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The Druze of Lebanon and Syria: Esoteric sect?

The Unitarian sect, the “Muwwahhidoun” (among themselves and excluding the Ignorant Juohhal)

The Druze religious sect constitutes one of the most extravagant of sects. The adepts, persecuted by the majority of Moslems, began to keep their distance from Islam to the point of having nothing much that links it to Islam.

The Druzes took refuge in the center of Mount Lebanon and in the surrounding high plateau in south of the Bekaa Valley, in Hasbaya and Rashaya, and in the Houran plateau in adjacent Syria and the Golan Heights.

The Druze adepts formed a distinct community and counted about 30,000 in 1860 when the mass massacres between the Druze and Maronite spread into Syria and Damascus and harvested thousands of civilians.

This peculiar religion appeared around the year 1,000, during the reign of the Fatimid Caliph Al Hakem (985-1018) in Egypt. (Read Note 2)

The Fatimid Caliph Al Hakem (985-1018) was a bizarre and complex person. He assassinated his tutors, gave order to kill all the prisoners in Cairo, and organized bloody combats as the night fell.

He drowned all his favorite women and his spouses in the Nile River, and ordered women never to leave their homes.

El Hakeem forbade eating the main food Mloukhia and many other ingredients, prohibited fishing and to sell fish with no scale…

He was a grand persecutor of Christians and burned their churches in Egypt and Syria…

El Hakem was claimed to have disappeared in 1021, to return at the End of Time.

This Caliph is believed to be God incarnate on earth by the Druze, and he is to be the last incarnate God.

The real founder of the Druze is Hamzeh, of Persian origin who settled in Cairo and was one of the closest to the caliph. Somehow he managed to be spared assassination by el Hakem.

Hamzeh began proselytizing in 1018 and proclaimed the divinity of his master el Hakem. Hamzeh dispatched his emissary Darazy to preach in Lebanon, in the regions of Hasbaya and Rashayya, close to the current Syrian borders with the Golan Heights.

Darazy ended up proclaiming to be divine and was assassinated, but the adepts had taken the name of Druze.

Hamzeh wrote 111 letters called “The Wise Letters”, which constitute the saint book for the Druze.

One of the letters attacked all the prophets and lambasted Prophet Mohammad as the calf, the devil, the bastard and the immature

The first dogmas is Metempsychosis, the soul is reincarnated into another mankind body  in order to resume its purification… This process continues until the Coming of Al Hakem.

The second main dogma is to rally the most powerful empire dominating the region and the most dominant of religion.

Since the dogma is of a high level rank that even the initiates have difficulty understanding, the Druze adepts must hide the mysteries, refrain from discussing the religion, and externally profess the dominant religion at the time...”. This attitude is referred to by “Takiyya

Actually, the Druze behavior was to adhere to the foreign missionaries religion who represented the most powerful nation at any period, studies in their schools and worked for them…

At the time, Islam was the dominant religion and they claimed to be Moslem.  The domination of Islam lasted too long in the region to be able to shift allegiance to another major religion.

As power shifts, the Druze shift allegiance. (Read Note 3)

A third dogma is to practice “Revenge” as a sacred responsibility against any one who kills a Druze.  The revenge should be dealt in a surprise manner, after a long time has elapsed to the killing, so as not to divulge the main perpetrator and why the target was killed…

The non Druze are called the Ignorant (as is the case in every religion), and the highest in the clergy are called the Wise (Okkal).

The Sheikh Akal is but the symbolic highest clergy or the main speaker in the name  of the sect: The real power resides in the highest group located in the saint place in Bayyada (the Hasbaya region). This assembly is the power who decides politically, militarily, socially, and religiously for the Druze… (Read Note 4)

Note 1: From the book “Memoirs of Syria: French expedition of 1860 to Lebanon and Damascus“, written by a French diplomat who attended all the negotiations to end the series of secular massacres between the Maronites and the Druzes

The first western published book on the Druze sect (1838) was by Sylvester de Sacy  in “Exhibit of the Druze religion”. The book is objective in the description and analysis, but lack the Orient comprehension of the deeper reality of this religion.

Sylvester de Sacy accompanied Bonaparte in his Egyptian campaign and stayed in Egypt for 40 years. 

