The news that George Clooney, the perpetual bachelor, had gotten engaged to Amal Alamuddin, a stunning Arab beauty, who (ahem, ahem) is also a badass brainy Oxford-educated international human rights lawyer—pardon us, barrister—has now officially gone viral.     Here   and here  and here.

On social media, many professional women, in their 30s and 40s, have expressed joy that Clooney was wedding a brainy (Ok, and stunning) professional woman.

Many human rights activists see this as an opportunity to bring attention to catastrophes like Syria.

Many Arabs are naturally seeing this as a confirmation of the attractiveness of Arabs.   [Just check out the outburst of pride on FB!]

George Clooney

George Clooney from Wikipedia.

There is the perhaps to-be-expected satirical reports Israel would now order strikes on “hot Lebanese women”.

And yet there remains the question:  what religion is Ms. Amal Alamuddin?   The reports are mixed, some proclaiming her as Muslim, and some not.

Here are the facts:

*Ms. Alamuddin comes from a Druze background.
The Druze started out as a medieval off-shoot of the Ismaili sect of Shi’ism.

*Druze prefer to refer to themselves as the “People of Divine Unity” or “The Monotheists.”

*They are primarily a gnostic movement.   As was the case with a number of other esoteric and gnostic movements in medieval Islam, they divided the human community to the select few who are initiated in the mysteries and the uninitiated masses.   They prefer to refer to themselves as possessing secret, mystical knowledge (‘irfan), in a parallel way to what Sufis and philosophers claim.

*The one to two million Druze in the world used to be concentrated in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.  Along with many other Syrians, the Syrian Druzes have been displaced.  Many are living today as refugees.

*   The origin of the Druze goes back to Egypt.   While Egypt today is largely seen as the epicenter of the Arab Sunni world, the origins of Egypt’s Muslim heritage actually go back to the Shi’i tradition.  (Likewise, Iran which today is the center of the Shi’i world was for much of its history the seat of Sunni learning.)     In the 10th century, the Fatimid Dynasty established an Ismai’ili Shi’i realm in Egypt.  Cairo was built as their capital, and the formidable Al-Azhar University—arguably the oldest university in the world—was initially started as a center of Shi’i learning.

Fatimid Caliph, Al-Hakim bi Amr Allah

Fatimid Caliph, Al-Hakim bi Amr Allah From Wikipedia.

The full articulation of the Druze teachings go back to the sixth Fatimid caliph, al-Mansur, more commonly known as al-Hakim bi Amr Allah (r. 996–1021 CE).  It is hard to be certain of al-Hakim’s actual teachings, because there are so many polemical accounts which portray him as having made claims to divinity.  But some of these may well be attempts to retrospectively dismiss him.

After al-Hakim, Hamza ibn Ali, claimed particular access to Qur’anic and Biblical wisdom.   The name Druze refers to a follower of Hamza named Al-Darazi who eventually came to proclaim himself as the “imam” instead of Hamza.    The teachings of the Druze reflects many of the notions of the Isma’ilis, including that of cycles of revelation and inspiration revelation.

 So here is the ultimate question:   Are the Druze Muslims?

It depends on whom you ask. Probably a decent analogy would be to that of whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are Christians. Today increasingly many Christians (including some evangelicals) have moved in that direction. What remains indisputable is that the Druze had their origin among a distinct Shi’i gnostic movement, and the doctrines and practices of the Druze would be incomprehensible apart from this wider Islamic tradition. It may be even useful to compare the Druze with the Baha’i movement, another much more recent offshoot of Shi’ism.

So, is George Clooney married to a Muslim?   Is this part of the Muslim plot to Take.   Over.  The world?   
The cruel Muslim(ish) plot to take over the world by snatching the person the headlines keep calling “the world’s most eligible bachelor”?

Let’s take a deep breath, and relax. Congratulations to the lovebirds.  And let us hope that they can be a small part of bringing the attention of the human rights community and activists to Syria, which is so urgently in need of healing.   And wish them a long life of love, companionship, friendship, joy, and delight.

 

 

 

Some of the above information has been obtained from an encyclopedia entry on the Druze, which provides more details on their practices.

 

 

80 Comments

  1. Prof, why not just go for it all. Swords in to plowshares.

    He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.—Isaiah 2:3–4

    good to have dreamers though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8

  2. I can tell you for sure, Druze are not Muslims, non of them would ever say they are Muslims.
    the people who started the Druze were Muslims, and decided they are not gonna be.
    but the rest of the Druze followers came from all over the world.
    the Druze are in every country almost.

