WATCH: Arab Muslim Discovers He’s a Jew
Mordechai Halawa’s touching story of growing up a Kuwaiti Muslim with Palestinian Arab ancestry only to discover he’s actually a Jew has been making the rounds in the Israeli media over the past week.
Born Mumtaz Halawa, he always knew his grandmother had been a Jew who converted to Islam in order to marry his grandfather, an Arab from what is now the Palestinian Authority-controlled town of Nablus (biblical Shechem).
In Islamic law, someone born to a Muslim father is, therefore, a Muslim. Halawa never thought differently of himself, despite knowing his grandmother’s background.
That was until a Jewish man in Canada, where Halawa had gone to study, informed him that Jewishness is not primarily a religion, but rather an ethnicity that cannot be erased by conversion to one religion or another.
“I felt that until that day I was in a dream world, and then someone smacked me and I woke up,” Halawa told Orot TV.
Having come to a sudden realization that he was the enemy he was raised to hate, Halawa changed his first name to Mordechai, immigrated to Israel, began living as a Jew, married a Jewish girl, and is proudly hopeful that the children he will one day have will be Israelis.
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