Fred Maroun
A believer in peace and human dignity

I stand with Muslims, but I expect Muslims to stand with Israel

Canada suffered a terrorist attack on a mosque in Quebec City on Sunday January 29. Six innocent people were killed and several more were injured. The reaction from the media and politicians has been what it should be – widespread denunciation of the terrorist, and a message of inclusion, friendship, and sympathy towards Muslim Canadians.

I am proud of my country for this reaction. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard recognized that incitement leads to violence when said, “Words that people speak, that people write, are not harmless. They mean something. They can unite people, they can heal people. They can also hurt”. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that, “As a community and country, together we will rise from this darkness stronger and more unified than ever before”.

It is critical that we stand with those who are the object of hatred and violence, so it seems that we are doing all the right things. It is the moral thing to do, and in the end it will benefit everyone if our society is stronger and more united.

But the reality is that our society is not strong and united, it shows no sign of becoming stronger and more united, and that is largely the fault of Muslims themselves.

While much of the world quickly and rightfully supported Muslims against the poorly formulated and unnecessary immigration policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, while much of Canada rallies to support Canadian Muslims against hatred and violence, Muslims themselves have created and continue to maintain one of the biggest global injustices of all, the anti-Semitic demonization of Israel.

The demonization of Israel and consequently of the Jews is the making of Arabs, almost all of whom are Muslim, with the support of the vast majority of Muslims around the world.

To the Muslims whose human rights I support and will always support, I ask: Why do you not demonstrate against your regimes’ antisemitism? Why do you allow your regimes and their allies to maintain a continuous stream of anti-Israel rhetoric at the United Nations? Why do you allow your regimes to ban the entry of Israelis? Why do you not protest the demonization of Israel and Jews in your media? Why do you help anti-Israel extremists on the world’s campuses rather than oppose them?

The vast majority of Jews support the human rights of Muslims, including Palestinians, often actively. Sadly I see little support in the opposite direction. Instead, I see much hatred. While Couillard wishes to end hate speech against Muslims, who is addressing hate speech against Jews? Only Muslims can.

Trudeau can speak all he wants about rising from the darkness stronger and more unified, but as long as the vast majority of Muslims do not do their part in opposing hatred, our societies will remain dark and disunited. Unless Muslims start acting responsibly, terrorist attacks will continue and will amplify, hatred will beget hatred, and the cycle will never end.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and to defend itself. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities co-exist in peace with each other, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
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