The Israeli Deputy Consul General, an Arab, is addressing students and speaking at Xavier

Raslan Abu Rukun is a member of the Druze religion, an offshoot of Islam | October 25, 2010

Raslan Abu Rukun, the Israeli Deputy Consul General who is also a Druze Arab, is speaking at Xavier on Tuesday, Oct. 26. The movie Contestant No. 2, about a Druze Arab woman who wants to advance in life with a scholarship from the Miss Israel pageant, is being shown before Rukun’s presentation.

In the film, the woman is in conflict between her relationships and cultural identity as a Druze Arab and her contemporary identity as an Israeli Arab. Like the young woman in the movie, Rukun had to resolve his double identity as a Druze Arab and an Israeli. He discusses the decision he made and how it has directed his life choices.

The Druze religion is a secretive offshoot of Islam. "The Druze religion is considered a secret religion—not only a secret for outsiders, but secret for secular Druze, like me," Rukun says. "If you want to study the religion, you have to be a religious person."

Rukun is the first non-Jewish Israeli diplomat to be stationed in the U.S. He is speaking to theology classes in the morning and gives his presentation at 7:00 p.m. in Room 412 of the University’s Conaton Learning Commons at the corner of Dana and Ledgewood Avenues.

This free event is sponsored by the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement, the Women’s Center and the International Student Society. For more information, please contact Abie Ingber at 513-646-2924.