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No Fatwas in Israel

Reader comment on item: Conversions in Israel
in response to reader comment: Muslims converting to Judaism in Israel!!!

Submitted by Fred Schlomka (Israel), Jul 17, 2006 at 01:05

Israel and Palestine has a long-standing tradition of female conversions between the three monotheistic religions. In pre-state Palestine, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities were geographically and culturally very close. Marriages between villages were common, with the women coverting to the religion of the community she married in to. Such marriages were always know to strengthen the genetic stock of the villiage. Judaism and Islam permit marriage between first cousins with often disasterous genetic results.

Even with the upsurge of the Islamic Movement in israel today, Muslims accept occasional conversions. It's the Jewish community in israel that has often violent reactions to conversionsof Jews to other religions. Jewish converts are welcomed into their new communities whereas they are usually orstacised by their families and Jewish society. Muslim converts to Judaism are viewed with suspicion and the new family usually shunned, often ending up back in the Muslim community. Also the (Jewish/Israeli) government will put bureaucratic obsticles in the path of a convert's mandatory registration.

An Israeli citizen's religion must be registered by law, and until recently our religion/nationality was printed on our ID cards.

The majority of Jews have a particular aversion to converts. A common question among Jews when in doubt as to a new acquantance's origins is to ask 'Were you born Jewish'?.All the best,
Fred

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