Or Druze; Religious sect in the Middle East of some 300,000 people. It began as a branch of Shiite Islam, based on a belief in the divinity of the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim (996–1021) and that he will return at the end of time. Their particular doctrines are kept secret, even from the majority of members.
The Druse sect was founded in Egypt in the 11th century, and then fled to Palestine to avoid persecution; today they occupy areas of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Their scriptures are drawn from the Bible, the Koran, and Sufi allegories. Druse militia groups formed one of the three main factions involved in the Lebanese civil war (the others are Amal Shiite Muslims and Christian Maronites).
The Druse military leader (from the time of his father's assassination 1977) is Walid Jumblatt.
A member of a religious sect originating among Muslims and centered in Lebanon and Syria.