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L'"entité alaouite", une création française

Abstract : The fragmentation of Bilâd al-Châm gave birth to four states, including the territory of the Alawites that General Gouraud, in December 1920, considered a military territory. The French army had to control the nationalist rebellion of Sheikh Saleh, before being able to 'pacify' this Alawite entity to which the authority mandated successively different statutes. In 1937, she became part of the independent Syrian state of which she became a muhafaza. In 1920, to value the nusayris, which were considered as ghulât, the French authorities named them Alawites, thus emphasizing the particular devotion they dedicated to 'Ali. Recognizing their religious independence allowed them to be separated from the rest of Syria and discouraged their inclination to rally to Syrian pan-Islamists or nationalists. Thus, in September 1922, an order of the governor of the Alawite State turned the Alawite courts into state organizations. However, the Alawites did not have their own Islamic Law. A great Alawite cleric, Sulayman al-Ahmad, was asked by the mandatory authorities to put this jurisdiction in place. The latter turned to Twelver Shiite clerics from South Lebanon and Iraq, and so the Alawites referred to the so-called Ja'farite Shiite law. With other clerics, he promoted a kind of Alawite reformism. In 1936, on the eve of the signing of the Franco-Syrian treaty, they published a text affirming their Arabity and their adherence to Islam and, in July, Amin al-Husaynî issued a fatwa corroborating their claims. The integration of the Alawis into the umma through a doctrinal rapprochement with the Twelver Shiism continued. Clerics were trained in this sense and the cult was organized in an Islamization movement sponsored by the Shiite Muhsin al-Hakim. A first mission of Alawite clerics was sent to Najaf in 1948 and an association was created in 1951 to open schools, build mosques and disseminate religious education according to Ja'farite madhhab. In 1952, Ja'farite clerics were officially recognized by the Syrian state. Some preferred to remain Alawites. Others continued the movement of rapprochement with the Twelver Shi'ism which intensified after the coming to power of Hafez al-Asad: thus, books are published to explain that these Ja'farite Alawites are Twelver Shiites.
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Sabrina Mervin. L'"entité alaouite", une création française. Pierre-Jean Luizard. Le choc colonial et l'islam. Les politiques religieuses des puissances coloniales en terre d'islam, La Découverte, pp.343-358, 2006, Textes à l'appui, 978-2707146960. ⟨halshs-01860648⟩

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