    • Yes, because if she is a Muslim, he would *have* had to have become one to have married her.

      (I know, it happened to me marrying a Muslim woman).

      So, my guess is she isn’t a Muslim because he didn’t convert.

  3. The Baha’i Faith is an independent world religion. Stating that the Baha’i Faith is an offshoot of Shi’ism is the same as stating that Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism or Islam is an offshoot of Christianity.

    “Probably a decent analogy would be to that of whether the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) are Christians. Today increasingly many Christians (including some evangelicals) have moved in that direction. What remains indisputable is that the Druze had their origin among a distinct Shi’i gnostic movement, and the doctrines and practices of the Druze would be incomprehensible apart from this wider Islamic tradition. It may be even useful to compare the Druze with the Baha’i movement, another much more recent offshoot of Shi’ism. “

  4. So, is George Clooney married to a Muslim? Is this part of the Muslim plot to Take. Over. The world? The cruel Muslim(ish) plot to take over the world by snatching the person the headlines keep calling “the world’s most eligible bachelor”? – See more at: http://omidsafi.religionnews.com/2014/04/29/george-clooney-amal-alamuddin/#sthash.uGs65ICK.dpuf

    Goodness…are u seriousss??? He was attracted to Fatimah Bhutto, a Muslim too, a while ago…she carefully distanced herself from him…. was that the Muslim plot too??? Yikes!!!!!!!!!!

  5. “Confirmation of attractiveness of Arabs” Lol, every race has attractive and not so attractive, there are arab/middle eastern women who are much prettier than her. I don’t understand what the author is trying to achieve by that statement.

  6. Muslim are terrorist?
    Who started the 1st World War?
    Muslims?
    Who started the 2nd World War?
    Muslims?
    Who threw nuclear bomb on
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Muslims?
    Who kills approximately 20 million
    aborigins in Australia? Muslims?
    Who kills more than 100 million red
    indians in North America? Muslims?
    Who kills more than 50 million red
    indians in South America? Muslims?
    Who took about 180 million Africans
    as slaves and kills 77% of them?
    Muslims?
    When America takes 1 million lives in
    Iraq for oil – Not terrorism
    When Serbs rape muslim women in
    Kosovo/Bosnia – Not terrorism
    When Russians kill 200,000 chechens
    in bombing – not terrorism
    When Jews kick out Palestinians and
    take their land – Not terrorism
    When American drones kill entire
    family and Afghanistan/Pakistan – Not
    terrorism
    When Israel kills 10,000 lebanese
    civilians due to two missing soldiers -
    Not terrorism
    When Muslims retaliate and show you
    how you treat us – TERRORISM?
    IT SEEMS LIKE THE WORD
    “TERRORISM” IS ONLY DESERVED FOR
    MUSLIMS.
    Well people are stupid.

  7. I found the explanation of the history of the Druze to be fascinating. I’ve read a number of books about them, but this explanation told a great deal of the story very well, and a number of the comments helped to enlighten the subject even more. I knew about its origins in Egypt and the name Darazi from which the followers of that faith take its name. I also was acquainted with their belief in the transmigration of the soul. One of the problems with knowing more about the belief system is that it is a secret faith with nobody, and it’s usually men, become a complete “initiate” until the age of 40, which I guess seems to be a fairly foolproof method of keeping a faith secret. If one is serious in the faith, and studies it until age 40 understanding the strictures on revealing its contents, that is a secret that an individual will probably keep. However, having a secret faith often leads to many miscomprehensions by outsiders on just what Druze believe. For some of us, “mind your own business” doesn’t suffice.

  8. Zionist Crimes Against Christianity

    For the Zionists the Palestinian Christians represent an obstacle to their plan to create a Jewish State in Palestine that would be 100% Jewish.
    In 1948, the Zionists expelled from Palestine 100,000 Christians.
    During the 1948 war, Zionists destroyed desecrated and profaned Christian churches, convents and institutions throughout the Occupied area of Palestine.
    During the June the June war of 1967 Israeli forces shelled and damaged many churches in the old city of Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
    Israeli forces opened the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to Jews who poured into the holiest place in Christendom indecently dressed behaving disrespectfully joking, singing and pouring pharisaic hate and insults against Christianity and against Jesus Christ inside the Holy Sepulchre and next to the tomb of Jesus Christ.
    Israeli Authorities censor all films and plays to prevent mentioning the name of Jesus Christ.
    The Zionist reflected with their action the deep-felt hatred of everything Christian embedded in the Zionist ideology. Testimony shows that this hatred went so deep that the Zionist authorities removed the international “+” sign from mathematics textbooks because of the resemblance of the plus sign to the Christian Cross.

