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Druze – Identity, Love, Mercy, Intermarriage, and Survival Together

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R.E.A.L. urges the Druze community to consider flexibility in its relationships, and to use the dangerous times the world faces as an opportunity to open their community who come to them in love and compassion. We have been approached by such a person, Anna, whose love relationship has been lost due to her loved one not accepting her within the Druze community. You might wonder what this has to do with human rights.

Mercy.

No activists for human rights have a center to their ethical compass without mercy, and it is center of our organized faiths, as well.

Sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.

Whatever our faith, culture, nationality, or identity group, at some point life will teach us that lesson… of conscience.

Life will teach us that integrity is more than just defending our group, our interests, our needs, but also having the courage to open our arms to others and the needs of others in the family of humanity. We have no outsiders in our shared human race. We cannot be supporters of our shared human rights without that basic moral concept. Every religion of peace must honor love and mercy in its teachings.

R.E.A.L. respects the complex need to try to preserve the integrity of Druze religion and culture, especially considering the history of persecution that the Druze community has faced. R.E.A.L. respects the struggle of centuries and the history of the Druze closing of its faith during the Fatimid Caliphate. But certainly, if humanity has learned one thing over the past 10 years, with the global violence of ISIS and terrorism, including violence in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, we do not survive the enemies of our shared human rights, those who reject freedom of conscience, those who have abandoned compassion and mercy, by choosing to stand alone and in isolation.

The world has become more violent and dangerous, not less. Our identity groups deserve protection, but that protection starts with cohesion with our larger world and allowing new hearts to share the love that a community has for one another. What we have been taught, certainly, is what NOT TO DO. We have seen the price of isolation. We have seen the consequences of those who feel compassion and mercy is no longer necessary.

R.E.A.L. writes this in this message to the Druze community, but of course, this applies to the world community. There is no island that will protect our identity groups, our cultures, and our civilizations from harm. Certainly, the Druze community has seen this as much as any, with the suffering it has faced at the hands of ISIS, as have the Yazidis, Christians, and others. We understand the fear of disruption from allowing outsiders to join and intermarry into the Druze community, but certainly those that publicly seek their destruction remains the graver and more serious threat.

In the past five years, we have seen some of the greatest public threats to Druze community in modern history – from the ISIS terrorist movement. This moment in history provides an opportunity to consider welcoming others into your community and among those who love your people. That includes a woman named Ana, who has lost the love of her life. She matters, just as much as the millions of others in our world.

Sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.

Take it to heart, and no matter what comes your way, you will sleep with a clear conscience.

In the dangerous times we live in, R.E.A.L. urges the Druze community to consider a statement that is posted after The Holocaust in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.. We remember it this week at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, as we read the names of the victims, but even after facing Adolf Hitler and The Holocaust, their religion, their culture is still alive. Decades of intermarriage have not damaged it, but such openness has simply allowed more hearts to gain more compassion for their religion and their culture, to protect and defend them.

In the museum, not far from earth from Hitler’s concentration camps, on the wall there is a verse from the Bible, Deuteronomy 30:19: “I call Heaven and Earth to witness this day; I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose Life – that you and your offspring shall live.”

It is not just our physical life, but also our moral life, our compassionate life, and our life together as people of God. We must not close the doors to love and compassion, in the belief it will keep us safe and our culture intact. We must open the door to love and compassion, allow those who seek to love our beliefs and values to join with us in common cause and faith.

R.E.A.L. urges, with great respect and understanding of the history of Druze suffering — “Choose Life – that you and your offspring shall live.”

Choose Life

Choose Life