Egyptian Muslim Speaks to BT Seniors about Anti-Semitism in Arab Countries
Hussein Aboubakr Mansour recently shared his life experiences as a Muslim living in Cairo, Egypt and the perspective of anti-Semitism from Arab countries with BT seniors. Molly S. ’20, a senior and intern with Stand With Us, recapped the highlights of his fascinating presentation.
Convinced as a child that “Jews were the ultimate villains,” Hussein Aboubakr Mansour wanted to study Hebrew to decode the Jews’ plans to take over the world. But as he studied the Hebrew language and Jewish history, he began to realize that his education in Egypt at school and at the mosque included many blatant falsehoods.
After being persecuted, harassed, interrogated, and tortured in a military defense facility for his unique views, Hussein in 2014 received asylum in the United States and now resides in Los Angeles. Hussein used to teach Hebrew studies at the Defense Language Institute and is now an educator with Stand With Us.
In his speech, Hussein shared the importance of education, freedom of speech, and individual thought as a step to combat antisemitism. Like Hussein, the vast majority of teens in Arab countries are not terrorists, but rather they are brainwashed to believe that the Jews are evil and must be destroyed. Hussein believes that to reverse this cycle of hatred is through a diverse education, freedom, and individual thought, where people can gain varying perspectives, real facts, and ultimately form their own opinions.