  9. EgyptianMuslim

    yes druze are muslims , they are mystical muslims , i like their islamic mystical philosophy , their school of thought started in Egypt with the ismaili muslims , originally Egypt was an ismaili country and the head of the ismaili empire and most of us were ismailis not sunnis , we were forced to convert to sunni islam by the sunni kurdish maniac saladdin , he brought sunni imams from iraq to force us on sunnism and he persecuted the Egyptian ismaili imams and shutdown the first university in the world ” al azhar ” university which was an ismaili center for knowledge and later after saladdin al azhar was converted into a sunni institution but anyway as i said originally we were ” ismailis , sufis , druze and assassins ” with a sunni minority .

  10. All the readers I Druze and I must make it clear to you,Druze it’s not a Muslim, we do not have mosques, and we have nothing in common with Muslims.
    then if she a Druze then she have nothing to do with muslims .

  11. Omid Safi

    hi Yaqin. My point has always been that we need a genuine re-organization of the world community, starting with the UN, to enable interventions based on humanitarian reasons, not geopolitical interests. That would remove the US from being the imperfect watchdog/bully of the world, and move us to a clearer model of humanitarianism. And I do support the removal of everyone’s chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons.

  12. Hi Professor Safi, thank you for your reply, and again, I appreciate the space to engage with your ideas.

    You asked: “Are the Druze Muslims?”

    This question cannot be answered justly without acknowledging what Druze today actually think about it. You don’t do this at all. (Noting that Druze prefer to identify themselves as “People of Divine Unity” doesn’t really address this question; c.f. Catholic vs. Orthodox vs. Christian) Your comparison to Mormons more specifically focused on what other Christians think of Mormons, without mentioning that Mormons themselves identify as Christians. The clear implication is that whether or not the Druze are Muslims depends at least in part on the judgments of non-Druze.

    It is not polemical to object to this way of thinking.

    My position is simply that no one has the right to decide for others what the “basic minimum” of a faith is. Saying otherwise is the argument that is used to persecute the Ahmadiyya, and other minority sects around the world. Look at the Druze in Syria right now (where they are apparently legally defined as Muslims), suffering because they don’t fit in with some radicals’ idea of the “basic minimum.” They don’t deserve that, do they?

    It’s one thing to acknowledge a people’s basic identity claims (whatever they may be – as I said, many Druze do not identify as Muslim) and another thing to situate them in their historical and social contexts. Doing the first does not prevent one from doing the latter.

  13. Oh paleeezzz!!! You want only the US to have the nuclear power and strength to control major parts of the world?? Why? So it can manipulate 3/4′s of the world for its own political and economical gains….??? hmmmm….

  14. Of course.

    It is a funny site.

    I was hoping that was going to be obvious by the weblink name. But Poe’s Law and all. I probably should have ended it with a smiley. :)

  15. Well we have the longest record of having them, only used them twice and only threatened to use them once against someone else who had them.

    The US already manipulates 3/4th of the world. Its got a big economy which buys a lot of stuff.

  16. If you are a Druze person then you should know that Druze are not supposed to marry outside of their sect, and no one can become Druze since conversion is impossible, not even the invincible George Clooney. I’m surprised more Druze are not angry at this engagement, but I’m sure they are and are just hiding it. Plus, it is funny that just because she is marrying a famous actor it is okay, but perhaps another Druze person wants to marry someone outside of their sect and will be shunned for doing so.

  17. Amen sister!

    @Ashley May 1, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    “If you are a Druze person then you should know that Druze are not supposed to marry outside of their sect, and no one can become Druze since conversion is impossible, not even the invincible George Clooney. I’m surprised more Druze are not angry at this engagement, but I’m sure they are and are just hiding it. Plus, it is funny that just because she is marrying a famous actor it is okay, but perhaps another Druze person wants to marry someone outside of their sect and will be shunned for doing so.”

    Ashley, I’m totally with you. I am a Druze born and raised in North America and I don’t view this shit storm as good news at all, even though the groom to be is the “invincible George Clooney” as you so cleverly put it.

