Moroccan Muslim wants to stay in Israel

The Jerusalem Post has this unusual story: a Moroccan Muslim woman living in Israel wishes to convert to Judaism and is fighting extradition by the Israeli government. If she went back to Morocco, her own family would kill her. (With thanks: Albert)

“A Muslim woman from Morocco, who has been living in Israel for the last 10 years and dreams of converting to Judaism, is fighting an Interior Ministry decision to extradite her, where she claims she will be murdered by her family for deserting the faith of her birth.

“Sitting in the courtyard of the women’s foreign worker section of Maasiyahu Prison near Ramle, Achoura Abbadi seems out of place among the sea of Eastern European and African faces. It is not only her Semitic features – olive skin, black hair and dark brown eyes – that set her apart from the others but also the small sparkling Star of David that hangs around her neck and her fluent Hebrew, peppered with standard Israeli phrases such as “motek” and “kapara.” Abbadi, 49, came to Israel legally in 1996 to work as a caregiver for an elderly lady in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Kiryat Shaul near Haifa. It was during her two and a half years there that she started to become interested in Judaism.

“I had a few Jewish friends in Morocco but here I met some very religious people,” says Abbadi. “There were so many things that I did not know about the religion. I liked the fact that the people I met seemed to really care for one another and for their religion. Even though I was born and raised a Muslim, I started to feel more Jewish.”

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