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Between Sect and Secularism: The Mediated Ambiguities of the Syrian Nation State

Ehab Galal & Zenia Yonus | PDF

Abstract: This paper examines narrative discourses of the Syrian loyalist TV channel Sama TV in
the light of Syria’s current armed conflict, demography, and regional geopolitics. The focus is on the
tense relationship between secularism and religious representations on the channel. Compared to
state television, private channel Sama TV has more room for maneuver to embrace a new form of
religious presence that challenges the ideological secularism of the Syrian nation state. The national
“mythscapes” of Syria, simultaneously a secular and (Sunni) Muslim nation, characterized by a
certain ambiguity, are consequently reinforced.

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