Friday, August 19, 2016

UK: 'I was the campus anti-Semite'

Via Jerusalem Post:
Kasim Hafeez's pro-Israel activism on university and college campuses today, is a far cry from when he was a student himself. "I was the campus anti-Semite," he confessed, looking back to his days as a Politics student at Nottingham Trent, UK.

Hafeez, 32, is a British Muslim of Pakistani origin whose full time job now, is working as the Outreach Coordinator for Christians United for Israel. But some ten years ago, he was busy making noise on his own campus, in the opposite direction: "If Israel even sneezed in the wrong direction we were protesting. We held events with speakers who were blatantly anti-Semitic, but we couched it by saying they were anti-Zionist. I was generally obnoxious, loud and threatening," he admits.


"I think people are intrigued by fact that I'm not a Jew," he reflected. "There's almost a mindset that if you’re Jewish then you’re pro-Israel so a lot of Jewish voices get dismissed. I think it’s good when you have diverse voices speaking out in support of Israel because it also reflects the ground reality of Israeli society." Hafeez has visited Israel about a dozen times and the West Bank three times.

Of course, he has also experienced a lot of backlash, and learned to entirely avoid certain areas in Nottingham, where he used to live. He’s received hate mail to the point where he sounds almost blasé about death threats. “Yes, sometimes I get very poorly spelt and grammatically incorrect death threats on the Internet,” he laughed.

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