Click photo to download. Caption: A Palestinian child wearing a Hamas headband aims a toy gun during a rally after Eid prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on July 28, 2014. While such scenes are a manifestation of radical Islam, a growing number of pro-Israel Muslims are seeking an alternative path that they hope will lead to peace with the Jewish state. Credit: Sliman Khader/Flash90.
By Maayan Jaffe/JNS.org
Jews around the world were inspired last month when Arab-Israeli teenager Mohammad Zoabi cloaked himself in an Israeli flag and spoke into a bedroom video camera, “I am an Israeli and will remain an Israeli. Israel will remain a Jewish and a democratic country.”
What few realized is that within days after the video went viral, Israeli police arrested three men in his own family for plotting to cause him harm in retaliation for the piece. His cousin, Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi, called her young cousin “a sleazy, mixed-up kid who has identity issues.”
Still, more voices like the young Zoabi’s have emerged in the month since the kidnapping of three Israeli teens and the weeks since the launch of Operation Protective Edge. Young Bissan Salman, an Israeli Arab from Ramla, blogged on July 23 that she refuses to choose between her Arab and Israeli friends.
“My tears choose the side of peace,” she wrote. “We are tired to hear about more killings. We are tired to run every time we the sirens. … Don’t judge, pray. Pray for this to be over.”
But as the operation wages on and the rockets continue to plummet on the state of Israel, these young voices are lost. But there is another voice, a growing one, that is bubbling above the surface. That voice has little to do with Israel and everything to do with fighting Hamas. It is the voice of Arabs—Muslims, really—calling on their peers to fight the inexorable advance of political Islamism over Islam.
Dr. Qanta Ahmed, author of “Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom,” told JNS.org while the media focuses on the war in Israel, similar wars are being waged across the world. Islamism, she said, is the driving force between Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and Iraqi government forces, between the Pakistani Taliban and the Pakistani Army, the Afghan Taliban and would-be Afghan democratic leaders, Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists and the Nigerian government, and between Jama’at Al-Nursa rebels and the Syrian regime.
“Muslim militaries are not held to global condemnation in the way the Israel Defense Forces must face—despite their targeted attacks, pre-strike warning and efforts to contain civilian deaths,” said Ahmed.
Click photo to download. Caption: Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Credit: American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser—founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), which works to provide a platform …read more