Alawites and Sunnis are in the spotlight these days as armed groups from the two communities clashed again in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, in another spill-over of violence from Syria into Lebanon (see BBC report).
But Alawites in Lebanon are a tiny minority, and events in Tripoli just a sideshow to the uprising in Syria which has been raging for almost 18 months.
Although the violence in Syria is not a religious war, but rather a conflict over power mixed with regional geo-politics, there's no escaping the fact that most Syrian Alawites support the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and most of the opposition belongs to the Sunni majority.
Still, much of the commonly accepted wisdom about Alawites in Syria is way too simplistic. I tackle some of these issues in my new article, "The Difference Between Alawites and Sunnis in Syria". Here you can read about the Alawites' beliefs, their place in the Syrian regime, and their alleged kinship with the Shiite Iran.