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There is an ongoing myth that there is a vast number of "moderate Muslims", especially in the U.S.A., who do not agree with the radical islamofascist agenda and do not support organizations like CAIR, but they are too afraid or timid or intimidated and so don't speak out. This is not a convincing excuse because we can see and hear many of these same "moderates" vocally supporting CAIR whenever there is a real or phony "hate crime" or when our security forces discover a terrorist living among us. You also see them happily singing along when other Muslims riot, as they did against the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed.
Despite it all, there are some "moderate Muslims." You can
count them without going past the single digits, but these Muslims are
speaking up. Some, known to have been former terrorists themselves,
now diligently labor to make an indifferent American public understand
what resurgent Islam has in store for America. See for example
http://www.somebodyhelpme.info/righteous/righteous.html for video interviews with Walid Shoebat, Ibrahim Abdallah and Zak Anani. Read Shoebat's advise to the Jewish community -- "To Win or to belly-ache? That is the question," Think-Israel, May-June, 2006,
http://www.think-israel.org/shoebat.deadheart.html. Or go to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Negt6IzxPTo for a fascinating interview with Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-American psychiatrist (and Muslim) who is very honest about Muslims and Islam in general. Another is Nonie Darwish.
I first met Nonie Darwish, a self-described "infidel," before 9/11 at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The center had put on display the bombed out skeleton of an Israeli commuter bus that had been attacked by a homicide bomber. The exhibit -- heavily attended by city officials -- was intended to allow people to grasp firsthand the hideous wrath of terror. Again, this event took place before 9/11 at a time when terrorism was far more poignant to Israelis than to Americans.
Nonie addressed the crowd on that day, and listeners were floored by what she had to say. Had 9/11 not occurred, though, I might not have had reason to remember Nonie, and she might not have had cause to wage her own war on Islamic terror. Recently, StandWithUs brought Nonie to a private home in Beverly Hills to share her exceptional tale with a small gathering of individuals committed, in their own way, to fighting Islamo-fascism.
Nonie Darwish is a sweet, down-to-earth woman whose conscience compelled her to speak out.
She was born in Egypt but spent her early childhood in the Gaza Strip. Her father served as head of Egyptian intelligence in Gaza. He was charged with establishing and directing the Palestinian fedayun (i.e. suicide troops trained, equipped, and paid by Egyptian intelligence operatives) that infiltrated Israel. Members of the fedayun were guilty of killing no fewer than 400 Israelis and injuring many more. Israel, as a result, targeted Nonie's father. She described a night during which Israeli commandos raided her home only to find her mother, five children, and two maids. Because her father was not home at the time, the Israeli commandos left without incident. In fact, they did not so much as wake her. This contradicted the endless tales she had heard of how much Israeli soldiers reveled in torturing and killing defenseless Palestinian woman and children. Nonie stated how different the outcome would have been had armed Palestinians raided a home occupied by Israeli women and children. Israeli commandos did eventually assassinate her father, but she displayed no signs of animosity towards Israel for it. Nonie remembered her father as a man who did not preach hatred for Israel or for Jews. Rather, he was a respected and dedicated military man whose fate was the consequence of his occupation.
Nonie returned to Egypt, where she was always exposed to Islamic indoctrination. In 1978, Nonie left her large family behind for the promising shores of the United States. She took pride in becoming an American citizen and "fell out of religion." Even in the U.S., imams ordered Muslim congregates not to integrate. Their divine duty, after all, was to Islamize America. Nonie felt that mosques everywhere were promoting intolerance and hate rather than self-reflective wisdom. She did not wish to expose herself or her children to such destructive values.
While Nonie was long conscious of the frightening aspects of Islam, she fully recognized the danger it posed to the world after 9/11. The day before she had just returned home from a visit to Egypt where Nonie realized how, over the years, ideologically, far apart she had drifted from her family. They, like most Egyptians and Arabs, expressed unwarranted resentment towards Israel and Jews for the many ills in their lives and for the failings of their country. After the terrorist strikes on 9/11, Nonie called numerous relatives and Arab acquaintances to make sense of the calamity. She was met with accusations leveled at Israel, Jews, and the U.S. for concocting a plot to discredit Muslims, who surely could not be to blame. These exchanges confirmed to Nonie that Islam was unable and unwilling to accept criticism or fault of any kind, even when deserved. She was flabbergasted.
