If Israel wants to ban antisemites, it should start by banning antisemites

As a Jewish refugee from Uzbekistan, I know the truth about the history between Jews and Muslims – and I won’t be swung by propaganda

Rafael Shimunov
The Independent Voices

I’m no stranger to trumped-up antisemitism charges placed on Muslims. As a Jewish refugee from Soviet-dominated Uzbekistan, I lived as a minority among majority Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs and other Muslims for generations. Of course, no melting pot is free from conflict, but under Soviet dominance, which disguised white supremacy as communism, our families were in it together. At home in Queens, New York, we were the first of our family and among the first Bukharian Jews to settle in the US as HIAS refugees. With our success came opportunities to receive other families fleeing as hosts.

My childhood became a reality show, where each season, a new family would arrive and its elders and its children would share with me all of their stories. They arrived in Muslim or Jewish garb from Iran, Mongolia, China, North Africa and Eastern Europe, with the same instruments and traditions we recognised. And the stories they told made two things very clear to me.

When Central Asian Jews and Muslims found themselves under the boot of Moscow’s white supremacy, our rabbis and our imams found interfaith solidarity.

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