One of the more recent books on the Druze sect was published in Paris in 1980 by 3 anonymous (non-western) authors and titled “Between the Logos (reason) and the Prophet” (Bayn al 3akl wa al nabi)

Note 2: Mind you that it was about this period that Byzantine Empire in Constantinople started another round of major persecution of the “heretic” Christian sects that opted to pay allegiance to the Pope of Rome. Among those persecuted Christian sects was the Maronite sect which fled and took refuge in the northern parts of the mountainous Mount Lebanon.

The Melkite (Royalist) Christian sect, later called the Orthodox Church, was the main persecutor of the Maronites and not any Moslem sect.

It is at the turn of this first millennial that many mysterious and underground religious sects were created and prospered. The Alawit sect spread at this period too.

The people were fearful and apprehensive of the coming calamities, but the extreme zealot people took advantage of people emotional weaknesses

Note 3: When the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser was dominating the politics of the Arabic World, the Druze sided with Nasser.

In 1975-76, the Druze, represented by the leader Kamal Jumblat, sided with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) that dominated Lebanon and headed by Yasser Arafat.

In 1976-82, the Druze, headed by the son Walid Jumblat, sided with the Pro-Syrian political factions

In 1982, the Druze sided with the invading Israeli troops and facilitated their advances and refused to confront them…

Note 4: The Takkiya is performed not just on the non-Druze, but this habit applies on their political leaders. For example, the Okkal Assembly were very displeased with Kamal Jumblat alliances with the PLO and communist Soviet Union. They gave Syria dictator Hafez Assad the green light to assassinate Kamal in 1978.

Note 5: The son Walid Jumblat got the message loud and clear and never ceased to obey the Okkal Assembly orders and decisions. Every season, Walid changes his position to coincide with the perceived strength of local and foreign powers. Walid keeps apologizing for his frequent “momentary lapses in judgments“.  But Walid doesn’t care, as long as the Druze believe that he is exercising wise intelligence.

What is your cult? Part 1

The Pendulum of Foucault” by Umberto Eco; (Jan. 13, 2010)

Have you heard of cults or occult organizations or metaphysical sects?

For example, Templar knights, Hospitr occult oalier Knights, Teutonic Knights, Free masons, Rose-cross, Ismailia, Druze, Druids, and hundreds of cults from all kinds of religious denominations that mushroomed in the last decades?

In general, the occult sects inherit their principles from one another and then perform selections among the propositions to build distinct belief systems.

The hierarchical organizations are basically the same with minor modifications as to number of “grades” or levels.

The initiation ceremonies or ordinations do not differ much because “what works does not have to be broken”, especially, since new sects are founded by already initiated members who defected and are used to already tried and well oiled routines.

Men wear variations in exotic attires and symbols; women invariably wear transparent long white tunics and end up naked as the ceremony unfolds. The whole spectrum of symbols, in shapes and numbers, is generated from the body structure, penis, women protuberances, the cavern of vagina, and blood.

The Templar Knights were persecuted around 1344 by the French monarch Philip Le Bel and the pope of Rome: Templar Knights over extended their power base in acquiring vast lands and lending money to monarchs and princes and had become the most influential secret organization in Europe. The “initiates” or members were willing to die rather than divulge secrets.

The book is about three authors specializing in the occult or diabolic manuscripts that were written and published in Europe in the last 600 years after the persecution of the Templar Knights. The authors tried to put together the many pieces of the puzzle that were gleamed from ancient manuscripts in order to construct a rational and logical story of Europe history events.

The authors discovered that they had written a new history and that they were investigating in the wrong direction for the last headquarters.  Then, they realized that the entire story was based on a commission list of a merchant at Provins and this list was not hidden in a case encrusted with diamonds but a rotting one.

Actually, the commission list mentions streets, churches, and forts that are located in the town of Provins.  The town was famous for clothing and growing red flowers imported from Syria during the crusading campaigns.  The merchant jotted down in short hand the locations to deliver six bouquets of roses, 20 sous each bouquet, for a total of 120 sous.

The cultist mentality wrecked havoc in Europe for 600 years based on rumors and the need for secrets to assemble people in organizations and associations.

The story starts from a cryptic message that it was attributed to the Templar Knights found in the town of Provins in south-west France near the Cathar sect region. The various interpretations led to the belief that the fleeing Knights took refuge in the town of Tomar in Portugal and devised a plan to be executed for a period of 600 years.