    I respect all people and have no hatred towards anyone, but the thing is, Druze are considered to be part of a larger Druze family, and when a Druze marries out they have essentially converted out. It’s feels as though a member of our family has disavowed us in favor of joining another family instead. I see this engagement as a sad loss to the Druze community, and it doesn’t help that the media is constantly shoving it down our throats.

    P.S. For those who say that Druze are “racist” for not wanting to marry outside their culture and religion, kindly check out www.stormfront.com and then maybe you’ll gain a better idea of who the real racists are.
    I’m so sick of people claiming (more like blatantly denying) that racism doesn’t exist and that’s it’s all in the little heads of minorities who “like to play the race/victim card.” To that I have to say…(drum-roll) BULL.SHIT. Anyone who doesn’t understand that racism is alive and well is in some kind of a fantasy world quite divorced from reality. There’s that old saying that “ignorance is bliss,” but I think a more accurate description is full on insanity.

    Well that’s my rant (for today) Happy Friday folks!!

  18. @John, Absolute nonsense. The historical record does not bear out what you say. Since 636 AD, Islam (i.e. the Sunni Mainstream) have predominantly ruled the Levant (Syria,Lebanon,Palestine) and yet all these minorities continue to exist. Contrast that to Spain, Sicily, Crete, where once Muslim majorities or significant minorities were completely driven to extinction within 100 years of ‘Christians’ taking over.

    Muslims (Sunni) make up 72% of Syria’s population, yet they have been ruled by an Alawite family through thuggery and force for over 40 years supported by other minorities such as the Christians. The reason for this is that when the French ruled and created these artificial divisive states, they ensured they would remain that way by creating armies made up of minorities harbouring ill-will towards the Muslim majority. By 1950, 60% of the officers and non-commissioned officers in the Syrian army created by the French were Alawite despite them only being 11% of the population. They used that in the 70s to overthrow the government in a coup and take power. They have ruled corruptly and brutally ever since. Do a web search on Syrian mukhabarat or Alawite militia.

    The Muslims have a fundamental right to take back their country. Minorities DO NOT have a right to rule over the majority by force.

  19. @Mo

    It is astounding that you should accuse someone of posting nonsense when you yourself post such a piece of selective revisionist history.

    Did you bother to ask yourself how the Levant- mainly Lebanon and Syria became Muslim? Prior to the arrival of conquering Islamic armies, these were both overwhelmingly Christian who were expelled, killed and forcibly converted by those very armies.

    Likewise Spain (Andalusia) was indeed Christian before being invaded by Islam and eventually being reconquered by Christians.

    You really exemplify the egregious double standards of muslims regarding this topic: if Muslims conquer the land of another group and subjugate their people- then all is fair and fine.

    Yet if another conquers or reconquers a Muslims land (Andalusia) then that is a grave injustice which must be atoned for.

  20. You are right Education is the key. If all the “peacefull” Moslems really practiced and knew their religion they would all be terrorist. The ones that are terrorist are the ones that actually follow the “true” teachings of the Moslem religion. All this politically correct stuff is crazy. People better wake up before it is too late.

  21. @Phil, yet again more nonsense from what I assume to be a Westerner with very little knowledge of the region.

    The Levant was Christian due to the occupation of the area by what was then the East Roman Empire (commonly called Byzantine by modern historians). This empire was largely European and was ruling over a middle eastern area populated overwhelmingly by afro-semitic peoples. These peoples were NOT the same variety of ‘Christian’ as their European overlords. The Egyptians for example were first Arian Christian before being violently converted to Catholicism, quickly lost their taste for being Catholic and then became Monophysite (i.e. believing Jesus WAS God as opposed to just part of a triune). They were taxed to their limits and on top of that persecuted relentlessly for not sharing the ‘Orthodox’ faith of their masters in Constantinople. Very similar situations existed for the other peoples across the levant – ‘high taxation without representation’.

    When Islam arrived, contrary to popular belief, they did not convert the people by force. So long as the taxes were paid, usually less than what the Byzantines were levying, then the locals could go knock themselves out with regards to religious belief. Indeed, the Ummayyad Caliphate went so far as to not want the locals to convert as this would then absolve them from paying the ‘Jizya’ tax (in lieu of military service) and when they did convert, they kept charging it on the basis they weren’t real Muslims because they were not ‘Arab’ originals! This led to the great Islamic civil war resulting in the overthrow of the Ummayyad’s in 750AD by the new Abbassid Caliphate, which then proceeded to remove the Jizya from converts and accept them instead into the military. It was this act, along with many others that led to the gradual conversion of the locals to Islam over the proceeding 3 centuries.

