Alevis


Alevis
   Alevis are a heterodox form of Islam in Turkey that some would consider beyond the Islamic pale. They are also referred to as Qizilbash, or Red Heads, for the distinctive red turbans they historically wore. Alevi beliefs are a mixture of pre-Islamic, Zoroastrian, Turkoman shaman, and Shia ideas and beliefs. The Alevis share many common tenets with the Ahl-i Haqq religion, such as the veneration of the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law, Ali. Along with the Yezidis, these three religions are also sometimes referred to as the Cult of Angels.
   The jam (cam) is the main religious observance of both Alevis and the Ahl-i Haqq and takes the place of the mosque as the religious gathering place. Both also use the term pir for their religious leaders. Orthodox Muslims sometimes accuse Alevis of sexual promiscuity based on the erroneous belief that Alevis share their women at their communal religious ceremony of blowing the candle out.
   Historically, the Qizilbash supported the Safavid Persian shah Ismail and constituted a large part of his army when he advanced against the Ottomans in the early 1500s. Thus the Sunni Ottomans saw the Qizilbash as bitter enemies and killed as many as 40,000 after their victory at the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514. The Qizilbash, however, survived, and at least 10 percent of the population in Turkey today is Alevi, with claims as high as 30 percent.
   The term Qizilbash is an epithet of abuse in modern Turkey. They are sometimes persecuted by the Sunni majority, and thus Alevis tend to espouse leftist causes. The Alevis were the main victims of the deadly riots that killed several hundred in Kahramanmaras in southeastern Turkey on Christmas Day in 1978. Many Zaza speakers in Turkey are Alevis and constitute a majority in the province of Dersim, now called Tunceli. Alevi Kurds in Turkey are a minority within a minority.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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  • Islam Alevi — Alévisme L alévisme (alevilik en turc, aleviyye/alawiyya en arabe, itiqate ma en zazaki) (Dersim) Le vrai noms des alevis est « kizilbas » (à ne pas confondre avec les qizilbas d‘Iran). L’alevisme kizilbas des campagnes anatoliennes est …   Wikipédia en Français


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