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Securitization as a tool of regime survival: The deployment of religious rhetoric in Bashar al-Asad's speeches

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>The Middle East Journal
Issue number1
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)9-32
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article analyzes the role of Sunni Islam in speeches given to religious scholars by Syrian president Bashar al-Asad in 2014 and 2017. I discuss how religion was used in these speeches as a security tool to consolidate authority, legitimize the Ba‘thist regime, and marginalize political dissidents. I specifically highlight the emphasis Asad placed on convincing government-recognized ‘ulama to support state security measures and to the novel links he constructed between Islam and national unity.