Having experienced such a nightmare first hand I'm sure most Iranians hope Syria will be spared such an experience.
1...despite the apparent rise in popularity of Islamist militants, mainly in rural Syria, many in Syria's secular opposition say they do not believe that the Islamists would rule after Assad. They claim that only Sunni Arabs would vote for an Islamist group like the Muslim Brotherhood, which has had a presence in Syria for decades.
"Take Egypt," said one activist. "They're 90 percent Sunni and Arab, yet the [Muslim Brotherhood] barely won by a thin margin."
"So imagine a country like Syria," he says. "We're only 60 percent Sunni Arab. Islamists simply don't have the numbers here."....."We don't want to rid Syria of Iran just to bring Saudi in its stead," Rana said, referring to the fact that Iran has been a staunch ally of the Syrian government.
2. Many Syrians balk at what they perceive as Islamist fighters from Syria and abroad who have links to Wahhabism, the puritanical interpretation of Islam that originated in Saudi Arabia.
3. Regardless of what might come after Assad, many minorities have already made up their mind about what they will do if he falls.
MY PERSONAL OBSERVATION ON OBSTACLES TO ISLAMIST RULE IN SYRIA:
Prior to the political assassination in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was already losing substantial regional credibility thanks to Morsi's high-handed Khamenei-style behavior in Egypt, where--upon being voted in, the Brotherhood broke all previous promises to behave democratically and imposed an "Islamic constitutention." Morsi's behavior recalls how Khoumeini seized control of Iran's revolution and pushed everyone else out. Since 2009 the whole muslim world has become deeply aware of how brutal, corrupt and economically incompetent ruling clerics have become in Iran and of the hard costs to the Iranian people. Everyone wants to avoid that model.
Another example of Islamist behavior ticking populations off was the murder of the popular American ambassador to Libya by Islamists. Then there is the fairly popular Erdogan government in Turkey. It may represent a major improvement over Al Queda/Wahabbi-style rule but neverthessless, note the arrest of journalists, critics and generals on high-handed charges or weak evidence.
Along with Syria's secular traditions and its demographic makeup, the self-discrediting behavior of Brotherhood types when in power elsewhere could lead to MB political difficulties in any post-Assad elections. A final obstacle is that--like Egypt and Tunisia--any new Syrian government will need western tourism and aid.