Big differences between Rojava, Assad and Daesh

Regarding questions of religion and ethnicity, there are several big differences between Daesh, the Assad regime, and Rojava.


Daesh insists upon an “Islamic system” of rule (by which we should read ‘Wahhabi system’). People who don’t follow Wahhabi practices and views simply don’t belong in Daesh territory. The group’s brutal murder of Yezidis, Christians, Shias, and anyone else who refuses to submit to its rule is testament to its thoroughly dictatorial impulses.

At the same time, women have an obligatory dress code and can’t go anywhere without a male guardian.

Ba’athist Syria

The current Syrian constitution, which was updated in 2012 to make it look much more democratic, still insists:

People of the Syrian Arab Republic are part of the Arab Nation

Arabic is the state’s official language

The President has to be part of the Muslim faith

While there are nods to gender equality in the document, it is clear from the articles above that the Syrian establishment is inherently biased against the roughly 10% of Syrians who are not Arabs and the 13% who are not Muslims.


The constitution of Rojava, on the other hand, emphasises:

In pursuit of freedom, justice, dignity and democracy and led by principles of equality and environmental sustainability, the Charter proclaims a new social contract, based upon mutual and peaceful coexistence and understanding between all strands of society. It protects fundamental human rights and liberties and reaffirms the peoples’ right to self-determination.

Under the Charter, we, the people of the Autonomous Regions, unite in the spirit of reconciliation, pluralism and democratic participation so that all may express themselves freely in public life…

It also stresses that:

All communities have the right to teach and be taught in their native language.

Regarding women’s rights, the Charter says that “men and women are equal in the eyes of the law” and that:

Women have the inviolable right to participate in political, social, economic and cultural life.


About Ed Sykes

Independent journalist. Co-founder of Phoenix Media Co-operative. Author of Rojava: An Alternative. Ex-Canary editor and writer (2015-2020). Aka 'Oso Sabio' - see @ososabiouk on Twitter.
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