believe in reincarnation and do not take Ali as god. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:54, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Who is "you people"? Do you even know a single Alawite? Alawites today identify as Shia. FunkMonk (talk) 21:54, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

About the population in the Golan Hights[edit]

The area is disputed, a private person can't determine if it should be Lebanon or Israel. Therefore, I suggest to just write "Golan Hights". Any objection? Israelly (talk) 20:38, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Since when was the UN a "private person"? No one but Israel considers it Israeli. FunkMonk (talk) 21:03, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

offensive words[edit]

"The region was home to a mostly-rural, heterogeneous population. The landowning families and 80 percent of the population of the port city of Latakia were Sunni Muslim; however, in rural areas 62 percent of the population were Alawite peasants. There was considerable Alawite separatist sentiment in the region,[51] evidenced by a 1936 letter signed by 80 Alawi leaders addressed to the French Prime Minister which said that the "Alawite people rejected attachment to Syria and wished to stay under French protection". Among the signatories was Sulayman Ali al-Assad, father of Hafez al-Assad.[51] Even during this time of increased Alawite rights, the situation was still so bad for the group that many females had to leave their homes to work for urban Sunnis - many becoming mistresses to their employers - which is why it was estimated that 25% of all Alawite children in the 1930s and 40s had Sunni fathers.[52] " — Preceding unsigned comment added by عراف الجبل (talkcontribs) 11:29, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

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