Here is yet another story illustrating why we see so few genuine Muslim reformers, or Muslims who are willing to break the lockstep on any issue.
“Death threats for refusing to hate Israel,” by Sue-Ann Levy, Toronto Sun, October 22, 2017:
Just a few years ago, Yahya Mohamid was living in a northern Israeli town controlled by the Islamic movement and like everyone else in Umm el-Fahm, had been indoctrinated to hate Israel.
Today, the 20-year-old, calling himself a Muslim Zionist, has made his home in Jerusalem and is dedicated to getting the truth out about his life as an Arab Israeli and giving back to his country.
He hopes to join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in March and get into one of the elite combat units — a precedent for an Arab Israeli.
But Mohamid’s pro-Israel activism has come at a huge price.
The brave, articulate, handsome man — who seems wise beyond his years — has been subject to assaults, more death threats than he can count and has been forced to break ties with his mother and sister, both of whom still live in Umm el-Fahm.
“They live in a constant situation of fear,” he says….
On TV, in the streets and at school, he was fed a steady diet of anti-Israeli rhetoric — so much so that it became like “white noise.” He says there is graffiti containing swastikas, Hamas and ISIS signs near to or on government buildings in town, which is never removed.
“Demonization (of Israel) is a big thing … we get little to no lessons about the Jewish connection to the land (we’re on) or what the Nazis did (during the Holocaust),” he recalls.
He adds that all of classes were taught in Arabic — done deliberately to help keep the community isolated and ignorant — and he learned all of his impeccable English from TV.
His whole word “flipped upside down” when he got a job at age 17 as a busboy in a hotel in Tel Aviv, about a one-hour drive from his town, he says.
Although he’d been taught to be “afraid of Jews,” when he started interacting with Jewish people at the hotel, he soon realized he’d been “misled.”
“I realized there were two sides to this … it’s not black and white,” he said. “It was an eye-opener.”
It was only a matter of months before he became an activist.
In June 2014, when three Israeli teens were abducted (and before they were found dead under a pile of rocks in the West Bank), Mohamid joined the campaign to bring them back, posing with an Israeli flag on Facebook.
Even though, as he puts it, “all hell broke loose” in his town and he was subjected to numerous death threats, he still insisted on staying in the town because he realized “another voice was needed.”…
But he was forced to leave his town permanently six months ago when he did a video for StandWithUs indicating his desire to serve with the IDF.
The video was posted online at 1 p.m., and by 5 p.m., he got a call from the police telling him to pack some clothes and leave for good because the situation had become too explosive.
“They (people in the town) planted bombs close to my vehicle,” he said. “It’s not your everyday campus activism … it’s putting your life on the line activism.”
Speaking of the rise of anti-Semitism and pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movements on campuses around North America, he believes BDS activists are mostly under 25, and have joined the cause — with no idea of what they’re doing — because it’s just “a cool thing to do on campus.” (His speaking engagement at Ryerson was cancelled last week due to lack of security.)
Asked what he says to anti-Israel activists screaming and shouting about the Palestinian plight, Mohamid responds: “I say first of all come visit Israel and be open to dialogue.
“I guarantee these people have absolutely no idea what’s going on in the West Bank, little or no connections with Palestinians and no idea about the reality of the situation.”…