What is the history of the Druze in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon?

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  • 10 years ago
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    The Druze (Arabic: درزي, derzī or durzī‎, plural دروز, durūz, Hebrew: דרוזים‎ druzim) are an esoteric monotheistic religious community found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism and incorporated several elements of Gnosticism, Neoplatonism and other philosophies. The Druze call themselves Ahl al-Tawhid "People of Unitarianism or Monotheism" or al-Muwaḥḥidūn "Unitarians, Monotheists."

    In Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, the Druze have official recognition as a separate religious community with its own religious court system. Druze are known for their loyalty to the countries they reside in,[34] though they have a strong community feeling, in which they identify themselves as related even across borders of countries. Despite their practice of blending with dominant groups in order to avoid persecution and because the Druze religion doesn't endorse separatist sentiments, urging the Druze to blend with the communities they reside in,nevertheless the Druze have had a history of brave resistance to occupying powers, and they have at times enjoyed more freedom than most other groups living in the Levant.

    In Syria, most Druze live in the Jebel al-Druze, a rugged and mountainous region in the southwest of the country, which is more than 90 percent Druze inhabited; some 120 villages are exclusively so. The Druze always played a far more important role in Syrian politics than its comparatively small population would suggest. With a community of little more than 100,000 in 1949, or roughly three percent of the Syrian population, the Druze of Syria's southeastern mountains constituted a potent force in Syrian politics and played a leading role in the nationalist struggle against the French. Under the military leadership of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash, the Druze provided much of the military force behind the Syrian Revolution of 1925-1927. In 1945, Amir Hasan al-Atrash, the paramount political leader of the Jebel al-Druze, led the Druze military units in a successful revolt against the French, making the Jebel al-Druze the first and only region in Syria to liberate itself from French rule without British assistance. At independence the Druze, made confident by their successes, expected that Damascus would reward them for their many sacrifices on the battlefield. They demanded to keep their autonomous administration and many political privileges accorded them by the French and sought generous economic assistance from the newly independent government.

    The Druze community played an important role in the formation of the modern state of Lebanon, and even though they are a minority they played an important role in the Lebanese political scene. Before and during the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), the Druze were in favor of Pan-Arabism and Palestinian resistance represented by the PLO. Most of the community supported the Progressive Socialist Party formed by the Lebanese leader Kamal Jumblatt and they fought alongside other leftist and Palestinian parties against the Lebanese Front that was mainly constituted of Christians. After the assassination of Kamal Jumblatt on March 16, 1977, his son Walid Jumblatt took the leadership of the party and played an important role in preserving his father's legacy and sustained the existence of the Druze community during the sectarian bloodshed that lasted until 1990.

    In August 2001, Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir toured the predominantly Druze Chouf region of Mount Lebanon and visited Mukhtara, the ancestral stronghold of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. The tumultuous reception that Sfeir received not only signified a historic reconciliation between Maronites and Druze, who fought a bloody war in 1983-1984, but underscored the fact that the banner of Lebanese sovereignty had broad multi-confessional appeal[39] and was a cornerstone for the Cedar Revolution. The second largest political party supported by Druze is the Lebanese Democratic Party led by Prince Talal Arslan the son of one of the independence leaders Prince Magid Arslan. Also political parties such as the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, Lebanese Unification Movement and Lebanese Communist Party have a considerable amount of supporters in the community.

    Other religious minorities groups in Jordan include adherents to the Druze and Bahá'í Faith. The Druze are mainly located in the Eastern Oasis Town of Azraq, some villages on the Syrian border and the city of Zarka, while the Village of Adassiyeh bordering the Jordan Valley is home to Jordan's Bahá'í community.

  • 4 years ago

    it quite is an offshoot of Islam...yet there are various alterations The holy e book of Druze is stored great secret... no outsider can examine it Druze have faith in Reincarnation Druze enable each little thing... till the age of 40 yrs.. after 40 one has to examine the e book and then exchange into an entire religious... they are very non violent human beings and dont hate or do incorrect propaganda against different religions

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