Insights from a radical Muslim who converted to Judaism

By Michael Brown

On June 12, the Jerusalem Post ran an article by Ohad Merlin titled, “Gaza mosques to Jerusalem synagogues: A radical Islamist’s journey to Judaism.” It tells the story of Yaron Avraham, raised as a radical Muslim in Gaza but now a religious Jew who runs a restaurant in Israel.

The “12th child in a household of 18,” Avraham would wake up at 5:30 a.m. to begin his Islamic devotions, memorizing the Quran by the age of 12. Still, he was horrified at the treatment of his sister Sarah, who was savagely beaten to death by her brothers for daring to take a walk through a mall. In the eyes of her brothers, she had dishonored the family and disobeyed their orders. To murder her was the right thing to do.

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When Avraham protested their actions, they forcefully brought him to a boarding school at a mosque in Gaza, where he stayed for the next 5 years.

He explained, “They made me experience death and find the ‘thrill’ in it. We were taken to participate in funerals of so-called shaheeds. Imagine this: Children are made to walk past the corpses of those alleged martyrs, kiss their hands or feet, depending on what’s left of them. Lots of brainwashing about heaven, hell, the afterlife.”

Were his experiences typical of families in Gaza? Was the killing of his sister a glaring exception to the rule? Was the emphasis on the glories of martyrdom an aberration?

A February 2021 article in the Times of Israel reported that “A Hamas-run Islamic court in the Gaza Strip has ruled that women require the permission of a male guardian to travel.” Specifically, an unmarried woman may not travel without the permission of her ‘guardian,’ which would usually refer to her father or another older male relative. Permission would need to be registered at the court, but the man would not be required to accompany the woman on the trip.”

As for married women, “The language of the ruling strongly implied that a married woman would not be able to travel without her husband’s approval.”

Welcome to the liberating spirit of Sharia Law.

A September 2019 article posted on Human Rights Watch, but originally published on the New Arab website, began with these chilling words: “Videos that circulated on social media in August appearing to show a hospital corridor with a woman heard pleading and screaming, and sounds of intermittent thuds, have sparked protests and outrage at the lethal cost that Palestinian women pay because of a lack of protections and discriminatory laws.”

Even Al-Jazeera reported in March 2014 that there was an “upsurge” in honor killings in Gaza, stating, “Two teenage Palestinian girls were killed in separate incidents last month in so-called ‘honor killings’, revenge attacks carried out most often by family members against women suspected of ‘immoral sexual conduct.’ The deaths sparked protests with more than 100 people assembling outside the general attorney’s office in Gaza on March 3, demanding violence against Palestinian women come to a halt. Five women died in honor killings in the Palestinian territories in 2011. That number rose to 13 in 2012 and doubled to 26 last year.”

Welcome to the world of Hamas. (And yes, it remains a great idea to grant expense-paid, six-month trips to Gaza – during a time of peace, not war – for all the student protesters who have taken up the cause of Hamas, especially the female students.)

As for children being trained to be martyrs in the war against Israel (and against infidels in general), this is anything but a secret, as a quick search of the words “Hamas trains children to be martyrs” (without quotes for the search) will quickly indicate.

That’s why Avraham, whose story of conversion to Judaism and solidarity with Israel is worth reading, has no illusions when it comes to what it will take to achieve peace with Hamas. Peace will come, he explains, “When the last Jew stops breathing.” That alone will satisfy the leaders of Hamas.

While these are certainly not the sentiments of all Muslims, they do reflect the ideology and practice of radical Islam, of which Hamas provides a glaring and murderous example.

As I have suggested before, anyone doubting this should take a few minutes each week to read articles or watch videos on websites like Palestinian Media Watch or Memri TV, where you can hear directly from Palestinian leaders as well as Islamic leaders worldwide.

Make no mistake about it: Radical Islam is not your friend.

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