The Qubaysiat movement has managed to maintain its presence, especially within the major metropolises in Syria, despite the war conditions that have plagued the country since 2012, affecting many religious organizations and groups with a “moderate” ideological background. , as opposed to the rise of radical currents.
The formation of this feminist religious movement, which combined the preservation of a traditional religious vision, coupled with the adoption of a modernist approach, which occurs in its uncomplicated organizational structure, played a key role not only in maintaining this presence for decades, but in widening its spread The movement or group forms to this day a center of attraction for many women that extends beyond Syrian geography.
In 2011, the movement faced discord due to its position as a whole over the revolution in Syria, which was a major turning point for him, especially since it had previously shown eagerness to maintain a kind of neutrality and refused to to enter the political field. , or to express any position on it, which contributed. Over the decades, it has penetrated and spread horizontally within Syrian society, but these rifts have not affected the way its critics believe.
The regime of President Bashar al-Assad was eager to lure this elite religious movement to its side, after official positions towards it were divergent and shrouded in much suspicion and mistrust. The famous meeting in the Republican Palace in 2011 between the members of the movement and President al-Assad was an announcement of the prejudice of this movement to the regime in the face of the revolution, although some believe that there can be no building on this presence be to talk about. a clear and honest alignment, especially since the founder of the movement, Munira al-Qubaisi, was absent from him (86 years) and also Princess Gabriel.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. that he did not record any public statement of the movement’s members in which they triumphed for this party.or that.
On the other hand, this view finds criticism from supporters of the revolution and opposition forces, who believe that the structure of the Qubaysiat itself based on the rich class makes the interests of the movement necessarily intersect with the calculations of power. They cite the appointment of one of the movement’s members, Salma Ayyash, as an assistant to Awqaf’s minister, which was aimed at ensuring the movement’s loyalty and rewarding it for its support efforts.
Munir al-Faqir, a researcher at the Omran Center for Strategic Studies, told Al-Arab that the beginnings of the Qubaisiyat movement were in the hands of its founder, Hajja Munira al-Qubaisi (born in Damascus in 1933) . Sheikh Ahmed Kaftaro, the former Grand Mufti of the Syrian Republic. Since the end of the sixties of the last century, Hajja al-Qubaisi has emerged as a young preacher in the ranks of this Naqshbandi Sufi group.
Al-Faqeer believes that it is not possible to explore Al-Qubaisi’s intellectual depths, especially in the beginning, without revealing the personality of his inspiration and spiritual father, Sheikh Kaftaro, who was known for his controversial positions regarding the relationship with the government, to research. especially the ruling Ba’ath party, and its relationship with other Islamic groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the general sheikh Shami traditionally.
Kuftaro’s position was characterized by closeness to political authority in general, and in the early stages he tended to oppose religious, scientific, and kinetic tendencies, as evidenced by Kuftaro’s support for the appointment of the Ba’athist lawyer. Riyad al-Maliki in 1957 and thereafter his proximity to the Ba’athist coup governments until Kaftaru took over the position of Mufti from Syria.
A movement that challenges male domination
- She was born in 1933 in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and joined the religious field early, influenced by the former Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmed Kaftaro.
- She worked within the Kuftaro group for many years, before heading in a different direction by founding a religious feminist movement she called “Al Qubaysiat”.
- The movement succeeded in exploiting the conditions surrounding Syria in the 1980s, in particular the clash between the government and the Brotherhood, in order to bring about a wide horizontal spread within the great metropolises.
- Al-Qubaisi was eager to distance her movement from all that is political, by paying attention to the preaching, charity and social aspect by focusing on specific sectors such as education (in an experience similar to the Turkish preacher Abdullah Gülen).
- The rise of Bashar al-Assad in the year 2000 was a turning point as the movement was allowed to operate openly while being kept under the microscope of Syrian intelligence.
- With the outbreak of events in 2011, the Syrian regime decided to polarize the movement to its side due to its awareness of the importance of its influence within urban societies.The famous meeting convened by al-Assad and members of the movement, was at the Republican Palace in that year, followed by years of the award of Salma Ayyash, one of the members, the post of Assistant Minister of Donations.