Every 120 years, the headquarters of the “Invisible Superiors” would be relocated to six different places so that each headquarters would relinquish the secret to the next headquarters.

Apparently, there are two secrets:

The initial secret was of religious nature and it became a cover up to the second secret for dominating the world.

The initial cult was based on the premises that either Jesus was not crucified and was whisked to Marseilles in France and his descended initiated the Merovingian French monarchic dynasty or that Jesus died but Marie Magdalena was impregnated by Jesus and was whisked away to start a new dynasty.

The other more enduring secret is presumably that earth underground is traversed by currents that can be controlled to spread havoc on earth crust if only the center or Umbilicus of the current could be determined; the center could be discovered if the entire pieces of a particular world cartographic chart can be put together and the sun ray hitting the right location on June 23 or Saint John Day at the beginning of earth summer solstice.

Thus, what was accepted as given was that the plan would move from Tomar in 1344 to Scotland in 1464 (during Roger de Bruce reign; see Braveheart of Mel Gibson), then to Paris in 1584 at Saint Martin des Champs, then to Germany in 1704 at Marienburg near Dantzig, then to Bulgaria in 1824, and finally to Jerusalem in 1944.

The headquarters was transferred to Scotland but the next transfer to Paris didn’t take place and problems started. Every sub-cult wanted to put the pieces together all by itself since serious discontinuity of the plan to rule the world was ruined.  Jon Dee, the astrologer of Elizabeth I, was the Grand Master of Templar Knights in England and then Francis Bacon succeeded him by poisoning Dee.

It happened that the Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in 1582 by abolishing 10 days from October 5 to 14.  Thus, the meeting on June 23 might not have taken place because the English arrived on June 13.

Rumors said that Jon Dee expressly didn’t show up simply because he wanted the secret to himself, now and then, and that he could discover it.  Dee set up a subterfuge of sending maritime expeditions to circumvent earth in order to gather most of the cartographies of the world available at the time.

One rumor is that the Jewish Diaspora got wind that the Christians have an important secret and got into their own investigative whirlwind.  The ghettos were targeted for information because the abbot Pic de la Mirandolla referred that Hebrew is the language to learn in order to decipher the cryptic messages using the Talmud.

Abbot Mirandolla had ruled Florence for four years around 1450 and encouraged the citizens to initiate monster bonfires each year to burn luxury items, luxury furniture and clothes, and masterpieces in paintings. The trend became to learn Hebrew and applying all kinds of combinational cryptology on the Talmud.

In fact, the Jesuits of Ignacio de Loyola invented a combinatorial chart that preceded Babbage mechanical idea to read between the lines.

Another rumor was that the Jesuits organization was attuned to these secrets and working to put together the puzzle; the Jesuits were behind switching to the Georgian calendar?

Anyway, France’s Grand Master Guillaume Postel died in 1581 and a Jesuit abbot confessed him.  Francis Bacon traveled to Prussia to connect with the Grand Master in Marienburg and he instituted many Templar Knights cults around Europe to gather information.

Europe’s wars (such as the 30 years war, Napoleon, and Hitler wars) were attributed to cultist mentality running around for the secret to dominate the world.

The second part would extend more details.

Horrors of civil war, (Ch. 33)

In 1984, I experienced bombing while on the road and close to home; I think I parked my car for less than a minute and resumed my drive.  

I was once taken to interrogation by the Mourabitouns (a Sunni militia) as I was crossing to West Beirut.

Patrick, my cousin anesthesiologist, was accompanying me in that trip and he believed that we would be eliminated and our bodies dumped; “no see, no hear, never existed”.

We were whisked behind a building for interrogation, and there was a tree in the dirty courtyard.  We were set free (ejet 3ala salameh)  

I visited West Beirut many times to see cousin Jihad and Nada, to have a feel of that section of Beirut, and I tried to link up with a political Party.

The leaders objected to any communication with them, and warned me never to set foot again in West Beirut, on account that the Party could not protect me if I was apprehended in East Beirut.

They said they lacked any leverage  (incapacity) to swap me with other much more important prisoners. 

And All that I wanted is a change in environment and people and “quality” time off. Life was then terribly boring and insecure in the Christian sectors.

