Nonie Darwish: A Courageous Attack on Islam and Arab "Culture"
I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks. My controversy with the far-left blogger representing CAE (the "participative art" group that never met a fringe issue it didn't want to embrace) and Steve Kurtz has come to a blessed conclusion, and there's much to talk about.
I've been reading an excellent book by Nonie Darwish: Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror (Sentinel, 2006). I obtained a hard-bound copy from Half-Price Book for $11.99. The daughter of an Egyptian military "shahid," a martyr for jihad, Darwish is something of a novelty among disaffected Muslim women: a superb writer.
She says: "Why do I speak out, and what do I say? I try to help Americans face the truth about the terror threat they are up against, help them understand the mind-set of the jihadists who wish to destroy America. I realize there is fire in my heart [and how!]. I do not deny it. I am angry at my [Egyptian/Arab] culture. What arrogance and ingratitude. Who gave my people the right to destroy the world in the name of Allah? No religion should advocate that."
Darwish continues: "Who gave my people the right to destroy people of other religions, cultures, and beliefs? Who gave them the right to declare a fatwa of death on Muslim critics who speak out Islamist tyranny? Some say this is clash of civilization. The truth is that this is an attack on civilization itself by haters of civilization."
Nonie Darwish rasies a critical question: Is Islam a religion that can attract and retain decent people, those who detest intolerance, fanaticism, and mass murder? I don't expect people in organizations like CAE to fit that definition of decency, beause it would inhibit their ability to attack America, including its elected leaders and its law-enforcement institutions.
As for the Arab culture that she left behind, Darwish suggests it is nasty and brutish. Largely because of the influence of Islam, such cultures are mainly racist, intolerant, and socially backward. Much of the populace is impoverished and illiterate, and the authoritarian governments seem to like it that way. Without the hatred of Jews and Christians to hold such societies together, they'd soon collapse.
Darwish explains that, "In Arab culture, being truthful is not only considered to be naive, and stupid, but it is also considered . . . rude. . . . Thus, Western culture's 'virtue' of honesty, in the eyes of Arabs, is not a virtue at all but an opportunity to take advantage of theWesterners . . . . For example, Muslim men look at the honesty and openness of Western women as an invitation -- she's being 'easy.' If she talks openly about her life and preferences and goes to lunch with him, then she must be asking for sex!"
Is she talking about ALL Arab Muslims? No, but she makes clear she's referring to most of them, and my own reading and experience tells me she's right on target.
It's not a pretty picture at all.
I urge every American to read Nonie Darwish's book. We've all been waiting for the "moderate Muslims" to show up and denounce their co-religionists who engage in homicidal actions. Darwish suggests that unfortunately such moderates may be nearly non-existent. In the Middle East and South Central Asia, the most ignorant and uneducated preachers dominate the mosques and madrassahs, with the financial support of Saudi Arabia and Iran, and that isn't a recipe for increasing the number of voices that advocated moderation.