Has Fiyaz Mughal finally seen the light?

 Has Fiyaz Mughal of the interfaith group Faith Matters had a wake-up call? Readers of Point of No Return may recall that this blog challenged him over his booklet Righteous Muslims some two years ago. To highlight the few Muslims who saved Jews in the Holocaust was a laudable initiative, but to leave out the extensive sympathy Arabs and Muslims had for Nazism was misleading.  Now, attending an interfaith meeting in France, Mughal appears to have confronted the ugly face of Muslim antisemitism for the first time. The young ‘Arab-looking’ Jewish victim was willing to give up her ‘Arab-Jewish heritage’, as Mughal understood it, and flee to Israel. In this Huffington Post article, Mughal mangles the history of Jews in Algeria, but seems finally to have seen the light.

The session started with a grand set of speeches that built on the
need to tackle intra-faith and interfaith tensions between Muslims and
Jews whilst also re-enforcing the need for both communities to come
together on issues of Halal and Shechita, circumcision and countering
xenophobia in an increasingly inward looking fearful Europe. Seated next
to an Arab looking woman with a Blackberry in my hand, I tweeted out
sections of the speeches and during the break decided to introduce
myself since I was mindful that I was giving the impression of being a
geek without any relational or communication skills.

The Arab looking woman turned out to be a French Jewish woman of
Algerian origin. A conversation with her led to her highlighting the
fear of Jews in France, not only from the Far Right and the double speak
of Marie Le Pen, but increasingly from individuals of Muslim origin who
were influenced by Al Qaeda narratives. “Surely you do not feel that
threatened in France since the French Government is keen to protect its
minorities?” I remarked, ignorant to the fact that I was merely a
visitor for a few days. Her response was even more shocking. At 25, she
felt so insecure that she wanted to undertake Aaliyah and leave for
resettlement in Israel. This young, talented, confident young Jewish
woman with an entwined Arab cultural heritage wanted to leave her life
and all she knew in France, for the safety she believed she would get in
Israel. She wanted to give up her life and leave just so that she felt
safe!

The meeting was a wake-up call for me. The journey back to London
gave me time to think. What would make someone feel so insecure to give
up their life and move to another country to start up again? What would
make a woman feel that her security lay in a country 2,000 miles away?
Why did I feel guilty? Yes, I was a Muslim, but I was not responsible
for making her feel insecure. At each turn of my mind, I was
uncomfortable, worried and aggravated as to the future of Muslim and
Jewish relations in France. I also felt anger, anger at the Merah’s
of this world. Their actions were not only destroying any future of
co-existence between French Muslims and Jews, they were also responsible
for promoting a deep sense of fear, even within young people who were
open minded enough to turn up to an interfaith conference and listen to
the beliefs, aspirations and fears of other faith communities.

The memory of this fleeting experience lives with me. Whilst France
may not be our problem, in a way, it is. What happens in Europe affects
us in England since we are connected in so many ways on a global level.
However, of greater concern for me was the loss of this woman’s
heritage. Her family had lived with Muslims in Algeria for generations.
They were protected, respected and regarded as Algerian. At some point,
the family migrated to Europe and her Algerian identity was passed down
through various generations. Now, a young French citizen of the country,
she felt fear from those who had also migrated from North Africa, a
place which had shaped her ancestry. She will over time, in my opinion,
forget about her Algerian identity and in Israel, this may be lost. Just
another tragic story of Muslim and Jewish histories once entwined, now
so sharply separated.

Read article in full 

Controversy over ‘Righteous Muslims’ rumbles on

3 Comments

  • JDL please note that personal abuse will not be tolerated on this blog. Final warning!

    Reply
  • This man is a stealth jihadist spreading "taqqiya" lying in order to advance islam:
    http://www.jdl-uk.org/2013/01/fiyaz-mughals-faith-matters-tellmamauk.html
    To the coward "anonymous":
    you muslims are the whiners the liars and the divisive element in this society. Before muslims came to UK,it was a great country, at peace and productive. And as usual you cannot write a comment without frothing at the mouth yourself, attacking people and smearing them.

    Reply
  • So you met one person who felt a little uncomfortable and was thinking of leaving. You should be ashamed of foaming at the mouth and making a sly attack on Mutual based on such a flimsy basis.

    If you want to be taken seriously as a humanitarian and honest broker you would acknowledge that islamophobia is the real problem. Jews making mountains out of molecules just to keep the "squeaky wheel" in motion do no favours for their own community.

    Reply

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This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

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Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

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