This is the first in a short series of dialogues the content of which Western people in general, and Israeli Jews in particular, do everything to avoid hearing, at their peril, at our peril. I am not the only former Muslim who is screaming at you. In Part 1, Mansor Ashkar, a Druze Israeli from Eilat, is in conversation with Timor Aklin, a former Muslim, now Jewish Israeli from Jaffa. The excerpts are lightly edited for clarity.
Mansor Ashkar: I find that so many Europeans and Americans don’t really understand, or don’t listen to me, when I tell them, guys what you hear is not what I hear. And the Arabs who actually value the Western values, the Arabs who actually know, that value democracy and freedom and come to these Western countries because they actually value the life in them, are the ones who are warning them and telling them, guys you don’t know what they’re saying next to you. They will play a different face next to me, or when they don’t know that I’m listening, they say very different things. I’ve heard so many times where they’re talking of things they want to do to the European girls, the kind of things they want to do to the Jews!
Even one time I was hiking in Jordan and I came out of the wadi close to a village and many kids came running and started asking where I’m from. I told them I’m from America, and then I asked them, “Hey, what is that there?” and they said, “That’s Israel.” “Oh, what do you think about Israel?” And they started shouting: “We hate them! I wish them all to die!”—Whoa-whoa. I am not telling them I’m an Israeli. The conversation was very clear to me. If I tell them I’m an Israeli, I’m not in a safe place. That was in Jordan.
But you see that in Europe. You see that in America. Whenever you try to tell that to Europeans or Americans, I find that, usually, they don’t want to talk to you about it, or they actually get angry at you. They start blaming you, that you’re a warmonger, that you’re the cause for this problem. People like me, we’re the people that are warning you!
Timor Aklin: It doesn’t matter what it is, you’re the bearer of bad news and you know what they say: good news travels slowly, bad news has wings. It's very unusual to see someone who really means it when they say Zionist or Zionism. I've never heard this in my life, not even at school, which was super anti-Semitic. I had multiple schools. When I was nine years old, we had a very patriotic school principal [who] had us do projects for school and it’s all Palestinians, Palestine, Palestine. It’s all about drawing the Palestinian flag, and the Iraqi flag, and Mawtini, which, ironically is the national anthem for both entities.
MA: For Iraq, that’s their national anthem, and the Palestinians they have the same national anthem? And that's a school principle in Israel who is cheering for the country that is shooting rockets at him?
TA: Yeah. They were killing Arabs and Jews. They didn’t really care. The rockets landed [wherever]. I remember one of our teachers had us read a poem about Saddam Hussein once. We had one teacher who had us read quotes of things Saddam Hussein said, like he would feed the fire half of Israel. There’s a quote like that in Arabic. I’ve forgotten how it goes. I even remember, after Saddam was executed, this song that was super-popular everywhere. It wasn’t a song; it was spoken words, like a poem: “The story is fabricated. It’s all bullshit. It’s all made up. It’s all make-believe. Oh, Abu Udai”—his son is Udai, so that’s Saddam Hussein—“Oh, Saddam Hussein. They hanged you, they hanged you” and it just rhymes in Arabic.
MA: As if he is the victim.
TA: He’s the victim. He’s the victim in the song. I don’t remember the lyrics, but everyone’s the bad guy except him. You know everyone, everyone, Saudi, Jordan, any world leader that’s collaborating with Israel and America, the big Devil and the small Devil, these two.
MA: I don’t know if this exists in the entire Arab Muslim world, but in Palestine I’ve seen that they keep choosing the wrong role models that are blunt, clear. Yasser Arafat was a terrorist. He didn’t hide it. Saddam Hussein was an evil man. He killed many more Muslims than anyone else. He used mustard [gas] and bombs on them, melted people alive and they’re making these people their heroes. These people are the role models that they’re having their children grow up around. I find in many ways this is the root of the problem.
I wanted to ask you: looking now at the Gaza and Israel conflict, Hamas and Israel. After this war, let's say, we managed to take down Hamas as a leadership and as an effective force.
TA: We will never be able to take out Hamas
MA: Okay, that’s an interesting question. So my question is: is there a chance to have peace with the Gazans, as a former Muslim, as an Arab, honest question, what do you think?
TA: No. It’s impossible. It’s impossible. It’s impossible to have peace in Gaza. It will be impossible to have peace in Judea and Samaria. We barely have peace between the Arabs and the Jews within Israel. It’s not violent. We don’t hear about Arabs waking up in the morning [and] butchering, slaughtering, massacring Jews, like they did in Gaza, but the indoctrination to hate Jews is that deep that even—listen this is a beautiful tafsir [exegesis of the Qur’an] by Ibn Kathir. Ibn Kathir on Surat-ul-Imran (3:28). He says in the tafsir [quoting a hadith in Bukhari], “We smile in their face, but we curse them in our hearts.” So we are coexisting within Israel, Arab Muslims and Jews, but our so-called “coexistence” is just a way for us to strangle and choke Israel from the inside. It’s just another tactic. This is similar to taqiyya, like how in taqiyya you can deny your faith, you can deny your belief, you can lie, you can swear on the book—
MA: Religious permission to lie, to swear, to cheat, to do bad stuff, because you’re helping the good cause of that religion. So they allow you to be a bad guy, so you can help the “good guys,” the way they see it.
