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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Strange Beliefs

Nice! Sultan Tarif's competent bass guitar stylings were a driving force behind Led Zep cover band Walid Jumblatt and the Lebanese Druze' rise to regional obscurity

Not many people will remember Iain Duncan Smith, dome-headed former leader of the Conservative Party, but I'll always be grateful to him for a soundbite that turned up on Have I Got News for You. Asked who he'd voted for in the Tory party leadership election to appoint a successor to Michael Howard he said, 'I'm certainly not going to tell you. I don't even know myself.'

I mention this because of some catching up I've been doing on the venerable Druze faith, which has been in the news because a young Druze woman is having a spot of bother over taking part in the Miss Israel pageant. Her uncles thought this was ever so slightly slutty of her, and decided to show their disapproval by slicing her up. Luckily she escaped this fate, but what I really wanted to say is that the Druze faith, I have now learned, is strictly non-proselytising and endogamous, and keeps its religious tenets secret even to its own members. What a marvellous concept: believing in something without even knowing what it is you're believing in. What possibilities for fanatical vagueness! I'm full of admiration.

I'm told there used to be a rock group called Walid Jumblatt and the Lebanese Druze, but my local HMV doesn't seem to stock any of their records.

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