Israel Govt. Hailed by Druzes for Granting Them Religious Autonomy

The Israel Government’s grant of religious autonomy to the country’s 20,000 Druze was hailed today by 60 leaders of the group who were received by President Ben-Zvi.

Sheikh Amin Tarif, spiritual leader of Israel’s Druze–a group deriving its religious ideology from Islam–told the President that the government action was a redress for wrongs to the Druze community dating back to the days of Turkish rule and the British mandate.

Official recognition of the Druze spiritual leadership gives the community exclusive jurisdiction in matters of personal status, such as marriage, divorce and inheritance, Israel’s Jews, Moslems and Christians have similar arrangements in regard to personal status. The Druze in Israel distinguished themselves by the complete loyalty and fighting support they gave to the Jews in the War of Independence in 1948.

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