    In the entire history of the various Muslim states, there was only one noted exception to the rule of ‘no forced conversions’ and that was the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt – Al Hakim in the late 10th century. Being from the Ismail’i sub-sect, he was as brutal to the majority Sunni mainstream as he was to Christians.

    All this is documented history, easily accessible. You should avail yourself of it sometime.

    BTW – In the post WW2 period, there have been 56 military/covert interventions by the ‘Christian’ West in the Muslim majority states of the Middle East, up to and including 2003 Iraq. My personal favourite is ‘Operation Ajax – 1953 Iran’. Look it up sometime and learn why the US is held in low regard in the region.

  22. Muslims have to be that way [lol]. Virtually every piece of so-called Muslim land on the planet was conquered by force by Muslims from Arabia, and the people converted to that foreign religion over time. If Muslims accept that N.Africa and the Levant used to be majority Christian then they are admitting the obvious…That their religion only spreads through warfare, I mean really, not many women find the idea of a burka to compelling [let alone being 2nd class to a man].

    Christianity spread through N.Africa and the Levant peacefully, and those areas were majority Christian LONG before Europe was. The Levant was the stronghold for Christianity, Europe only became that way centuries later. So MO, you have your facts twisted. If anything it was Semites from the Levant who brought their Christian religion into Europe and not the other way around [btw, Ethiopia and Egypt was Christian centuries before any tribe in Europe was].

  23. In Muslim majority countries its irrelevant if others can convert to your religion, since almost all the time the only folks who can convert are Muslim…And well, yea, thats literally a death sentence to leave Islam. So you wont gain Muslim converts anyway, since Islam will kill you for leaving. So Christians are basically a closed religion in the Middle East just like the Druze are [ofc a Druze can convert to Christianity but thats not alot of people to pick from].

  24. Wrong? Prove it. Jesus did the same. He told the people that God said this. And that’s the point. It’s a trial. If God were to ask who amongst us are believers we’d all claim to it, but the real believers in God are proven when they’re tested. Despite their freewill to choose, they restrain from what they desire that is disliked by God and choose to obey God instead. People who follow Islam believe this, and they believe that Jesus was a prophet and that he ascended to heaven and he shall return. All prophets are equal, each one of them has a highly regarded place in heaven, in accordance to their piety. Of course, some of them undoubtedly endured more suffering and more pain from their people than others, some had a harder task, and some were more patient. But all are equally impeccable. There is proof. Logic. Reasoning. Think it through..

  25. I believe you are correct. Not wanting to marry outside your culture and religion is wise. These differences are so huge and deep, it puts a gigantic additional strain on the marriage, along with the usual hardships of marriage. They rarely work out. Even though, I do not agree that if someone falls in love with someone outside their own culture and faith, they should be able to marry, without having to fear severe retribution.

    This is also not racist. The meaning of racist has been so altered that under the new understood definitions, everyone is racist. The reason for this in America is to hurt and vilify those who oppose liberal points of view. Liberals are pushing the view that all conservatives are racist, which is a racist view itself. This had made it so that racism doesn’t mean anything, since it is altered to mean anything the person using it wants. For instance, if one disagrees with the President’s policies, they are labeled as racist, because he is black. Thus trying to oppress political descent.

    As a young girl I was racially attacked for being too white with red hair. I was called names, spit on and made fun of. I was very hurt, but it helped me to learn to love myself and not pay attention to other cruel people. I realized that they were the ones with problems and I wasn’t going to let their problems become mine. So, I know that people don’t have to become bitter and angry about it. How people react to it is their own choice and responsibility.

  26. The beginning was with the invasion and conquering of Christian lands by Muslims. The crusades were launched in response to this imperialism and aggression of the Muslims, where they would violently impose Islam on Christians if they wouldn’t peacefully submit to Allah.

    Islam is an Arabic word which means submission to the will of Allah.

  27. ‘racial fetishizing’ what planet are you living on? I have never read such an awful racist diatribe against ‘white men’. Colonialism and imperialism has existing since the dawn of ‘civilisation’. The white Europeans were just good at it, as incidentally were the first Arab Muslims who aggressively invaded what remained of the Roman Empire, North Africa and the Middle East, invading and imposing sharia law on Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Jains, Buddhists and Hindu’s. At least the Jews and Christians got to keep their religions albeit as second class citizens with few legal rights and having to pay a large tax. The Zoroastrians, Jains, Buddhists and Hindus had one option, convert or die.

