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The Pre-2011 Roots of Syria's Islamist Militants

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Islamist militancy is not a new phenomenon in Syria; indeed, many of the groups active since the outbreak of the popular uprising in 2011 have existed since the early 2000s. The emergence of these Islamists and the Islamization of the Syrian conflict can primarily be traced to the earlier foreign policy of the regime of Bashar al-Asad, of which harboring and collaborating with Islamist militants was an integral part. The outcome of this policy was the rise of a radical and apocalyptic type of Islamist movement that the regime cannot effectively control and that is at odds with Syria's more ecumenical and intellectual Islamic tradition.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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