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Beaten Path: Who Are The Alawites?

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Tonight at 8pm ET on Ernest Radio Network, it's Beaten Path.

'Alawi" is the term that 'Alawis (also called 'Alawites) usually apply to themselves ; but until 1920 they were known to the outside world as Nusayris or Ansaris.  The change in name - imposed by the Fr ench upon their seizure of control in Syria - has significance.  Whereas "Nusayri" emphasizes the group's differences from Islam, "'Alawi" suggests an adherent of 'Ali (the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad) and accentuates the religion's similarities to Shi'i Islam.

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