  28. it s you who must wake up….you don’t see the truth….islam is the most peaceful religion ….while fundamental Christianity terrorized this whole world causing war,chaos killing innocent people

  29. Hi Sleepless

    To be honest, your post makes non sense in regards to the criticism/view of David. You seem biased. Anyways I have to agree with David. The point is, while recapping historical contexts is all fine, it is not fine to on one hand say that people can identify them as they please but then saying, “as long as they fit the the basic minimum”. As defined by who? You? Me? Safi? Religion even basics can be interpreted in many ways. Muslims are not one big homogenous group. So such judgement is objectionable for obvious reasons. Because as David points out and as is well known throughout the world, minorities are persecuted for alling short of these narrow/subjective definitions/basic minimums. Nobody has the right to define what Islam is or is not as a minimum. Otherwise there wouldn’t be that many sects. At the end of the day, Druze or not, we all answer for ourselves. So how about we leave the identifying and speaking for the worlds second largest faith to its’ believers. That does not stand in the way of wikipedian articles, which do not rely on “truths” but on reliable sources – even if what these sources say is an outright lie or fabrication. Wikipedia is not the holy grail of the truth. So pointing out someones thinly veiled judgement of Druze as not being Muslims, is not polemical, but rather nessecary. Islam does not judge but Allah does. Not you, I, David or Dr Safi.

  30. Shining Genji

    We get to use our own judgment regarding how others categorize themselves.

    I don’t much about the Druize religion, but as an atheist who was Mormon from age 11 to 15, i can say that there’s very good reason to doubt that Mormons really are Christians.

    not only am I well informed on this particular subject, i also, unlike many former Mormons, admire Mormons very much. however, I think that it’s a shame that they have to believe nonsense to lead such upright and admirable lives.

    As well, we have an absolute right to decide for ourselves if we accept the claim of some transgender people that they really are the opposite sex as their bodies. and we even have the right to believe that someone stays their birth sex after they undergo cosmetic surgery to make their bodies appear a different sex.

    we have no duty to simply take them at their word, even we believe that they are sincere.

    heck, think about this. what if you were gay and male and had a long-term male lover who suddenly told you that he was really straight?

    shouldn’t your own sexual experiences with him be enough to at a minimum give you quite reasonable doubts?

    but shouldn’t that cut the other way, regarding woman who has her husband tell her that he’s really gay?

    my only point is that we should be able to decide for ourselves.

    as well, Islam itself has rules about one can and can’t believe, and violating those rules, not believing in angels, the Koran or the Day of Judgment, for example, make one, according to Islam’s own rules, an apostate and therefore not a Muslim, even if one sincerely believes that one is still a Muslim.

    believing that Jesus was not really a human being, or that he was not also a god, also makes one not be a real Christian. you have to believe both of those things, among many other things, that Christ was both a human being and God.

    not accepting people as they see themselves is not an act of intolerance. treating them differently may be intolerant, but not accepting their concept of who they are not intolerance.

    but insisting that we have to accept others as they see themselves can easily slide into intolerance, intolerance toward people who don’t do it.

  31. Shining Genji

    as well, David, you misread what he says about Mormons. he doesn’t express a judgment about whether they really are Christians. he only adduces the debate among Christians about there status as analogous to that of the debate about the status of the Druze among some Muslims.

  32. Steven Hackbarth

    Note how odd it is for Mormons to claim to be Christian, when they reject the core belief in the Eternally Divine nature of Jesus Christ, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, both Unitarian, not Trinitarian, both believing Jesus to be a created being, for Mormons, the equal of Satan.

  33. According to Islam, a Muslim man/woman can marry any non-Muslim man/woman without converting him/her to Islam. When a Muslim person marrying a non-Muslim person who is a Christian/Jew, the marriage is considered as regular marriage. In Islam, Christians and Jews are considered as the ‘people of books’ means followers of divine scriptures. If a Muslim person marry a non-Muslim person who is other then a Christian or Jew, the marriage will be considered as an irregular marriage. In irregular marriage the wife does not inherit properties of her diseased husband, but the offspring of that marriage will inherit their father’s property. Yasser Arafat, the PLO leader, who was a Muslim married Suha who is a Christian.

