People often wonder what it is like to be a Muslim in North America who believes and defends the existence of Israel as a sovereign state. To tell you the truth, it is tough considering that Muslims who share my ideology have to face two kinds of extremists: Muslim and Jewish.
Allow me to explain. The commonality between most Israel-supporting Muslims and most Jewish people is the celebration of Israel's creation by the United Nations in 1947, and potentially the Balfour Declaration of 1917. United in our belief, we face very harsh opposition from a minority of Muslim extremists. Many Israel-supporting Muslims have their personal security compromised by the same extremists that support global terrorism, though I personally see that as a minor issue.
The major issue that we face is the education and advocacy tactics that the minority Muslim extremists are using to promote their ideology in North America. It is not surprising to find crowds of protesters chanting "Globalize the intifada" at the Israeli consulate. How did their advocacy tactics get to such an extreme that the University of Toronto allowed anti-Israel student groups to pin up al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade posters honoring suicide bombers inside one of the faculty buildings, despite the fact Canadian law bans the support of that particular group, and all similar groups?
Hate tactics against Israel are transforming into hatred against Judaism and its allies. For an Israel-supporting Muslim or any Jew, these tactics are frightful.
THERE IS no compromise from the extremist Jewish side either. When North American extremist Jews advocate and educate for Israel's right to exist, often there is no dichotomy between Muslims who support Israel and Muslims who do not. Instead of assailing anti-Israel extremism, they target the name of Islam, fully knowing that it is an Abrahamic faith that cherishes Judaism.
Sadly, both Israel-supporting Muslims and the average Muslim find themselves targeted by extremist Zionists for belief in their religion. While money flows into the promotion of derogatory words of "radical Islam" and "Islamists," unthinking hatred towards North American Muslims increases.
Since we believe that Islam represents peacefulness and a concept of life that is devoted to goodness, synthetically attaching a negative connotation to the word Islam is vehemently discriminatory. In a sense, misusing the word Islam for the promotion of Israel is just as bad as molesting the teachings of Islam to promote the destruction of Israel.
The minority of Muslims who support Israel's existence are placed in a double quagmire. As a plea, we ask the minority extremist Muslims in North America to stop the hatred of Judaism and stop promoting terrorism in their anti-Israel advocacy. Similarly, we ask the minority extremist Jews in North America to stop degrading Islam in their pro-Israel advocacy.
The solution is easy. Extremist Muslims ought to stop attacking Jews, and start attacking Israeli policy. Extremist Jews ought to stop attacking Islam, and start attacking Palestinian policy. Let this conflict which is growing in intensity throughout North America be about politics, and we can leave religion out of the matter.
The writer is a Canadian university student.