Muslim extremist turns Zionist

Bryan Palacio/Ass. New Director

Growing up as a British-Pakistani Muslim, Kasim Hafeez was raised around extreme anti-Semitism. All he knew to be true was that Israel was responsible for everything wrong in his world.

“I used to be a radical anti-semite and anti-zionist,” said Hafeez. “I hated the Jewish state, the state of Israel and Jewish people as a whole.”

Hafeez is now a self-admitted pro-Israeli and Zionist supporter. He spends most of his time on tour sharing his life story with his speech, “How I Found Peace from a Lifetime of Hatred.”

Hafeez was the guest of honor at Hillel’s First Shabbat, an on-campus event organized by Hillel FIU, Shalom FIU, and other Jewish student organizations at Modesto Maidique Campus on Friday, Sept. 12.

Shabbat is Hebrew for Sabbath, the holiest day of the week for Jews. It is commemorated by abstaining from most forms of work and includes prayer services and customary meals.

“You’re not a real Muslim!” were the words yelled at Hafeez by a Muslim audience member who was escorted out during his presentation. “This man doesn’t represent you or Islam!”

This is Hafeez’s new life. After decades of being indoctrinated with hate and violence, he now stands up for the people he swore to help destroy.

“It was a gradual change and it started by picking up this book, ‘The Case for Israel,’” Hafeez said. “At that point in my life, I thought I was an expert on the Middle East. I thought I’d buy this book and I’ll disprove it.”

So Hafeez spent a few weeks doing some research in his attempt to discredit the book. Weeks turned into months, and months turned into years. Hafeez couldn’t seem to find the overwhelming evidence he needed disprove it to himself.

“When you believe something that you’re ready to die for, you can’t accept that it’s wrong,” Hafeez said. “You have to somehow find a way to prove it right again and I was struggling.”

Eventually, he concluded that the only way he was going to get the evidence he needed was to take a trip to Jerusalem, Israel.

Everywhere he looked, there was an assimilation of people—Jews, Christians, Muslims, South Americans, Europeans, young and old. It was at this moment that he had a change of heart and one he felt he needed to share with others.

“It was like I had a moment of clarity with my own thoughts to really process things,” said Hafeez. “Here I am in the state of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, and we’ve got Christians, Jews, and people of all colors.”

Hafeez said he spent about the next two weeks in Israel. He visited different cities, speaking to people and learning more about its history. That’s when he said he fell in love with Israel. He told himself that it wasn’t enough just to move on, he had to speak out.

“If I could stop one person from feeling the poisonous hatred I felt for so many years for Israel and the Jews then that’s a victory,” Hafeez said. “That’s a success, because that’s what matters. Hatred is poisonous.”

Hafeez believes that to oppose Israel is hypocritical to the millions of people who died in his country.

“It’s not about politics, it’s not about conflict. This country is about survival. This country is about the continuation of possibly the greatest story in history, the story of the Jewish people.”


1 Comment on "Muslim extremist turns Zionist"

  1. He’s a Mossad operative I bet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.