Al Qaeda's resurgence in the Middle East, Iran's currency troubles, and tribulations facing Syria's Alawite community:
- Daily Star: Sect in the Middle: Syria's Alawites endure considerable resentment (Marlin Dick, October 6)
" The community lacks any significant organizational structures outside family, clan and tribe, and these are often weak. Business or professional interests bind Alawites together, but not in any systematic way. They have members in the Baath Party, Communist Party and Syrian Social Nationalist Party, as well as in a dizzying range of liberal-secular groupings, both new and old. The mashayekh, or informal network of religious authorities, aren't particularly influential either."