I also witnessed in the street of Mazraa in West Beirut a militia tank of the Druze warlord Walid Jumblat driving hard, back and forth , in a show of force to the Amal militia of Nabih Berri (he is currently the head of the Parliament, for life it seems).  I felt worried but not terribly afraid.

I was under the impression that the Druze militia took advantage of a few firing shots to check the functionality of their unique tank. (I reserved a category on my blog adonis49.wordpress.com for eye-witness accounts on the horrors of the Lebanese civil war and many other articles in the category Lebanon/ Middle East).

It was a period of relative peace in our district of Metn after the Israeli vacated Beirut in 1982.

I remember vividly that about seven soldiers of the Israeli “Defense” force (a force that has never been on the defensive since the creation of the Zionist State in 1948) camped for over two weeks at the entrance of lower Beit-Chabab, (my hometown and one mile from my location in Koneitra) but they never installed a checking point (at least not when I visited my town during the day).

The Israeli soldiers just read books under the shade of large trees.  A few girls visited them on evenings while taking walks and a few chatted with them.  I made sure not to drive frequently to Beit-Chabab while the enemy was there.

The Palestinian resistance forces were shipped out to Tunisia on French boats; but it was not that peaceful in the Chouf or south Lebanon. In the Druze Chouf district the Israelis encouraged the Maronite Lebanese forces to re-enter that district after they were chased out when Kamal Jumblat was assassinated a few years ago. 

The “Lebanese Forces” humiliated the Druze under the watch of the Israeli forces. 

In south Lebanon, many kamikaze martyrs exploded cars in Israeli headquarter and check points.

The first such martyrs were young girls, about three girls in three successful attacks.

Lebanon: An improbable Statehood in the making (Part 2, February 20, 2008)

Note:  I added four footnotes for current development    

Under the leadership of Hezbollah, the Shias in the south and the Bekaa Valley are basically the main caste shouldering the heavy burden of defending Lebanon from the frequent aggressions of Israel.  Without the Shiaa, south Lebanon would have long been swallowed by Israel and Lebanon divided and scraped from the number of independent States.  It is the Shiaa who forced Israel to withdraw unconditionally from the south in May 24, 2000.  It is the Shiaa who foiled the strategy of Israel of reconquering the south of Lebanon in July 2006 and installing a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East.  

Hezbollah split from the main “Amal” Shiaa movement around 1983 and adopted an ideology tightly linked to the Khomeini hardliners in Iran and is made responsible for the suicide attacks against the US and French headquarters in Beirut.  Hezbollah was the only resistance movement allowed by Syria to operate against Israel’s occupation in the south of Lebanon since 1991 when the US Administration permitted Syria mandate over Lebanon for over 15 years.  Syria had prohibited all the other Lebanese nationalistic and progressive parties to resume their liberation resistance during its occupation of Lebanon. 

After the assassination of Rafic Hariri PM in 2005 and the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Lebanon we have been experiencing a serious void in the legitimacy of the current government.  The entente between the Tayyar political party of Michel Aoun (Free Patriotic Movement for Reform and Change) and Hezbollah has allayed the perception that schemes for a recurring civil war in under planning.  The patient internally non-violence strategy of Hezbollah in conducting non-cooperation activities against an unjust and usurping government has permitted the Lebanese population to gain the assurance and relief that another civil war is not feasible.  

This Seniora’s government and its allies have been plundering the public treasury for the past three years and for the last 15 years under Rafic Hariri; this continuous regime has been spreading poverty and deepening the indebtedness and ineptness of Lebanon, with the explicit support of the Bush administration, under the guise of empty rhetoric of democracy, security and independence from Syria’s indirect involvement in Lebanon.

  Consequently, the Shiaa have proven to be the legitimate sons of an independent Lebanon and have paid the prices of martyrdom, suffering, sacrifice and pain in order to be the guarantor for the emergence of a Nation against all odds.  It is the sacrifices of the Shiaa and their patience to suffer for the benefit of all Lebanese that is providing them with the leverage of flexibility, intent to change, learn from experience and improve.  The successive unilateral withdrawals of Israel from Lebanon since 1982 without any preconditions have given the Lebanese citizen grounds to standing tall. 

