BEIRUT: The Druze sect in Syria should not fall prey to manipulative Syrian regime policies that aim at sparking sectarian strife said Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt Monday, urging the offshoot Muslim sect to look toward a wider pan-Arab belonging.
“The Arab Druze must decide between a narrow and temporary sectarian affiliation that is being manipulated by the Syrian regime and a wider Arabic belonging” he said.
Jumblatt’s statement followed the death of a Syrian member of the Lebanese “Arab Tawhid Party”, who died “while resisting an armed attack” in the neighboring country's town of Dama.
Jumblatt said that sectarian identity does not protect the Druze minority that is spread across Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, arguing that a united Arab identity preserves the sect in the framework of its indigenous political and geographical climate.
The Druze leader called on the sect’s spiritual heads to employ the highest degree of vigilance, warning that the Syrian regime wants to use the Druze in a battle that has destroyed both Syria and its population.
“The policy of manipulating sects and faiths that is relied on by the Syrian regime hasn’t even spared the Alawite sect” said Jumblatt, in reference to President Bashar Assad’s sect and main constituency.
The Socialist Party head emphasized that Syrian regime policies aim at turning regions and sects against each other as to facilitate the spread of Assad’s control over different areas in Syria.
“The moment that the Druze fall in the regime's trap, and follow the minority theories that the [regime] promotes, then they will have abandoned their... struggle for a diverse and pan-Arab Syria” he concluded.