- Amid this transformation of the movement, there was no record of any appearance by her founder, Munira Al Qubaisi. Some refer to the age of the woman (86 years), and others see it as having to do with her adherence to her approach of remaining neutral and not engaging in politics.
Al-Qubaisi’s star has risen within the Kuftaro group and under the name of the Sheikh of the group, who focused his da’wa curriculum on mysticism and acclamation according to the Naqshbandi order and to a large extent moved away from the scientific method of the traditional Levantine school. Al-Qubaisi and those with her began to pave their way in the field of forensic science, in parallel with the expansion of his movement and the consolidation of his relations with the religious community and also with the civil bourgeoisie, mainly in Aleppo and Damascus. the mid-seventies, al-Qubaisi and those with her moved away from Kuftaro to adopt an approach that combines preaching, Naqshbandi Sufi education and the scientific approach.The traditional Levantine school according to the Shafi’i school.
This coincided with the beginning of the violent clash between the regime of the late President Hafez al-Assad and the Muslim Brotherhood in the late 1970s, which ended with the crushing of the Brotherhood, including the feminist expansions therein, so that the Kaftaru group and those in his rule became a method and a position, the main Sunni ally of the regime legitimizing its survival, also based on deep Alawite fanaticism.
The Hafez al-Assad regime supported the Kaftaru group and turned a blind eye to the expansion of the Qubaysiat movement, which has reached a wide horizontal spread within urban societies, due to its commitment to preaching and charity, and a complete deviation from the political issue, which is required for the government.
The instructions of the government in dealing with the Kaftaru group as well as with the Qubaysiat were not without political backgrounds as the two parties were used to neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood and spread Conservative and Sufi ideology.
Al-Faqeer explains that al-Qubaysiat activity saw a qualitative leap in the 1980s, and that its spread extended beyond Damascus to all Syrian governorates and spread to Jordan, Lebanon, and even European countries. . He is custom made but is not identifiable. with the regime and refrain from speaking or interfering in any political matter.
With the arrival of al-Assad’s son (Bashar) to power in the early 2000s, the relationship between the Qubaysiat movement and first-class officials in the regime was strengthened, leading to the building of an old relationship with Asma al-Assad mother (Bashar) al-Assad’s wife).
The economic transformations of the Assad regime after Bashar’s takeover and his new alliances with the Damascene and Aleppo bourgeoisie played a major role in consolidating the Qubaisiyat relations with the ruling government, as many women of merchants and businessmen in Damascus , Aleppo and Homs belonged. to the movement and some of them were among the leaders of the first row in it, at a time when it seemed that the regime wanted to control the movement and nationalize it, therefore it was tempted to gradually move to mosques work, to the prohibition of preaching in homes.
Although the movement was somehow linked to the regime, it was under the microscope of Syrian intelligence and was largely infiltrated as the younger Assad regime was not reassuring about it and tried to limit it through a media campaign against it. to launch. by those close to it, such as that it is a “Masonic organization” because of its secret nature and sometimes claims to be a “brotherhood”.
With the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, many of the movement’s daughters joined the revolution, especially in the city of Damascus, which caused division within the movement between a line that preferred to stay away from any political position and ‘ a line that is a line. with the regime and a revolutionary line that mostly overlapped and of which few remain connected to this day.
Many believe that the movement did not have many options to ensure its continuity and expansion, except to join the ranks of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, as it feared the privileges it had acquired over decades. to lose, especially because the alternative seemed. hostile to its religious nature, which relies on Sufism.
This point forms one of the pillars on which the regime of President Bashar al-Assad relied to attract the movement and ensure its loyalty, and the impact of the families to which the movement’s members belonged, which came from the merchant and rich class is, had. an impact on the movement’s positions.
The weak researcher says that the regime used religious groups, including the Qubaysiat, as a way to legitimize its rule and its subsequent suppression of the Syrian revolution. It also supported some non-religious tendencies to stand on the brink of bad at the same time. society polarizes and consolidates its power. However, the overall position of the movement ultimately is completely in line with the regime, to be an essential tool in continuing Assad’s legitimization and subjugation of Syrian society that has remained under his authority. .