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Other Religious Communities in Palestine before 1948 (Nakba), British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine: Volume II - Page 925. Chapter XXII: Community And Religious Affairs: Section 6
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Posted on October 28, 2007
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Posted by Webmaster on June 15, 2013 #151229

CHAPTER XXII.

(c) The Agudat Israel have requested that their religious schools should be treated in the same wav as the Vaad Leumi schools in respect of Government subsidy. In pursuance of a policy of encouraging secular efficiency in religious schools, financial grants have been made on an increasing scale to the Agudat Israel schools since 1941/42, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.

Section 6.

OTHER RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES.

110. In addition to the Moslems, the Jews and the Christians there are four small religious communities in Palestine ..

111. The Druzes, with a present population of about 13,000 (at the 1931 census there were 9,148), inhabit villages on Mount Carmel and in the hill country of the Acre, Safad and Tiberias sub-districts of Galilee. The original home of the Druzes is the Lebanon, over which for centuries they disputed authority with the Maronites. After the events of 1860, however, the Druzes migrated in large numbers to the Jebel Hauran in southern Syria, which now contains a greater Druze population than the Lebanon itself. The Druze faith is secret not only to the world at large but to the majority of the Druzes themselves, who are divided into initiated ('uqal, 'intelligent') and uninitiated (juhal, 'ignorant'). It is a chaotic mixture of Islam, Christianity and yet older elements, and it regards both the Gospel and the Quran as inspired books, although it gives to them a peculiar interpretation. The word 'Druse' is commonly derived from one Isma'il Darazi, the first missionary to the Druses, although some derive it from the Arabic darasa (those who read the book) or darisa (those in possession of truth) or tlurs (the clever or initiated). The Druses believe in the divinity of the mad Fatimite Khalif Hakim (£196- 1020) of whom Darazi was the apostle.

The Druses in Palestine have their own Kadi recognised by Government (Sheikh Amin Tarif of Julis village, Acre subdistrict), but there is no one leader accepted by the whole lay community, although there are two or three families whose beads have influence of a somewhat feudal kind over certain sections of it. The Druses have a number of holy shrines in Palestine of which the most important are those at Hittin (Tiberias subdistrict) and Sabalan (Safad sub-district).

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