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Nextep organization discusses the concept of minority and majority with the people of Raqqa

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(Raqqa, 3 November 2021) Under the title “The Concept of Minority and Majority, The Transition from Indissoluble Links to Political Pluralism” Nextep conducted a focused dialogue session, which brought 12 people from the city of Raqqa (A city in northeast Syria) from different societal groups together, through the Google Meet app.

Participants’ opinions varied about the concept of minority and majority, some considered that it was absent before the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, still with some sectarian strifes which were fuelled by the Syrian government, and that led to the transition of this concept after 2011 to religious, ethnics, and sectarian identities politicized for specific agendas, in order to fuel the Syrian war. Another opinion talked about the role of governments in expanding the gap among Syrians, by granting rights to some components at the expense of others.
According to another group of participants, The one party system, the exclusive political practice on a specific group to the exclusion of others and the existence of a specific segment enjoys privileges without the other, represents the practical explanation of the concept of minority and majority before the outbreak of the Syrian war, which was used by the Syrian regime under the pretext of protecting the ruling minority from the majority, in case the latter took over the control in Syria, while others saw that the absence of the rule of law and democracy, pushes the individual toward the group, regardless the component and ethnicity, to protect himself.
As for the parties that contributed in enhancing discrimnation in the concept of minority and majority and created sensitivity among Syrians, some of the audience saw that the consecutive regimes played a role in enhancing the discriminatory connotation in the concept, another section held the Syrian regime and opposition the responsibility in perpetuating the discrimination in the concept of minority and majority, while a third opinion held the international and regional parties the responsibility of fueling the conflict among Syrian parties, by supporting one party at the expense of others, which strengthened the division among Syrians.

The participants touched on the possible solutions, including achieving political pluralism, building a democratic country, preventing the formation of parties on ethnic, sectarian or religious grounds, and prioritizing the national Syrian identity, regardless of affiliations, loyalties, and orientations. Another section emphasized on the necessity of removing political domination and the one party system rule, and expanding the political practice margin, as well as creating societal consensus for coexistence, to reach a better Syrian future, and the key role of civil society organizations by opening communication tunnels among Syrians, and strengthen dialogue value among the different components.

The session concluded with a set of recommendations that encouraged more dialogue sessions, and engage more segments of Syrians in them, for what they have of positive effects, in opening communication tunnels and recognizing the other differently than the known stereotypical.