Druse


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Druze

Druze or Druse (dro͞oz), religious community of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, with important overseas branches in the Americas and Australia. The religious leadership prefers the name Muwahhidun (Unitarians). While preserving many Islamic symbols, the Druze religion also incorporates Gnostic and neo-Platonic tenets. In the 10th cent. Cairo Hamza ibn Ali, a Persian dai (preacher, propagandist) and Muhammad al-Darazi, a Turkish dai who gave his name to the sect, pronounced the sixth Fatimid caliph and Ismaili imam, al-Hakim, as Divine. After al-Darazi's death (1020), Hamza declared himself to be the true manifestation of the Divine reality of al-Hakim. Hamza was successful in greater Syria, and a series of pastoral letters written at that time form the Druze scripture, the Kitab al-hikma, or Rasail al-Hakim. Since the Druze religion was seen as an abrogation of Islam, the concealment of the substance of the faith is a religious obligation, marriages outside the faith are forbidden, and initiation from lay status (jahil, ignorant) to clerical (aqil, knower) is restricted. The Druze formed principalities that fought the Crusaders and secured considerable independence under nominal Mamluk and Ottoman rule. In the 19th cent. the rise of the Christian Maronites undermined Druze power in the Mount Lebanon region. The ensuing conflict scarred relations between the two communities and provided an opportunity for European intervention. After the dissolution of the Ottoman sultanate and the establishment of the French mandate in Syria (1920), the Druze leadership played a crucial role in launching and sustaining the anti-French revolt (1925–27), after which an autonomous Druze state was created by the French in southern Syria. In 1944 the Druze agreed to surrender their autonomous rights in the Jebel Druz [jebel=mountain], as their section of Syria is called. Since then the Druze have been active in the political life of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Druze officers were noticeable in the history of Syria in the 1950s and 1960s. Walid Jumblatt and other Druze leaders took active roles during the Lebanese civil war. In Israel, the Druze were granted a “nationality” status distinct from the Arabic-speaking population, and are expected to serve in the Israeli army.

Bibliography

See R. B. Betts, The Druze (1988).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Druse

 

(1) A form of natural crystalline mineral aggregate. It is an accumulation of free crystals that have grown from one end (crystal face or edge) on the walls of cracks or closed cavities in rocks. The free part of the crystals is well defined, with the main direction of growth close to the perpendicular of the growth surface. Druses of quartz, amethyst, calcite, and stibnite often occur.

(2) In plants, an inclusion of calcium oxalate crystals that form in the cells of many plants during their life processes (for example, in the stems of the linden and in the stalks of begonia and dock leaves).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

druse

[drüz]
(geology)
A small cavity in a rock or vein encrusted with aggregates of crystals of the same minerals which commonly constitute the enclosing rock.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
After turning off his lights, Druse came off the ring road and went through two more sets of red lights as he turned into Radford Road where he overtook a taxi on a blind bend and went through another set of red lights at more than 60mph.
Even then, after a chase E covering 2.9 miles, Druse tried to continue, but stopped after a short distance and was arrested as he got out of the car.
Thousands of Druse surrounded the home of one of the two charged Druse Arabs when police arrived to arrest him in July, trapping officers inside for hours before the standoff ended peacefully.
(Editor's note: Eleanor Druse is a pen name; the author is Richard Dooling, and according to the book description on amazon.com, this title inspired the TV series, Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital.) Miles Klein, Frisco, TX