Our main problem is that the International requirements of Lebanon and our local politics are at odds.  The USA, Europe and Saudi Arabia would like to settle the Palestinian refugees as Lebanese citizens with full rights and thus avoiding the corny problem of their legitimate rights to be repatriated to Israel as stated in the UN resolution of 194.  The Monarchy in Saudi Arabia has been viewing the Palestinian question as a major liability since the extremist party of Hamas has taken power in Gaza; Saudi Arabia is exhausted of paying the bills everytime Israel destroys the infra-structure of Lebanon and covering some of the expenses of the Palestinian refugees and would like an end to this conflict that is hampering the internal stability of the Wahabi Saudi regime. Israel invasions of Lebanon and its genocide tactics against the Palestinians are done at the urging of the USA 

The two main local movements of the Future Party and Hezbollah are more than content for this unconstitutional political dilemma which suits their short-term interests.  The Future is satisfied with its dominance among the Sunnis in Beirut and the North and thus, giving the Palestinian refugees citizenship might create an unknown variable that could disrupt the majority of the Sunni allegiance to the Al Moustakbal.  Consequently, the Hariri clan cannot disobey the Saudi orders but it cannot shoot itself in the foot.  Externally, the Hariri clan is pro Saudi but in reality it is very cozy with the Syrian position on the Palestinian refugee status as its strongest card during the negotiations with the USA and afterward.  The unstable constitutional political system in Lebanon may delay indefinitely any serious pressures from Saudi Arabia and the USA to resolving the Palestinian refugees’ question.  Hezbollah is weary of having to deal with a constitutional government and negotiate returning its arms to the Lebanese army.  Thus, the two main parties in Lebanon are supporting each other practically and just playing the game of opposing forces.

  Furthermore, The USA has decided after the fiasco of the July war in 2006 that no more investment in time on Lebanon is appropriate at this junction.  We have to wait for a new US administration to decide whether it is willing to re-open the file of the Near East problems.

The allies to the two main parties are side shows; they know it and they cannot change camps with the deep mistrust for the other side pledges and dependent policies to foreign powers.  Thanks to the vehement rhetoric against Syria or its allies in Lebanon by Walid Jumblatt and Samir Geaja, the Future party has been able to give the impression that it is against the Syrian regime while practically it agrees with the Syrian positions and would like to keep the present status quo in Lebanon’s political system of the Taef Constitutional amendments.  

General Michel Aoun has realized that he has been taken by the sweet tender offers of Hezbollah but he cannot shift allegiance or form a third alliance since non resolution of the situation is the name of the game until further agreement among the main Arab states and the main superpowers. Recently, General Aoun has demonstrated his independence by visiting Syria for 5 days amid a popular welcome to re-establish entente between the two people, if not the regimes.

So far, the polemics among the government’s allies and the opposition political parties are not shy of harboring sectarian allegiances in their charged speeches but somehow they failed to discuss the actual caste, or closed religious system in our social structure, which is the fundamental problem toward a modern state of governance. I do not believe that any fair and representative electoral law is of utility unless the basic caste system is recognized as a sin and altered accordingly to represent an alternative for the citizen joining a united and free status under one State. 

The first step is to instituting a voluntary State marriage law and letting the situation unfold into a more liberal understanding of the need of the people.  The road is very long and arduous before the beginning of a semblance of trust among the Lebanese is established.  However, I feel that the Shiaa under the leadership of a wise and disciplined Hezbollah and their corresponding Christian Free Patriotic movement are leading the way for a semi-autonomous Lebanon, at least in its internal restructuring.  I believe that the necessities of survival would loosen up many stiff ideological and caste roadblocks toward a reformed political system and the institution of a governing body that abide in integrity, accountability and justice for all.

It is a fact that extremist Sunni “salafist” ideology is gaining quickly in all the Arab and Moslem World, out of desperation and the widespread illiteracy and lack of job openings. (See note 3).  Maybe our mix of all kinds of sects might be a rampart to our moderate liberal tendencies.

The spirit of Statehood is coming from an unforeseen quarter; mainly the Shiaa caste freshly arriving in the social and political scene around 1970.  This disinherited caste was already a majority when the civil war of 1975 broke out and it suffered from the total ignorance of the central government for infrastructure and social services and had also to suffer the humiliation and atrocities of frequent Israeli air raids and land attacks and bombing of their villages under the disguise of dislodging the Palestinian guerillas.  