TA: This is what it is. We will never—we can’t have peace. It’s not going to happen.
MA: It’s interesting that you say that, because I find that this is something that I’m struggling with when I’m talking to Westerners, especially liberal, smart, intelligent people. They really don’t want to hear that answer.
TA: Of course not.
MA: They don’t want to hear that and I always ask them, “You want the nice answer, or you want the real answer?” When they ask me the real answer, I tell them it’s a clash of civilisations. The only thing is: you don’t understand that there used to be two dominant empires, the Muslim empire and the Christian empire, and they were battling over the Holy Land, back and forth. They took the southern side of Europe, they took the Northern side of Africa. Then one day the Muslim empire started crumbling because of corruption. There was just [too] big [an] Empire to control. They grew way too fast, started crumbling and becoming different states, but they never were defeated.
And they still see you guys as the Christian Empire, and they still see in the Qur’an the Dar al-Harb, Dar as-Salam, [House of War, House of Peace] and there’s a call to make futuh [“opening”, “liberation”, conquest of non-Muslim lands to subject them to Islam]. Futuh means conquering but they use the word “opening”, because the idea is the world is in darkness and we are opening them to the light of Islam, and you have Dar [as-Salam], anywhere that is under Shari’a, and the Dar al-Harb, anywhere there is not yet Islam.
Then you have Jihad, which people don’t understand. Sometimes Jihad, by the definition of the word, is an inner effort… Then they have the Jihad to spread Islam, which can be done by the sword or by da’wa or by marriage, I'll marry you and then you practically become Muslim. So the Muslim World never gave up on that religious idea to make the world Muslim. The Christian world kind of forgot that they’re Christian and they became atheist, they became liberal. In Germany they don’t see them[selves] as Christians, but if you ask the Muslim world, Is Germany Christian? They’ll tell you, Yeah, it’s a Christian country, and we’re at war with them. And here is, I think, where comes the problem.
Many people, many, many Canadians, Americans, will come and tell me, “but I have a very peaceful Muslim friend or colleague, that he’s an amazing guy. He doesn’t want to kill anyone. He doesn’t hate anyone,” and they say what you're saying doesn’t represent all of them [Muslims] and I say, “That doesn't have anything to do with the conflict. You see, I know many good, kind, loving Muslim people, the problem is that they are the passive majority and they would not go to the street and speak out against 9/11, when that happened. They will not go and speak against Osama Bin Ladin. They will not even go and cheer against the Hamas. They will not go and speak out against Assad that killed hundreds of thousands of Muslim babies, but when you have a dead Muslim baby that washed up on the shores of Europe—that image—they will take to the streets in their numbers and they will protest against the West."
So what they’ve been doing, you have the useful idiot that’s in the West, people who don’t know they’re being used by radical Islam to actually promote their ideas, and then you have the passive majority in the Muslims. They’re very similar. They’re not doing anything to stop a car [careering] downhill. They’re not doing anything to step on the brakes, but they themselves don’t want to drive that car downhill, and that is the problem. I think it kind of soothes the West to think there’s a hope. It’s an educational thing. It’s coming from a way, way, younger age you know.
TA: Someone asked me some weeks ago, why aren’t the Israeli Arabs rising and resisting and getting up and attack back in the state, if you claim that they don’t like it, as you say? Why aren’t they doing it? It’s just like what you said, many people will not get in the car and drive it. They’re happy when others are doing it for them. So when the Gazans, or the people in the West Bank go out and carry out those terrorist attacks, the Arabs in Israel are happy about it, but they aren’t going to get up and do it themselves. …There’s too much at stake; and you’re not really programmed to do those things.
But you are programmed to normalise them, accept them, embrace them, really appreciate them, and at the same time feel for the terrorist. This is the level of engineering that you have among Israeli Arabs, while at the same time, they themselves don’t really go out much and do those things. We have had Israeli Arab terrorists, of course, but it’s not that common compared to the amount of terrorism that comes out of the West Bank and Gaza. No, it’s not common at all. I think they have too much to lose. They grow up in houses where they’re not being taught all their life to do that, because there are systems in the government that will prevent that from happening.
MA: The first time I heard it, it shocked me. Hearing non-Arab, Western, Christian students in America and Canada chanting “Intifada! Revolution! Normalise the intifada! It’s time for intifada!” What the heck!
TA: “There’s no two-state solution, only intifada revolution.” That’s what they say.
MA: How did you feel when you heard an American student, college or something shouting that he wants intifada, especially when you saw a girl with purple hair, probably no bra, didn’t shave her armpits, very liberal, going and shouting that she wants to see intifada in her own country?
