Particularism versus integration

The Druze communities in the modern Middle East

Authored by: Yusri Hazran

Routledge Handbook of Minorities in the Middle East

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138649040
eBook ISBN: 9781315626031
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315626031-15

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Abstract

Minority groups have long formed an important component of the social and cultural fabric of the Arab Middle East, their existence contributing to the pluralistic character of Arab society. Although the issue of numbers remains central to the distinction between majorities and minorities across the globe, the Arab Middle East is home to various minority groups. 1 Numerical size becomes particularly relevant in the face of religious or ethnic divides or religious-social structures. While the Arab Christian communities and Copts are different from the majority in their religion, the Kurds and Amazigh differ ethnically, for example. Similarly, despite sharing cultural values and historical background with Sunni Muslim society, the Druze, Alawites, Ismailis, and Shiites are generally regarded as minorities. This reflects the fact that minority status is also a matter of particularism and behavioral patterns.

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