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Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

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Geneva, Switzerland
posts: 44
reviews: 11
Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

Hello, I am passing forward a question from a friend who is an American national and also a Muslim. : Forgive me for the ignorance, but will I have trouble getting in? I am touring around to see all the old sites around the world and I very much would love to be able to see and wander around Jerusalem. Unfortunately with all the tensions going on these days, what do I need to know or be prepared for and just will help me get around and make the short trip a smooth one. Thanks in advance.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 9,727
reviews: 31
1. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

Your friend should have no trouble at all visiting Israel. As a US citizen he will be issued a tourist visa upon arrival. He will have to go through the same security procedures as anyone else - all he needs to know is that all the security procedures are for his protection, as well as everybody else - be truthful, be calm, answer honestly and truthfully and there shouldn't be any problems.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 9,904
reviews: 83
2. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

The added advantage of being a Moslem visiting Israel is that your friend will be able to visit sites that non-Moslems will not such as the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa. Israel is the only country in the Middle-east which has open doors to all those wishing to visit no matter what race, religion or color.

Chana

Israel

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,809
reviews: 17
3. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

If security realizes he is a Muslim, from his name or place of birth--there is a chance he will face extra questions. As Oreet indicated, calm, honest and patient. Security is there for everyone's protection. It may take a little longer at security and he may be pulled aside BUT unless he is lying about something (and security is good, they WILL know if he lies) than there is no reason why he won't have a fantastic visit in Israel.

4. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

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Geneva, Switzerland
posts: 44
reviews: 11
5. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

Hello, thanks for the responses, this is the spoken about traveler.

I definitely would like to see the Dome of the rock(it is unfortunate that this is only open to muslims-I didn't know that). That said, albeit non practicing, I do wear a beard, look muslim, and of course have a muslim name. My parents were born in other arab countries to which I have visited before, however I am born and bred in America, educated here so on.

I don't mind the extra questioning and respect the need to do that. I was just thinking if there is anything else given how I look I need to be careful of. I can imagine getting nervous just at the idea of questioning since it all just sounds 'intimidating', will these small things be of an issue for me? Is it safe for me to wander on my own.

Also, is it true with a stamp on my passport, some arab countries will not allow me to come afterward? Is there anyway around this...Sad state of affairs,but that is a different story...

Thanks in advance, Shalom, Kudafiz!

Haifa
posts: 860
reviews: 4
6. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

As strange as if it sounds, nowadays in the Middle East, the safest place for both Muslims and Christian is Israel.

You should have no concern.

As for your passport stamping concern you are right. An Israeli stamp in your passport will cause you a lot of troubles when trying to visit some other countries. Since it is a well-known problem to the Israeli authority there is a solution: BEFORE (and I will say it again: BEFORE!!!) you hand you passport demand that it will not stamp. You can get a visa stamped on a separate document that can be attached to your passport and will be taken at the end of your visit. If you'll need to explain why say up front why, that might cause you the extra questioning but will save you the need to change your passport as you come back.

Just remember – BEFORE!

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,809
reviews: 17
7. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

What Moti writes is correct. However, the word demand is strong. BEFORE handing it over Ask/ tell/ indicate that you do not want an Israeli stamp in your passport. There is a good chance that during extra questioning that will come up, Of all the concerns--Israel knows that some Arab nations won't allow you in with the stamp. So just relax. BTW worse case scenario is you get a new American passport earlier than you needed to.

Of course you will be nervous during the questions.

I am curious--if the traveler is American born, educated, bred "and so on' Why isn't he posting his own questions. It doesn't take much to open a Trip Advisor account. You do not even need to give your name. Everything we write about Muslim visitors to Israel is true BUT this thread is beginning to bother me!

Los Angeles...
posts: 2
8. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

As a Muslim the most important journey any Muslim will make is to Holly Mosque Al haram & Masjid Nabawi. Saudi Arabia will not allow entrance to anyone with Israel entry visa. The rest of the countries don't matter. I am an American Muslim of Turkish origins. Turkey, Egypt and Jordan do allow without any restrictions. Finally if you answers are lousy and you are lying about purpose of your trip you will be barred from entry into Israle. Be matter of fact I don't understand your practicing non practicing statement it's better to be honest and admit you're Muslim American be proud and not be ambiguous.

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 9,727
reviews: 31
9. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

I'm a bit confused - Rayhan - what was the point of re-awakening this thread? the question was posed two months ago - and I'm sure that the OP got whatever answers and information he needed. You joined TA only to post this reply which came out of nowhere - why?

Geneva, Switzerland
posts: 44
reviews: 11
10. Re: Traveling to Jerusalem/Israel as a Muslim

I agree Rayhan, in my opinion the fact that there is a barring of some people in the world to some of the most beautiful practices and history of the islamic world is ashame. Yes there is animosity between the two countries, but we must learn to Separate the politics from the people. I've been to some countries that had major issues with americans and the people we re so nice and they taught me that we know how to seperate the govt from the people. The ability to humanize, no matter what the religion, will show that we all have much more in common than you would think .

Its interesting that all these religions taht are about self righteousness, being good, and finding peace somehow lead to some people who use it for exclusivity and judgement. In my opinion, From moses, Jesus, to Mohammed haven't they all spoken heavily about peace and acceptance and not to mention that god is the judger not the people? This is not the place for this, so I will keep it at that.