This article shows the self-contradiction of the position that still prevails in the mainstream media: if the jihadists are really a tiny minority of extremists whose understanding of Islam is rejected by the great majority, then why should anyone be concerned about an Islamic revival in Syria? But this article is closer to the truth: the resurgence of Islam itself makes for a revival of jihadist sentiment, and that’s why secular Syrians are worried.
From the Washington Post, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
NASIRIYAH, Syria — A religious revival is sweeping Syria, challenging the secular, ruling Baath Party to allow more Muslim influence in government and frightening many Syrians schooled for decades to fear political Islam.
Growing religious feeling can be seen across the landscape, from the proliferation of head scarves worn by young women in Damascus to an enormous privately funded mosque nearing completion in downtown Aleppo, Syria’s second city. Muslim clerics, meanwhile, are growing increasingly bold in asking for democratic political reforms that could give them a larger role in government.
Alarmed by the trend, some within Syria’s secular intelligentsia and middle class have begun writing and organizing against it. From his airy home in Nasiriyah, a town 35 miles northeast of Damascus, Nabil Fayyad, a secular writer, accused the government in print last September of softening its stand against the increasingly popular Islamic movement, its chief rival for power, amid pressure from the United States to reform.