Please share Druze Times with your friends and family!
Home / Culture / Shocking Stereotypes of a Druze Community

Shocking Stereotypes of a Druze Community

Belonging to a sectarian minority is not easy in a country like Lebanon. It’s strictly divided across sectarian lines, and residents share a gloomy history of a 15-year civil war ending in 1989. The current political, economic and social dynamics of Lebanon has given way to many stereotypes about the Druze. These negative generalizations may be about the religious beliefs or the traits of the community.

Stereotypes are highly circulated in Lebanese society and some spread major misconceptions about Druze beliefs and ideas.  Although some depictions came from isolated cases, they shouldn’t be generalized or attributed to the community as a whole. Many of these stereotypes are downright hilarious, but others can be derived from ignorance or from hatred and fear.

The stereotypes below shed light on the harmful misperceptions that other religions and sects hold of the Druze, whether intentional or not. This is why it is of immense significance to contextualize, deconstruct, and then correct these misperceptions.

Helpful residents in Beirut, Bekaa, Sour, and Jbail spoke with us about things they’ve heard about the Druze community. Below are some of the most popular stereotypes about the Druze in Lebanon.

    1. Eat at the Druze’s place, but sleep at the Christian’s. (كول عند الدرزي ونام عند المسيحي)
      This is a very famous Lebanese saying which hints that the Druze are perfidious and untrustworthy yet generous and hospitable.
    2. The Druze are brutal!
      Due to the history of the Lebanese civil war and frequent incidents of violence in the country, the Druze are always perceived to be an aggressive community that quickly resorts to violence. This stereotype has anchored lower following a major and atrocious incident in 2013 whereby a Druze family chopped off a man’s genitals after their daughter eloped with him. Ever since, the whole community has been labelled as brutal and is constantly reminded of this atrocity.
    3. A Druze can learn the faith only after 40.
      Druze women are prohibited from learning about their faith; and Druze in general are only allowed to learn about their faith when they’re over 40 years of age.
    4. Druze avoid eating Mloukhiye because a calf once slipped on it.
      It has been circulated that the Druze community adore calves and refrains from eating Mloukhiye because a calf once stumbled on it. This is a common recurring stereotype shared by more than a few people, and it’s not clear how or when it surfaced.
    5. The Druze grow tails at night.
      Some people used to believe that Druze grow tails at night. This is a shocking stereotype because it is so steeped in fantasy. Today, it’s remembered jokingly by some and disliked by others because it aims to ridicule.

At the same time, there are many positive traits about the Druze that are shared by those who know them. It is well known that Druze are extremely hospitable to guests and are generous in providing food and drink. The Druze actively help those in need, a quality easily seen in the many charitable initiatives across Druze communities. The Druze are also well known for their unity and support for one another in times of crisis or need. They are known for their strength and persistence whether at work or overcoming life’s many challenges.

For a community with such honorable qualities, the negative stereotypes must be addressed formally. Here are a few things we can do about it:

    • Develop trustworthy platforms like Druze Times to help counter stereotypes.
    • Conduct workshops, conferences and public events to correct misconceptions.
    • Utilize media more effectively by increasing public appearances of religious leaders.
    • Engender more peaceful relations among the Druze and with their fellow neighbors.
    • Ask institutions to help counter stereotypes and avoid their circulation on social media.

About Hala Nasreddine

Hala Nouhad Nasreddine is a freelance journalist in Beirut, Lebanon. She has a background in International Affairs and Communications and is actively involved in nonprofit work.

Check Also

The Soul or “human psyche” according to Carl Jung

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. He believed that …