The Shiaa caste is opening up to almost all sects and managed to ally with large sections of many other castes.  This extending arm might be considered as necessary out of the realization that they are a majority in Lebanon and a real minority in the neighboring States of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. This necessity is a blessing to Lebanon because the main major caste is encouraging unity against foreign invaders. 

In the event that Hezbollah maintains its strength then it can be forecasted that the economic strategy of Lebanon will shift from tourism and third sector (the Hariri’s clan strategy) into more emphasis on agriculture and small and medium industries, many of it geared toward guerilla warfare.  This is how the future looks like to me if no overall peace treaty with Israel is realized any time soon.

 

I used the term “Statehood” for Lebanon in a general sense to convey that a form of unity is developing in the conscious of the Lebanese but this notion of Nation is far from appropriate to Lebanon simply because experiences since independence could not provide any evidence to a unified people under legitimate and responsible central governments.  Lebanon is fundamentally an amalgamation of castes that enjoy self-autonomy.  I still believe that the Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians, and Jordanians naturally form a Nation and they should generate a common market with separate recognized States.

I am convinced the Taef Constitution was meant to have total entente among the various main three religious castes in Lebanon before starting to elect a new president to the Republic; the entente should involve everything from election law, to the constitution of the government and other priorities.  This fact translates into agreement among the main Arab States and the main superpowers on how Lebanon should be governed during six years.  Unless the Lebanese leaders and political parties get together to review the Taef Constitution and be willing to pay the price of deciding to have a mind of their own then Lebanon is de facto under the UN protectorate.

 

Note 1: the current Dawha agreement translated the spirit of Taef in its temporary execution until the Parliamentary election takes place.

 

Note 2:  The Future movement of the Hariri clan (Saad Hariri is a Saudi citizen) is practically pro-Syrian but it cannot overtly open up to the Syrian regime as long as Saudi Arabia is not currently in good term with President Bashar Assad.

 

Note 3:  The Sunni “salafist” movement expressed its strong arm tendencies in the Palestinian camp of Nahr Al Bared; the Lebanese army destroyed the camp along with the extremist Sunni group and the ramifications are not over in our internal strife.

 

Note 4:  The social/political structure is held by 19 recognized castes or columns that grow at different paces in demography.  Thus, the top of our Temple must be very flexible and changeable when foreign powers decide to destabilize the tacit agreement among the caste political feudal leaders.

Lebanon: An improbable Statehood in the making (Part 1, February 19, 2008)

 

Note: I had this large file; I split it in smaller specialized topics. Thus, I created another category called “Lebanon/Middle East”.  I divided the large articles into parts of less than 1500 words after re-editing and attaching notes for current events.

 

                        Lebanon has been mentioned countless times in the ancient stories of the Jewish Bible as the land of milk and honey and snow covered majestic mountains (thus its name) and of cedars, pine and oak trees. Lebanon has been described for its skilled inhabitants and sea faring mariners and commercial ingenuity by establishing trading counters around the Mediterranean Sea.  Lebanon is recognized as a formal States in the UN since its inception in 1946 at the sessions in San Francisco after the end of WWII; its delegate participated in the writing of the UN charter and the Human Rights.  Lebanon snatched its independence from the colonial mandated France in 1943 with a big help from Britain.  The last French troops vacated this land in 1946.  Still the Lebanese are lacking the definitive belief in a motherland.

                        Lebanon is surely a good place for leisure time and a vacationing location for its immigrants; many families that can afford to leave for greener pastures are not overly disturbed of not returning definitively.  Most Lebanese have not participated as a “Nation” to defend the land of aggressors and to preserving its unity.  After over 65 years of nominal independence the political system has failed miserably to convince the Lebanese that prospect for security and lasting development is feasible.

                        The main problem is that we have 19 officially recognized castes, closed sects, with autonomous personal status legal systems, associated with each respective sect.  Thus, the Lebanese citizen is practically a member of a caste from birth to death whether he likes it or not.  The political system has followed this caste structure and allocated the civil service positions, and in the highest levels, according to tacit agreements. A strict quota define what level and which function a citizen can attain and the number of deputies in the Parliament and ministers in the government according to a structured quota relative to the hierarchy of the caste after each civil war.