TA: You feel, I think, the same exact way you feel when you hear an Israeli Arab, or not just an Israeli Arab, any Arab, say that Israel is an apartheid state. They don’t know what they’re talking about. You can make whatever argument to say that you feel like you’re not being treated the way you want to be treated, but that doesn’t make it an apartheid state, because it’s not. And at the same time, it’s very hard to be equal in Israel—not as an Arab and a Jew—as a person to person. You have people who are Haredim. You have people who are secular… Calling Israel an apartheid state is like saying you have a problem with Zionist when you have a problem with Jews.
MA: I don’t want my kid to grow up in a Jew-hating, anti-Semitic, racist world, simple as that. I think that’s a wrong world to live in. So I think that’s why any moral person out there, doesn’t matter if you agree with the Palestine-Israel two-State resolution, one-state resolution, this is not the conflict here. The conflict is much bigger. It’s about a culture that cherishes death, racism, hate, violence and a culture that actually cherishes freedom, modern science, which is the Western society we’re living in.
Here’s one thing that I would like to hear your opinion on. Many, many Muslim countries don’t like the Palestinians, in general. They don’t want to help them … not a single Muslim country has offered, Come to us, let us shelter you while this war is going on. For countries and people that just show no clear interest in actually helping the Palestinians: they’re leaving them alone; they’re not coming to battle with them; they’re not coming to help them; they’re just leaving them alone, but they love to cheer for them. Some of it could be because they hate the Jews so much. Another reason, I think, is because they see the Jews as representing the West and they see the Palestinians are representing Islam.
Whenever you see a Palestinian young man who wins against a tank, they will say that was because of Allah. He’s giving us [power]. That’s like watching a gladiator arena where you’re cheering for your favourite gladiator, because you think that his beliefs are going to make him win, and what he’s fighting is actually the West, not necessarily Israel, not necessarily the Jews. Because once Israel is out of the way, who's going to be next?
On 25 January 2024 at 8:51, Timor Aklin wrote:
You are truly incredible
I'm just reading your piece now
Where do you live in Europe?
I haven't left my country in 5 years so I'm planning on maybe going to a vacation in Europe in the coming months maybe for a week or so, we should definitely record a podcast in person if we can
On 25 January 2024 at 12:53, Ben Dor A. wrote:
Dear Anjuli Pandavar
Shared on Quora.
These warnings have been published by many people like Douglas Murray, Bat Yeor and Oriana Fallaci. (I read their books)
Regretfully, the West has not heeded these warnings including Israeli leadership.
Ben Dor A.
On 25 January 2024 at 16:03, Ben Dor A. wrote:
This warning was published in 2008. https://iranian.com/main//2008/never-mind-bombpage1.html
On 25 January 2024 at 16:22, Anjuli Pandavar wrote:
Thank you for spreading it around and for the link. I agree with your remark about the Israeli leadership. I have no confidence whatsoever in Israel's ruling elites. It is enough to recall how Jewish leaders behaved with respect to: driving the Turks out of Palestine; the Peel Commission; "this twelfth hour" in Warsaw; Jabotinsky's visit to the US in 1940; the Altalena fiasco; the Yom Kippur War; "land for peace"; US foreign policy priorities, creation of the "Palestinians"; the "peace process"; the Oslo Accords; the expulsion of Jews from Gaza; abandoning the Jews of Judea and Samaria; empowering the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs through the Supreme Court usurping state power; never defeating her enemies; demonising the Jews of Judea and Samaria; rousing sections of the electorate to sedition and insurrection for almost a year in order to oust the democratically-elected government; doing nothing to stop the Simchat Torah massacre despite all the warnings...
It is not clear to me how you could possibly destroy Hamas in Gaza if you are not prepared to remove the entire Palestinian population from Gaza. What else is Hamas, but the entire Palestinian population. People warn that if Hamas is not destroyed, 7 October will happen "again and again and again." This is true, but this is the least of it. In the minds of Muslims, they either have victory or they have defeat. If they are not defeated, then they will fight until defeated, even if they have to soend a few centuries licking their wounds. In the absence of a clear, unequivocal victory for Israel, such that the Muslims cannot deny — Hamas's leaders publicly humiliated — then a pathetic, junkyard outfit like Hamas will claim victory over the mighty Israel and every Muslim on earth will be brought that much closer to taking a pop at the nearest Jew. Every jihad group, whether a tooled-up militia in West Africa or a schoolyard gang in Germany, will want a part of the action and their share of Jewish women to rape, worldwide. That is what is at stake, at least for Act 1.
I am not hoping to persuade the Israeli leadership to change their ways. I'm hoping to give whatever encouragement I can to the people of Israel, especially the people of Judea and Samaria, to get rid of their ruling elite that is cutting their country right from under their feet. I am also hoping that I might impress upon my fronds in Israel that how the Muslims will behave towards them has absolutely nothing to do with how they behave towards the Muslims.