In an unprecedented endeavor, a few Muslim believers are crossing the Holy Land’s volatile boundaries of culture, faith and politics to bring Islam to Israel’s Jews — hoping, improbably, that some will be willing to renounce their religion for a new one.
The bearded men approach Jews in and around the Old City of Jerusalem and try, in polite and fluent Hebrew, to convert them.
“I must tell you about the true faith,” said one missionary in a cobblestone plaza outside Jerusalem’s Old City. He carried a knapsack full of pamphlets about Islam in several languages, including Hebrew. “You can do with it what you want. But telling you is our duty.”
Most people, he said, brush him off and keep walking.
A computer programmer educated at an Israeli college, he sported a scraggly beard, loose pants and a long shirt typical of the purist Muslims known as Salafis. He gave his name only as Abu Hassan.
There are no signs the endeavor has met with any success. Only about a dozen Muslims are involved. Most of the handful of Jews who convert do so to marry Muslim men, rather than from proselytizing. Still, the act of spreading Islam in Hebrew is profound, reflecting a striking confidence on the part of some Muslims, members of Israel’s Arab minority.Continue Reading on www.usatoday.com