Nonie made the decision to speak out against the radicalism of Islam. Prior to 9/11, she had toyed with the idea of voicing her discontent but was reluctant to deal with the possible ramifications of doing so. Nonie wrote an article for a modest publication in which she denounced the evils of the culture of Islam. The article was widely circulated via the Internet, and Nonie was unexpectedly thrust into the center of attention. This soft-spoken woman was pressed to speak to audiences. Nonie recalled an early speaking engagement attended by two female survivors of the Holocaust. The two elderly women sitting in the front row cried knowingly as she spoke. Nonie cried as well. She wondered how these frail survivors of incalculable horror could be perceived as a threat to Islam. Rather, they needed to be cherished and respected.
Nonie has since allied herself with StandWithUs (www.StandWithUs.org). On behalf of the organization, she speaks frequently, especially at universities, in a continuing effort to educate a public often made ignorant by political correctness. Nonie tries to shed light on the actual circumstances of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to discredit the typically bigoted accounts that garner so much attention. Her reservations about speaking have lessened considerably. She is comforted by the freedoms and protections that the United States provides. Israelis, in her estimation, are the brave ones. Nonie has also formed the Arabs for Israel organization -- http://www.http://www.arabsforisrael.com/
During a visit to Gaza long ago, Nonie recounted how her brother had required immediate medical attention. Several Palestinians, despite their hatred for Israel, urged Nonie to take her brother to an Israeli medical facility instead of an Egyptian one if she wanted him to survive. Nonie's brother received impeccable treatment at the Haddasah Hospital in Jerusalem. The caring Israeli medical staff yet again defied every malicious account offered by her Muslim brethren. She understood too that Muslims would sooner die than admit their subconscious respect for Israeli accomplishment, skill, and common decency.
Nonie asserts that almost every Muslim family possesses or knows a shahid -- a martyr. Her family is no exception. Her own grandfather was a shahid. This sort of suicidal behavior epitomizes Islam's unwillingness to face reality. Rather than look inward to rectify what ails Islam, Muslims habitually shirk deserved criticism and personal responsibility by placing blame where it does not belong. Muslims have thus made Israel, Jews, and the United States their eternal scapegoat.
Nonie believes that the free world can help Muslims realize the error of their ways. Westerners must first abandon political correctness. Young Arab males, for instance, should be profiled at airports. Free world nations must be honest with Muslims and must ceaselessly press them to accept responsibility for each and every unspeakable act committed in the name of Allah. To that end, free people must also exhibit courage. We cannot succumb to the tactics of intimidation, such as terrorism, employed by Muslims to advance their oppressive, self-serving agendas. Muslims perceive appeasement as weakness and defeatism, which only emboldens them to behave more aggressively. If we do not display strength in our convictions or protect our freedoms, mosques will never cease to poison minds with virulent hatred instead of filling them with self-worth and wisdom. The future of the world lies in the balance.
She believes Israel and the United States must take some other practical steps as well. Israel might consider building higher fences in preparation for the Arab civil wars that are threatening to explode around her. A consequence of advancing hatred and unaccountability for so long is that Muslims are increasingly turning on one another. The United States must tighten its immigration policy. Countless indoctrinated Muslims sneak into or reside within the U.S. They require very little motivation to terrorize the country.
She is a sincere and convincing speaker. Her appearance on CNN September 12, 2006 in an interview conducted by Glenn Beck can be seen at http://www.terrorfreeoil.org/videos/ND091206.php
Her book Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror (Hardcover) is -- as the cover rightly states -- "Nonie Darwish's personal story of tragedy and redemption, as well as a scholarly analysis of Middle-Eastern culture. Every Western statesman, indeed every European and American citizen will benefit from Ms. Darwish's unique insights into the danger to Western civilization posed by Radical Islam and sustained by deep-rooted Arab/Muslim cultural dynamics."
Nonie Darwish may have lost her Muslim culture, but she has gained American freedom, with which she tries to make a positive impact in a world increasingly consumed with gloom. Through her efforts, however, hopefully one day Nonie can discover pride in an evolved and tolerant Islam.
Nurit Greenger, based in Southern California, is a freelance writer passionate about the plight of Jews, Israel, and the free world in general. Contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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