söndag 29 mars 2009

Qizil (Red)

Dear Robert

Many thanks for the information!
I believe it is good for us here on Ushta to understand the religious traditions (and contemporary situation) in the Middle East better.
Are the Alevis in Turkey and the Alawis in Syria the same group? If so, I would expect some 15% of Syrian to be Alawi and hold many powerful positions in that country. Which in turn could explain the strong links politically between today's Syria on hand and the Shia government if Iran and Hizbollah in Lebanon on the other. What do you think?



Dear Alexander,

again, a difficult question. First of all, who counts as Alevi?
Moreover, who counts himself as Alevi? We have groups, which are
counted as Alevis by the majority, but insist that they are not
(certain rural 'Bektashis' for example; Iranian Ahl-e Haqq, on the
other hand, claim that Anatolian Bektashis are a sub-group of
themselves). But let's keep that aside and look to those groups as
well the academic as the average Alevi functionary might consider as

The second problem in that case is that we do not have official census
data as the Alevis are not recognised as a distinct denomination,
especially in Turkey, where they are simply counted for as 'Müslüman'
or 'Islam'. (One exception was interwar Albania, where the Albanian
Bektashis were recognised as religious group with their own school
textbooks alongside with catholic and greek-orthodox Christians and
Sunni Muslims.)

But estimates for Turkey are 5--30 percent. Turkey's population: 71.5
mio / let's say 15 percent =
10.73 million
Migration diaspora in Europe, America etc. approximately
1.25 million (??)
Balkan Turkic subgroups (Bulgaria, Makedonia, Romania, Kosova, Greece)
0.5 million (??)
Iraq (Shabak and other designations), including other regional
subgroups (Qizilbash in Syria, Bektashis in Egypt ??)
0.25 million
Albania / Albanians
0.25 million ???

Total ca.: 13 million (just a rough estimate)

It is not clear what remains of Qizilbash religious traditions under a
Twelver Shiite surface (Republic of Azerbayjan, Iran). However, as the
very active Alevi organisations did not find counter-organisations or
at least some individuals there to cooperate with, there might not be.
However, I met an Iranian Qashqa'i in Estanbul who claimed that their
religion is the same. He was working for Alevis as a translator

Best wishes,


Zitat von Alexander Bard :

> Dear Robert
> No problem, we take a very large and general view of Zoroastrianism here on
> the Ushta List. You've stayed very true to the aims of this forum indeed.
> Many of the western converts to Zoroastrianism are also Spinozists
> (believing that the strongly Sufism-isnpired Spinoza was a European
> Zarathushtra) so Spinozism is for example an issue that is also discussed
> here. I wonder if you have any serious estimate on how many Alevis there are
> in the world today?
> Ushta
> Alexander

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