1,000,000 to 2,500,000
|Regions with significant populations|
|English (in United States and Australia)|
There are more than 500,000 Druze. About half of them live in the Hauran districts of Syria. Most of the rest live in Lebanon and about 40,000 live in Israel. Some have emigrated to the United States and Canada.
The Druze practice a religion related to Islam and Christianity but more based on philosophy. Al-Hakim, a ruler of Egypt during the 11th century sponsored the religion which was created by Hamza bin Ali. The name Druze probably comes from Darazi, a preacher who was expelled from the Druze movement, because he preached that Al-Hakim was literally God.
Although sometimes many Druze consider themselves part of Shia Islam, in Israel the are considered part of a different ethnic and religious group within the Arabic-speaking minority, kind of like the "minority within the minority".
The Druze in Lebanon had a major political influence and were the rulers of Lebanon before the 1860s. After the 1860s, they shared the ruling of Mount Lebanon with the Maronites and were later considered the 4th major religious sect after independence. They played a key role in fighting against the Lebanese Christian right during the early 1980s. The Druze ended their fighting against the Lebanese Christian right in late 1990. In 1990 and 1991, they gained representation in Lebanon's government in accordance with a 1989 peace agreement.
Sources[change | change source]
- The Economist. 390. 2009. p. 49. http://books.google.com/?id=ub8aAQAAMAAJ&q=%22The+Druze+are+an+ancient+sect+within+Islam.+The+Golan+ones+are+part+of+a+Syrian+Druze+community+that+numbers+700000.+Another+250000+live+in+Lebanon+and+about+100000+in+Israel+proper%22&dq=%22The+Druze+are+an+ancient+sect+within+Islam.+The+Golan+ones+are+part+of+a+Syrian+Druze+community+that+numbers+700000.+Another+250000+live+in+Lebanon+and+about+100000+in+Israel+proper%22. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
- Statistical abstract of Israel – Population by religion. 2010
- International Religious Freedom Report, US State Department, 2005, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2005/51602.htm.
- Druze Traditions, Institute of Druze Studies, archived from the original on 14 January 2009, http://web.archive.org/web/20090114032929/http://www.druzestudies.org/Druzes.html.
- "Tariq Alaiseme vice-president of Venezuela". Aamama. http://www.al-amama.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1110.
- "Druze Population of Australia by Place of Usual Residence (2006)". Australian Bureau of Statistics. http://www.abs.gov.au/CDataOnline. Retrieved 27 July 2010.