Many years ago, Kasim Hafeez was an entirely different person — a man he’d hardly recognize today, as a born-again Christian.
“I was the anti-Semite,” Hafeez told Faithwire.
Growing up in the U.K., he lived in a community “where anti-Semitism was very casual and accepted” and in an era when “extremism was rising.”
Hafeez, then a Muslim, had immersed himself so deeply into radical ideologies he was convinced terrorism against Israel and Jewish people “was justified.” In fact, he saw it as “a good thing” and was interested in joining a terrorist cell.
But then something happened: the man who had harbored an “intense hatred” for Jews for more than two decades was granted the opportunity to visit Israel.
“I’d never met a Jewish person in my life,” Hafeez recalled. “And then I go to Israel and just the reality of it — speaking to people — I guess it went from seeing Jews and Israel as ‘the other’ to actually seeing them as humans, as people.”
The upcoming, limited-release documentary, “Never Again,” chronicles the details of Hafeez’s stunning transformation from a radicalized, anti-Semitic Muslim to a born-again Christian defending Israel.
It was during that trip to the Jewish state that Hafeez met the now-91-year-old Holocaust survivor Irving Roth and was confronted “with my own wrong” and “decided that I had to speak out for what’s right and share my experiences.”
“If something’s wrong, it’s wrong, and we have a responsibility to speak out,” he explained. “And of course, today, I’m a Christian, so that’s even heightened [my passion] to speak out against what is wrong. It’s a biblical commandment. It’s not optional.”
While the film showcases a true tale of redemption, it also shines a light on the anti-Semitism that still grips much of the world.
In the documentary, Roth said: “The lies that were perpetrated [during World War II] have been repackaged in the 21st century form.”
“The end result is the same,” he continued. “The destruction of a people.”
ReelWorks Studios partnered with Christians United for Israel in making the movie, which addresses the radical Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement and the growing disdain for those who support Israel’s right to exist.
In 2019, the House of Representatives condemned the anti-Semitic BDS Movement with a 398-17 vote. There were 16 Democrats, though, who voted against condemning the radical group, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Tlaib claimed at the time she “can’t stand by and watch this attack on our freedom of speech and the right to boycott the racist policies of the government in the state of Israel.”
Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., called out the BDS Movement for being an organization “about destroying the world’s only sovereign Jewish state and denying the Jewish people’s right to self determination in their homeland.
“That, by any definition,” he said, “is anti-Semitic.”
The documentary is in select theaters nationwide Oct. 13 and 15.
You can hear more about Hafeez’s story in our interview above.