Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi, an Indian historian, says he may have found a genetic link between members of his clan in northern India, the now-Muslim Afridi Pathans, and one of the Ten Lost Tribes.
"There were those who looked at this research as part of a big Zionist conspiracy against Islam," said Aafreedi, who is currently conducting research at Tel Aviv University into possible Israelite descent among certain Muslim Indian groups. "They felt I was trying to deprive Islam of its bravest followers, the Pathans, by converting them to Judaism. They felt that my convincing them of their Jewish heritage was just another form of conversion."
According to Aafreedi's study, which was published as an e-book, about 650 out of the 1,500 members of the Afridi Pathan clan in Malihabad, India, may possess genetic material shared by nearly 40 percent of Jews worldwide. If confirmed, the findings would support the clan's connection to the tribe of Ephraim, Aafreedi said. A related Indian Pathan group numbering some 800 people was not tested for the project.