A few months ago I wrote an expose of a “Mark” Halawa, who’d been adopted by the far-right settler group, Aish Hatorah, as their pet Muslim Jew (more about this later). I called him “Aish’s Manchurian Muslim.” The profile about him contained elements so far fetched as to be almost laughable, especially that he’d grown up as a Muslim but discovered his grandmother was really Jewish, which led to him “returning” to his supposed Jewish faith.
After I wrote this post, I heard from several individuals who’d had various unpalatable interactions with him in previous incarnations of his life. The main one was Walid, who’d met “Muntasir” as he was then known, at the University of Western Ontario when both were students there. Walid’s accounting was so sensational I didn’t fully trust it till I spoke to him by phone. Here is some of it:
He is the scum of the scum. A man with no morals or eithics, willing to sell his soul to the devil…The guy is confused, [a] drug addict…He claims that his grandma is Jewish. The guy is a fraud and it’s not hard to figure this out after sitting with him for a few minutes.
He was kicked out from UWO for plagiarism. I remember him wanting to make money or get famous at any expense. He finally met a Jewish lady that he managed to sell his story to.
Another source who knows him and knows others even more familiar with him, says his drug of choice is (or was, not sure he’s still dabbling) cocaine. She added that he is a “con artist.”
Back during college, Muntasir told Walid of a scheme to recruit a woman to do a porno movie. The latter wasn’t sure whether Halawa was going to star in it or only produce it. My source above confirms that he retains a fascination with making the entertainment industry, though his subject matter has become considerably less ribald. Nowadays, he wants to make a TV show (reality?) to prove that Israelis and Palestinians can live together–the Aish way, natch. He’s always on the look-out for wealthy Jews who can fund his ventures and, I presume, his lifestyle.
Walid actually felt sorry for Halawa because he’d come to Canada on his own without any family and was having a hard time of it. Besides, by the latter’s account his own family was extremely dysfunctional. A poor lost, troubled soul like this is a perfect mark for cults like Aish HaTorah. Not to mention that Aish gets a tremendous propaganda asset in recruiting him. They can send him around the pro-Israel lecture circuit to rally the troops and gain new recruits for the cause.
I actually didn’t anticipate writing further about Halawa, but another reader has pointed out to me that he’s been making multiple appearances on college campuses at pro-Israel events (here is one at York University hosted by the pro-Israel media advocacy group CAMERA during Israel Awareness Week). So I want to make the information I have available so that anyone considering booking him will know that this man is a deeply troubled individual harboring confused motives for his behavior. Clearly, he is exploiting the gullibility of his patrons who themselves are only too happy to exploit him in return.
Interesting that he’s allowing his hosts to market him as “Palestinian,” when by his own admission he was raised in Kuwait (Twitter handle: YidfromQ8) and never stepped foot in Palestine. Unless of course his latest fictionalized biography has a new chapter about this part of his life.
I find this Facebook contribution by him in a thread about the creation of a “Palestinian Zionist Organization,” in which he discusses other anti-Jihadi Muslims labelling them money-grubbing frauds, quite telling in an unintended way:
Many of these lowlifes sprout everyday callign [sic] themselves ex-jihadis, or ex-terrorists, and suddenly they’re seen as experts on the conflict.
At York University in Toronto, just recently, a new person called Kamal Salim charged 3,000 dollars to speak for an hour and 45 mins about how horrible Islam is, causing him to be a terrorist. But, no one questions that he’s a 28 year old who grow up in suburban America.
Irshad Manji spoke at University of Western Ontario, a few years back. I was told she made many North American women sob to her stories of how being forced to wear Hijab ruined her hair!!!…. While no one would stop for a second to remember that Manji – a Lesbian, and an anchor on Queer TV – grew up in British Columbia to an Ismaili family that doesn’t believe in Hijab to start with…
By the same token and for triple the pay; anti-Zionist (anti-Jewish groups) could get one of these cronies to swear on his/her life seeing Zionist soldiers bbq’ing children [sic] body parts for breakfast!
If you recall Walid’s account above of Halawa’s obsession with becoming rich or famous, his preoccupation with lecture fees and his status on the pro-Israel circuit fits quite nicely. The old saying is “there’s a sucker born every minute.” I urge the Jewish community not to be taken in. Consider yourselves warned.
As Halawa notes above, there is a cottage industry of Muslim fakes and frauds doing precisely what he’s doing within the pro-Israel world. Among them are Walid Shoebat and now Caspian Makan, who is about to star in a new anti-Iran film produced by Aish HaTorah (under its affiliated Clarion Fund). Numerous Iranians have told me about Makan being precisely the same type of manipulative con artist as the Manchurian Muslim.