                        Members of a caste have realized that services could be obtained through the leadership of their caste and not from a central government or legal rights.

 

                        There are large sections among the citizens who have leftist tendencies, such as Marxists, progressives and seculars.  The main two political secular parties are comprised of members from all castes; they would like to establish reforms to the political system. Thus, the following harsh criticisms are not targeting individuals but the social structure in general.  Unfortunately, I had to adopt sectarian terminology in order to get the point through as clearly and as simply as feasible.

                        The Druze sect located mainly in the Chouf district and part of the Bekaa Valley that borders the Golan Height was originally a Shiaa sect affiliated to the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt around the 13th century.  When we mention Shiaa it is meant a sect among other sects that refused to abide by the Moslem Sunni sect that paid allegiance to a Caliphate not directly descending from the Prophet Mohammad.  After the demise of the Fatimid dynasty the Druze were harshly persecuted and they opted to close the membership in order to discourage serious infiltrations to their sect.  They admonished their members to have two positions, one that would satisfy the power to be and another of a more intimate belief system.  For example, Walid Jumblat is a typical Druze leader with two-faced messages and ready to change his political position when opportunities of allying to the strongest power materialize. In general, the Druze sect is suspicious and even hates every sect bordering their location of concentration.  They have practically allied to anyone that might weaken the political and economic status of their neighboring sects.  The Druze is the only citizen who recognizes that he belongs to a caste, a closed religious sect, where no outside believers can be accepted and none of the members scratched from the register. This is a dying sect that failed to open up and comprehend or assimilate the notion of belonging to a larger community or nation to unite with.

                        The Moslem Sunni sect is even worse than the Druze because it has been functioning as a caste since independence but not acknowledging it.  The Sunni sect has nothing in its religion to prevent it from opening up and uniting with other sects under one nation. It has enjoyed supreme privileges as the main caste during the Ottoman Sunni Empire and had the opportunities to concentrate in the main cities on the littoral and also to trade and communicate with foreigners and other sects but it opted to hide in its shell and stave off changes and reforms.  Foreign travelers and many accounts have revealed that nobody could rent in a Sunni house or has been invited inside their lodging. Only Sunni males were seen outside doing business; women were never seen outside their domiciles. Man reached the moon but the Sunni caste has yet to acknowledge this achievement.

                        The leaders of the Sunni caste agreed in the National Pact, right after independence, to share power with the Christian Maronite sect but they kept vigilant to continuously allying with the most powerful Sunny Arab State of the moment.  The civil wars of 1958 and then 1975 started in order to regain hegemony over the Maronite political privileges in the new political system.  The Sunni sect has allies with the monarchies in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Sunni State of Egypt and it frequently takes positions with Arab foreign powers at the detriment of national unity.  In general, the Sunni still hope for a return to a Caliphate reign and support all kinds of Sunni fundamentalists and salafists.  This caste is very adamant in proscribing matrimonial relationship outside its caste.

             The Maronite sect was very open for centuries and was the main religion that established roots in the Druze canton because the feudal Druze landlords needed the Maronite peasants to work their hard lands.  In 1860 a bloody civil war broke out in the Druze canton and thousands of Maronites were massacred.  When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, it encouraged the Christian Lebanese Forces to entertain military presence in the Druze canton.  As the Israeli forces vacated the Chouf region then the Druze feudal lord Walid Jumblat asked the aid of the Palestinian factions at the orders of the Syrian regime and he systematically slaughtered the Maronites and thus, drove the Christians out of the Druze canton and back to their original cantons of centuries back. 

            Since 1990, the government allocated over two billion dollars to repatriate the Christians to the Chouf and only 15% returned; there is no accountability in which black hole all that money was siphoned in. The Maronite adopted the closed sect system when agreeing to the National Pact and it is extremely difficult for non-Christians to join this sect.

           

            The Shia Moslem sect is currently the most numerous but it was not so when Lebanon got its independence and it was not centralized to effect any political changes. The feud between the Shiaa and the Sunny is historically and fundamentally a clan warfare between the Muslims who demand the Caliphate to be a direct descended to the Prophet and those who don’t mind as long as the Caliphate is from the Kureich family, mainly Hashem or Ummaya or whatever.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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