Showing posts from December 29, 2013

Syrian Druze forced to accept Sunni Islam

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem BEIRUT, Lebanon – Last week, a Syrian friend who lives in Damascus, told me, “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS), Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, has forced the Druze of Idlib in North Syria to announce their conversion to Islam.” The Druze are a monotheistic community and call themselves  Ahl al-Tawhid  (“People of Monotheism”) or  al-Muwaḥḥidūn  (“the Unitarians”). The Druze sect is an offshoot of Ismailism, a branch of Shi’a Islam. The Druze are a small minority of about 1,500,000 found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.  The Druze say they are Muslims and believe in the monotheism of Allah, his Prophet Muhammad and his book, Al Qu’ran. But some researchers say Druze beliefs incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions and from some philosophies, particularly Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism and others. The Druze doctrine is indeed esoteric and the group’s book,  Al-Hikmat , is not available to anyone in the