Rambo: What are Droozes in Lebanon? Part Christian part something else?
The Druze exist in Northern Israel, Southwester Syria and Southern Lebanon. Druze are a sect that branched off from Islam about 100 years ago.They have a strange religion where only the elders know the true secrets of the religion because they have books that no one else is allowed to see. In this way they are similar to the Yezidis in Northern Iraq, the Alawites in Syria, and even the Catholics in the Middle Ages.
Like the others, the Druze tell their people only a very watered-down version of the religion, so your average person doesn’t really have good details on what the religion is exactly about. Women play a significant role in Druze culture, and I think some of their priests are even women. In this way, they are odd in the Middle Eastern sense.
This may well be an ancient idea. As with the other two religions, you cannot convert into the Druze religion. Like the Yezidis, the Druze are not supposed to marry outside their religion.
Although to hardline Islamists, they often say they are Muslims. The Islamists usually accept this. They were often persecuted, so they took refuse in high mountains and hid out. They also practiced a lot of taqiyya to get out of persecution. The Druze have been loyal to Israel, though they have been treated terribly by the Jews. This is because it is Druze tradition to go along with whatever government is in whatever state they happen to be in. Druze must serve in the Israeli military. But some are now identifying as Arabs and refusing to serve. That’s illegal and some are going to jail for doing that.
In Syria, they support the state and are very anti-Israel. The Druze in the Golan under Israeli rule are still loyal to Syria, and they really hate Israel.
In Lebanon a lot of them work with Hezbollah. They’re real Israel-haters there too. Their leader is a man named Walid Jumbalat who is one of most cynical men in Lebanon. He’s all over the place all the time, always changing sides and positions. His politics isn’t really coherent.
They are very similar to the Alawites, a similar obscure mountain sect that has used taqiyya and obfuscation to confuse people about what they are. The Alawites are Muslims, although Islamists call them heretics because the Islam they practice is very odd.