Ceylan Özbudak is a political analyst on Turkish television and an executive director of Building Bridges, an Istanbul-based NGO associated with the Harun Yahya organization.
I know next to nothing about Harun Yahya and therefore cannot speak to its nature, but I know that Ceylan wrote this to me in a personal email:
"Whoever is using al-Aqsa mosque for provocation, whoever starts a fight in the mosque is shameless, this is not an action Muslims should support. On the contrary, this is an action Muslims should shun. Israel may have malpractices. But I experienced personally many times that whenever we ask them about the details of an incident, they give us detailed explanations and they are open to agreement, they are usually civil people.
The system is also democratic in Israel."This is a friend of the Jewish people and I am going to acknowledge her as so.
We are a tiny minority.
We represent 2 percent of the American population and .2 percent of the world population.
The pro-Israel / pro-Jewish on-line community has accepted both African-American Chloe Valdary and Indigenous-American Ryan Bellerose as great friends.
Because they are humanitarians they do not want to see us persecuted in our own homeland just as they do not want to see their own people harassed.
Black people in the Americas and indigenous Americans know what it is like to be under pressure by a much larger hostile majority population, thus Valdary and Bellerose are friends to the Jewish people. Our experiences are not identical, but as Black people and indigenous people were people under siege, so are the Jews in the Middle East.
This understanding is important, essential, ignored by the academe when it comes to Jews, and one that needs acknowledgment and encouragement.
Ceylan's note to me came prior to the recent synagogue attack in which anti-Jewish Jihadis brutally killed rabbis during prayer.
I just want to thank her for standing up.
It is not every Muslim woman - not to mention a beautiful television personality in Turkey, for chrissake - who would have the integrity to contact someone such as myself - a Jewish analyst half a world away in the San Francisco Bay Area - in a spirit of universal outreach.
You have my thanks, Ceylan.