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Kasim Hafeez, Pro-Israel British Muslim

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In other news, Kasim Hafeez grew up in a fundamentalist Muslim household in England He was taught to despise Israel and hate the Jewish people. Earlier I spoke with Hafeez, and he told me that his life began to change when he read Alan Dershowitz's book, The Case for Israel. Hafeez now speaks out on behalf of Israel for the Stand With Us organization. "Well the first step of me seeing Israel" "in a positive light," "up until that point," "there was always a negative connotation" "and there's nothing good ever said about Israel." "So it was the first time, firstly seeing Israel in a positive light," "and secondly, a lot of the myths I believed to be true were pretty much debunked." "How did the Muslim community, and your friends, react to this change?" "Um, I think it's been very difficult for them," "it's been a mixture of suspicion," "some quite aggressively against what I say and dislike me," " some have been quite receptive and been willing to listen, they've known me for many years, so" "they wanted to listen to 'why this change of heart'" "Well you call yourself a Muslim Zionist," "but you also say some of the Jewish community have also expressed a little skepticism." "Yeah of course! I mean, I guess that's understandable." "But hey, you know, I believe what I believe, and I stand up for that," "My actions speak louder than my words." "You have said in the past that one of your father's heroes was Adolf Hitler," "has your family disowned you?" "Um, there are strained relations with some members of my family," "and some have been very receptive" "and very supportive in fact," "so it really is mixed." "On the whole, there is almost a distance now" "with some we're still very close and some have been very much interested in what I have to say," "and also now see Israel in a very positive light." "With your new found understanding" "of Israel and the Jewish people," "have you had an impact, or been able to influence any other Muslim young people" "to, uh, see the light, so to speak?" "Well, to start with my family, I mean the younger cousins" "they have not been exposed to the real Israel," "They don't meet any Jews in the community they live so," "we've been able to have these conversations which I, myself, being young, wasn't able to have." "I wasn't able to question the ideas that I was being told were fact." "So, with them, we've had some really good conversations," "they're having a balanced view," "but also, with the talks we're having with Stand With Us," "we did a campus tour," "and we had some mixed audiences." "We had Muslims attend the talks and had some really interesting conversations afterwards." "So, hopefully, even if I can get through to one person, I see that as a success." "Are you a practicing Muslim today?" "Yes of course it's my religion," "I stand by that," "but my support for Israel is not based on my religion," "or the religion of people in Israel," "it's based on supporting a liberal democracy" "which, unfortunately, is targeted all over the world." "Unfairly." "As you began to explore this new lifestyle," "or new way of thinking, you actually came to Israel for a visit." "What was your impression? Your first impression?" "This is insane." "To be honest, because it was not what I expected." "I expected this apartheid state, but here I was seeing Muslims, Jews, Christians," "coexisting, living together, Muslims going to mosques," "I walked past a mosque in Tel Aviv, just yesterday" "and this is the side of Israel people don't know!" "They don't know that Muslim and Christian Arabs serve in the Israeli Defense Forces." "There is a real difference between what is reality as we see it outside of Israel," "and what is actually happening here." "It was a real eye opener." "You said once you began to change your views and opinions," "that you had, uh, after you learned the truth, that you had to stand with Israel." "The fact is you didn't have to stand with Israel, you could've just continued living your life!" "Well, I would disagree, but I think everybody has a choice." "regardless of their religion, or belief, or lack of," "where they have to do what's right by themselves." "The moral thing to do." "And for me, there would be absolutely no point if I had come to Israel, and occasionally looked at my holiday snaps," "and that was it." "I see a wrong happening, I see the vilification of Israel," "I've seen the real Israel," " I have a responsibility" "to stand up for that." "Kasim Hafeez, we want to thank you for being our guest."

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 74
Posted by: roys on Nov 27, 2012

Kasim Hafeez, Pro-Israel British Muslim

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