A Conversation with a Muslim Zionist

Since 2017, Noor Dahri, a Pakistan-born British scholar of Islamic theology and counterterrorism, has considered himself a Zionist. He recently was the subject of some controversy in his native lands because of a visit to Israel. In an interview by Steve Postal, he speaks about evolving Muslim attitudes toward the Jewish state:

I believe the Muslim community in England is even more extreme than it is in Pakistan. In 2017, when I first adopted the ideology of Zionism, I received threats from within England’s Muslim community. However, when I visited Israel recently, I did not receive any such threat, which was surprising. I believe that the Abraham Accords have changed many minds. Many Muslims in England sent me best wishes and congratulations on my visit to Israel, and some of them even booked flights to visit Israel for the very first time. I believe this is a victory of Zionism and Israel, the Jewish state.

The Abraham Accords gave a breath of life to us Muslim Zionists, as it gave us an opportunity to support Israel and the Jewish people openly. Before, I was conducting my advocacy from unknown places, hiding in different cities in England. Those who supported me secretly before now openly support me. Pakistanis who once dreamed of visiting Israel are now actually visiting the country and promoting a positive image of Israel. Soon Saudi Arabia will join the Abraham Accords, God willing.

Pakistan has had behind the scenes political and military ties with Israel for decades. Pakistani prime ministers like Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, Pervez Musharraf, and Imran Khan have sent official delegations to Israel to normalize relations, and these are well documented. Pakistan is close to establishing overt diplomatic ties with Israel. However, such a move must be carefully coordinated, as Pakistan faces a high risk of an Islamist uprising as Pakistan just emerged from a twenty-year bloody war against the Islamists. If Saudi Arabia joins the Abraham Accords, this would give Pakistan sufficient cover to join as well.

Read more at American Spectator

More about: Abraham Accords, Jewish-Muslim Relations, Pakistan

How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus