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From One Queer Muslim to Another…

Queer Muslim activist Nadiya Al-Noor explains why the anti-Israel movement- that leads this week’s campaign to ban LGBT Israel material from Halifax Pride- is just tired anti-Semitism

nadiyaI am a queer Muslim woman. I have experienced discrimination, hatred, and violence, simply for being who I am. I would never wish that upon anyone.

But apparently, some queer Muslims and Arabs haven’t got the message that discrimination is wrong.

The Queer Arabs of Halifax (QAH) is planning a motion Wednesday to ban Israeli pride displays and symbols from Halifax Pride, with emphasis on the Size Doesn’t Matter campaign by the Canadian Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

Size Doesn’t Matter (SDM) showcases queer Israeli achievements and provides information about tourism. According to QAH, this is unforgivable “pinkwashing.”

I have written about pinkwashing before:

“What is pinkwashing? Essentially, it’s the idea that Israel’s only identity is defined by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s the idea that speaking about gay rights in Israel, the struggles and the successes, is simply a distraction from the conflict. It’s the idea that Israel markets the achievements of the Israeli gay rights movement in order to make Israel attractive to the West. The accusation of “pinkwashing” is a common tactic used by the anti-Israel movement to silence gay Israelis, negate their struggles, spit on their successes, and turn LGBT people against the only state in the Middle East where they would not be treated as criminals. An anti-pinkwashing protest shut down an American-Israeli panel/Shabbat service at the National LGBT Task Force’s Creating Change Conference in Chicago this past January.”

SDM has no connection to the Israeli government and gets no funding from Israel. The mission of SDM is to connect millennial Jews to Jewish peoplehood in Israel and promote an inclusive global Jewish community.

But those who want to ban SDM and Israeli symbols don’t care about these facts. The accusation of “pinkwashing” is part of an ongoing campaign to slander Israelis.

There is an orchestrated attack on the Israeli community by Arabs and Muslims worldwide, painting Israelis and sometimes Jews in general as subhuman, murderous monsters hell-bent on oppressing Palestinians.

Why? Supposedly in solidarity with “Palestine,” against the “occupation” of Palestinian land and the “apartheid” against Arabs in Israel (despite the fact that the millions of Israeli Arabs have the same exact rights as non-Arab Israelis, which is counter to the very definition of apartheid). In reality, this “solidarity” is just tired anti-Semitism.

Don’t believe me? I’ll play your little game.

I propose we ban Turkish pride displays from Halifax Pride, on account of Turkey’s ongoing occupation of Northern Cyprus.

What’s that? You didn’t even know there was a Turkish occupation? Well, of course. We Muslims don’t care about the plight of the Christians of Cyprus, because the Turks are Muslims, not Jews.

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