  34. Steven Hackbarth

    Thanks so much for that clarification concerning the Druze community’s objection to marrying outside the faith. I presume that is what the fuss is about with the Druze mom.
    Still not clear what Amal’s views are, and not clear that marrying outside the faith constitutes a “conversion,” when she remains a faithful Druze.

  35. Whether the Druze are Muslims are not, I do not know, but based on what I’ve read they definitely are not biblical Christians–believing in Jesus Chrsit as the risen Savior from the dead Son og God, both man and God. Even the Mormons do not believe this. See John 3:16; 6:40 and 47.

  36. EgyptianMuslim

    muslims were trying to save the persecuted minorities in Europe ( yes we were george bush of the past and the protectors of the human rights ) so we invaded your countries to save the jews , christian gnostics , pagans , atheists . back in the time the islamic empire was very liberal and religious diverse and sexually free too , atheists were free to make any critique toward islam and make debates with imams , the same fro jews and even satanists too , in Egypt rabbi moshe ben maimon wrote a book and make a critique of prophet muhammad called him ” mentally sick and angel gabriel was a hallucination ” and no one persecuted him in Egypt , and even if i submit to your theory about the response of the crusades was directed toward “imperialist muslims ” , so why the crusades killed gnostic christians ? pagans ? jews ? unitarians ? atheists ? in fact when we invaded eastern europe and balkan areas we saved the cathar gnostics of bosnia and the bogomil gnostics of bulgaria from your repeated massacres against them and when they saw how we protected them from your hands , many of them decided to convert to islam due to the flexibility of both islam and gnosticism and also to gain more power of the muslim empire , and now bosnian muslims are the great grandsons of the gnostic cathars also about 10% of bulgarians are muslims and they are the great grandsons of the bogomil gnostics … so any way even if we were violent imperialists and you launched your crusades against us so the jews were violent imperialists too ? the gnostics ? the pagans ? the cathars ? the bogomils ? the ablegensians ? the waldensians ? the atheists were violent imperialists too ?!!!! sorry your argument isn’t logical to me .
    and regarding your objection of the word submit to allah , ofcourse you are free to understand it the way you like and also free to accept or reject it , however yes the islamic mystical philosophy is based on submission for example if you are facing a hard situation with no solution , you only will have to solutions simply challenge it and charge your ego with much power and try to change the changeless or simply believe that it’s the will of allah and allah always doing good things for all people then we have to submit for allah and accept our destiny without any fear or regret and pass this situation with a peace in mind and a peace of heart , this is the meaning of submission this is the meaning of islam . and ofcourse you are free to accept it or reject it . cause you will go to heaven anyway . heaven and hell has nothing to do with what you shove in your mind or profess in dogma , heaven and hell is about doing good deeds and bad deeds toward others thats all . thanks bye .

  37. Laura Anne Brown

    A Muslim man may marry a Christian woman. A Muslim woman however can only marry another Muslim and is forbidden to marry anyone outside of Islam.

  38. EgyptianMuslim

    it’s just forbidden in some islamic schools of thought but that doesn’t means it’s forbidden in all islamic schools of thought , there are some muslim imams consider it halal for muslim women to marry non muslim men ( like imam hasan al turabi of sudan and imam gamal al bana of Egypt and imam ludovic zahid of algeria/france and many others ) , even the daughters of prophet muhammad pbuh were engaged to abulahab’s sons and they were non muslims and prophet muhammad agreed on this marriage however their mother ( abulahab’s wife ) forced their sons to break up with the girls and prophet muhammad went sad . so from this story we know that it’s ok for muslim women to marry non muslim men if they are good , loving , caring men . thanks .

  39. EgyptianMuslim

    since when catholics and jews share the same culture and the same thought on 99% of issues ? looool , in fact jews and muslims share the culture and the same thought on 99% of issues but anyway this is not the case , the case is you just sound like a christian ZioNazi with ultra low IQ who just love to generalize and promote hatred > there are some christian terrorists base their action on their understanding of the bible they bomb hospitals kill doctors and police men and bomb buildings and attacking african americans and jews (hello oklahoma 95 , hello KKK , hello phineas priesthood hello british israelism hello aryan churches the list goes on ), so are we have the right to generalize all christians as terrorists ?! also there are some jewish terrorists base their actions on their understaning of the torah and the jewish bible and even they killed the prime minister of israel yitzhak rabin ( hello yigal amir hello kach hello JDL ) so are we have the right to generalize all the jews as terrorists ?! the same with hindus they have their terrorists too ( hello pujarat massacre ) also buddhists too ( hello mayanmar ) so are we have the right to generalize ?! ofcourse not , because we are not some low IQ bigoted idiots . get a life and squirt somewhere else max . lol .

