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The Druze religion has its roots in Ismailism, a religio-philosophical movement which founded the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt in the tenth century.
During the reign of al-Hakim (996 - 1021) the Druze creed came into being, blending Islamic monotheism with Greek philosophy and Hindu influences.
The Druze community in Israel is officially recognized as a separate religious entity with its own courts (with jurisdiction in matters of personal status - marriage, divorce, maintenance and adoption) and spiritual leadership.
Their culture is Arab and their language Arabic but they opted against mainstream Arab nationalism in 1948 and have since served (first as volunteers, later within the draft system) in the Israel Defense Forces and the Border Police.
The Druze perform their spiritual reckoning with God at all times, and consequently need no special days of fasting or atonement.
The Druze religion is secret and closed to converts.
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Female - 33 General Info: I know it is a dishonor but I am in fear of betraying my family.Active proselytizing of the new creed was brief; since about 1050 the community has been closed to outsiders.The first Druze settled in what is now southern Lebanon and northern Israel.The Druze in Galilee and on Mount Carmel have always kept in contact with the other branches of the community, especially with those of Mt. During the British Mandate over Palestine they refrained from taking part in the Arab-Jewish conflict, and during Israel's War of Independence (1948) became active participants on Israel's side.The Druze consider their faith to be a new interpretation of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Worldwide there are probably about one million Druze living mainly in Syria and Lebanon, with 104,000 in Israel, including about 18,000 in the Golan (which came under Israeli rule in 1967) and several thousands who emigrated to Europe and North and South America.