To accuse an Arab of being a Jew is a tried and tested means of discrediting him. But Morocco has a long tradition of popular antisemitism, as per the expression ‘Yehudi hashak’ (Jew, pardon me). By claiming he has no problem with people who think he is Jewish, Moroccan singer Hamid El Hadri may be pushing back against this longstanding prejudice. Clip via MEMRI (with thanks: Lily):
Moroccan singer and musician Hamid El Hadri responded to speculations that he was Jewish, saying that perhaps he looks Jewish, and he has no problem with that, but he is a Muslim. He made these remarks in an interview that aired on Chada TV (Morocco) on July 12, 2021. Hadri continued to say that he considers Moroccan Jews as brothers and believes that everyone is free to choose their own faith. He added that the Jews “are good people who love their country.”
Interviewer: “Some people saw this picture and said Hamid El Hadri is a Moroccan Jew.”
El Hadri: “Maybe. Perhaps I look Jewish, but this something I have no problem with. I believe that Moroccan Jews are our brothers, and I have some friends from among them who are like brothers to me. I believe in the freedom of everybody to choose their own faith. I am a Muslim – I pray and I have performed the Hajj.
“The Moroccan Jews are part of Moroccan society. They are good people who love their country. They respected their religion and they loved their Moroccan spirit.”