  40. EgyptianMuslim

    lol , so marrying a muslim is like marrying the devil ! , but marrying a christian terrorist like scott roeder ( the killer of doctor george tiller ) is like marrying an angel right ? lol also marrying the christian terrorist serial killer and bomber eric rudolph ( the homophobe olympic park bomber who belonged to a christofacist church) is like marrying an arch angel right ? lol oh but marrying a muslim any muslim like let us say the muslim doctor mehmet mustapha oz ( known as DR .OZ in his TV show ) is like marrying a devil , right ? lol , generalization is the weapon of the sick minded and weak personality disorder , get a life jimi , hope you can improve a confident character like james dean anyway lol low IQ bigot loser lol

  41. EgyptianMuslim

    it’s just forbidden in some islamic schools of thought but that doesn’t means it’s forbidden in all islamic schools of thought , there are some muslim imams consider it halal for muslim women to marry non muslim men , even the daughters of prophet muhammad pbuh were engaged to abulahab’s sons and they were non muslims and prophet muhammad agreed on this marriage however their mother ( abulahab’s wife ) forced their sons to break up with the girls and prophet muhammad went sad . so from this story we know that it’s ok for muslim women to marry non muslim men if they are good , loving , caring men . thanks .

  42. EgyptianMuslim

    lol christianity spread in north africa peacefully lol oh really ?! christians were a very minority in Egypt , most of us were neo platonists and pagan gnostics and we were persecuted by the church when the christian romans invaded Egypt . our wise men and women were massacred by priests and deacons , they even strangled one of our great neo platonist female philosopher hypatia by the orders of the Egyptian bishops and archbishop , and due to our very flexible gnostic and neo platonist beliefs we decided to calm the mad christians and join their childish faith and keep our mysteries at home , but when the arabs smashed the roman empire and invaded Egypt , we joined islam little by little because it’s more flexible than christianity then we mixed our mysteries into islam and give arise to the mystical islamic movements . while true christians remained christians and became a minority as they were originally a minority among us .

  1. […] Probably a decent analogy would be to that of whether the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) are Christians.     Today increasingly many Christians (including some evangelicals) have moved in that direction.    What remains indisputable is that the Druze had their origin among a distinct Shi’i gnostic movement, and the doctrines and practices of the Druze would be incomprehensible apart from this wider Islamic tradition.   It may be even useful to compare the Druze with the Baha’i movement, another much more recent offshoot of Shi’ism. – See more at: http://omidsafi.religionnews.com/2014/04/29/george-clooney-amal-alamuddin/?ref=leaderboard#sthash.t5… […]

  2. […] What we learned is that Alamuddin is an educated and extremely accomplished woman. Born in Beirut to Druze parents, Alamuddin is a prominent barrister in England, specializing in human rights and international law, representing high-profile clients like Julian Assange, and serving as an advisor to Kofi Annan. The Muslim Internet in particular was abuzz with the excitement: The most eligible bachelor in the world had decided to settle down with a woman who is not just educated, but perhaps more significantly, Arab and sort-of-Muslim (the Druze are an offshoot of Islam). […]

  3. […] What we learned is that Alamuddin is an educated and extremely accomplished woman. Born in Beirut to Druze parents, Alamuddin is a prominent barrister in England, specializing in human rights and international law, representing high-profile clients like Julian Assange, and serving as an advisor to Kofi Annan. The Muslim Internet in particular was abuzz with the excitement: The most eligible bachelor in the world had decided to settle down with a woman who is not just educated, but perhaps more significantly, Arab and sort-of-Muslim (the Druze are an offshoot of Islam). […]

  4. […] What we learned is that Alamuddin is an educated and extremely accomplished woman. Born in Beirut to Druze parents, Alamuddin is a prominent barrister in England, specializing in human rights and international law, representing high-profile clients like Julian Assange, and serving as an advisor to Kofi Annan. The Muslim Internet in particular was abuzz with the excitement: The most eligible bachelor in the world had decided to settle down with a woman who is not just educated, but perhaps more significantly, Arab and sort-of-Muslim (the Druze are an offshoot of Islam). […]

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