Kasim’s Challenge October 28, 2023October 27, 2023 Watch this Pakistani Brit, Kasim Hafeez. Or read the transcript: I was born to hate Jews It was part of my life. I never questioned that. I was not born in Iran or Syria. I was born in England. My parents moved there from Pakistan. Theirs was the typical immigrant story: Move to the West hoping to create a better life for themselves and their children. We were a devoted Muslim family, but not extremists or radicals in any way. We only wanted the best for everyone – everyone except the Jews. The Jews, we thought, were aliens living in stolen Muslim land, occupiers involved in a genocide against the Palestinian people. Our hatred was therefore justified and just. And it left me and my friends vulnerable to radical extremist arguments. If the Jews were as evil as we’ve always believed, shouldn’t those who support them – Christians, Americans and others in the West – be just as evil? Starting from the 90s, speakers and teachers in mosques and schools began repeating this theme endlessly: We were not western. We were not British. We were Muslims, first and foremost. Our allegiance was to our religion and to our fellow Muslims. We owe nothing to western nations who welcomed us. As westerners, they were our enemies. All of this had its desired effect. At least it did on me. It changed the way I looked at the world. I began to look at the suffering of Muslims, including in Britain, as the fault of Western imperialism. The west was at war with us, and the Jews controlled the west. My experience at the university in the UK only reinforced my increasingly radical conviction. Hating Israel was a badge of honor. Set up an anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian rally, and you were sure to attract a huge, approver While in uni, I decided that the protests and propaganda against Israel were not enough. Real jihad requires violence. So I made plans to join the real fight. I wanted to drop out of college and join terrorist training camp in Pakistan. But, fortunately for me, fate intervened — in a bookstore. I came across a book called The Case for Israel by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. The case for Israel? Which case could that be? The title itself infuriated me, and I started reading the pages almost like a travesty. How ill-informed, how stupid, can this guy be to defend the defenseless? Well, he was a Jew. That must have been the answer Still I am reading. And what I read challenged all my dogmas about Israel and the Jews: I read that it was not Israel who created the Palestinian refugee crisis, it was the Arab countries, the UN and the corrupt Palestinian leadership. I read that Jews did not exploit the Holocaust to create the state of Israel; the movement to create a modern Jewish state dating back to the 19th. century, and eventually to the beginning of the Jewish people almost 4000 years ago. And I read that Israel is not engaged in genocide against the Palestinians. On the contrary, the Palestinian population has actually doubled in just twenty years. All of this just pissed me off. I had to prove Dershowitz wrong to see with my own eyes how racist and oppressive Israel really was. Then I bought a plane ticket. I would go to Israel, the home of my enemy. And that’s when everything changed. What I saw with my own eyes was even more challenging than what Dershowitz had written. Instead of apartheid I saw Muslims, Christians and Jews coexisting. Instead of hate, I saw acceptance, even compassion. I saw a violent, modern, liberal democracy, full of flaws, for sure, but fundamentally decent. I saw a country that wanted nothing but to live in peace with its neighbors. I watched my hate melt before my eyes. I knew just then what I had to do. Too many people on this planet are consumed by the same hate that consumed me. They have been taught to despise the Jewish state – many Muslims through their religion, many others by their university professors or student groups. So here’s my challenge to anyone who feels this way: do what I did – seek the truth for yourself. If the truth can change me, it can change anyone. Another book to read — highly and quite properly sympathetic to the Palestinian people: Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.