- Middle East -
The Ismaelites belong to the religious community of the Shi’ites. There are about 18 million Ismaelites all over the world, mostly in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Syria, Yemen, and Iran. From the viewpoint of the Sunni majorities and other Islamist groups, they are often considered as apostates.
The Ismaelites consider themselves as tolerant and liberal Muslims. Thus, in Salamiyya, the center of the Ismaelites in Syria, the protests against the Assad regime died away after a short while, because the Ismaelites were skeptical about the Sunnitization and radicalization of the Syrian opposition. The city of Salamiyya itself is characterized by tolerance and openness. There, the Ismaelites are able to practice their faith in peace, after many centuries of persecution and threats. However, due to the fighting between Assad’s security forces and the regime opponents, this situation has clearly started to turn to the worse.
Further information about the Ismaelites
Header photo: Wyliepoon via Flickr