Former Muslim Extremist Honored for Standing by Israel at ROLD 2015

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By Connor D. Wolf

There was a time when Kasim Hafeez wished for the destruction of Israel but now, as a defender of the Jewish state, he was honored Thursday with the Speakers of Truth award.

“Speaking out for the truth is not Islamophobia,” Hafeez declared to the crowd. “Don’t let the truth be compelled by this Islamophobia cause that’s been used to shutdown any criticism.”

Growing up as a British Muslim, Hafeez used to blame Israel for what was wrong with the world. Born to Pakistani parents, he was indoctrinated in his teens to become anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic. That was, however, before a series of chance encounters that led Hafeez to seek the truth about the people and country he hated the most.

Now, as a defender of the Jewish state, Hafeez was honored alongside Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Louie Gohmert at a dinner in Washington D.C. hosted by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

“When you stand up for what’s right, when you stand up for Israel, when you stand up for Israel, you will see amazing things happen, things in the world,” Hafeez continued. “For everything I’ve been through, the bad days, how my life is now is so, so much better, to be free from hatred is incredible.”

It all began when he read “The Case for Israel” by Alan Dershowitz. The book began to make Hafeez question his own beliefs. Determined to find the truth, he reached out to Israeli advocacy groups and eventually ended up visiting the Jewish state himself. There he found much of what he thought to be true was not.

Afterwards Hafeez went to The Israel Campaign which works to advocate for Israel and its right to exists. He also does talks across the world to tell his story and make the case for Israel.

“If it weren’t for Israel, understand, would I be alive, I don’t know, would I be here today, I don’t know,” he added. “Would I have met my partner whose amazing, no, because she’s Israeli.”

EMET, which advocates for the Israel-American alliance, is becoming more and more concerned with how President Barack Obama and his administration has been handling the Iran nuclear talks. Though Israel is right next to Iran, the group warns if the country is able to get nuclear weapons it would be disastrous for both Israel and America.

“The Iranians have about 19 more months to take advantage of the naivety of President Obama and his Administration,” Adam Turner, staff counsel for EMET, posted on the group’s website. “You can be sure that they will do so.”

“We have seen this all throughout the 18 months of the nuclear negotiations,” he continued. “During these negotiations, when Islamist Iran was supposedly working so hard to come to a compromise with the U.S. regarding its nuclear capabilities, we instead saw U.S. appeasement matched by Iranian cheating on the ‘deal,’ a worsening human rights situation in Iran, and Iranian aggression in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and the Persian Gulf.”

The administration, however, disagrees, arguing that the talks are going well.

“The President feels confident that he’ll be able to use diplomacy to prevent Iran from obtaining and nuclear weapon,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a press conference. “The There has been an active effort by some in Congress to try to interfere with that ability. But because House Democrats have signaled that they’re prepared to stand strong with the President, we think we can accomplish that goal.”

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The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is a Washington, D.C. based think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance. EMET (which means truth in Hebrew) prides itself on challenging the falsehoods and misrepresentations that abound in U.S. Middle East policy.

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