Nonie Darwish : biography
Nonie Darwish () (born 1949) is an Egyptian-American human rights activist, and founder of Arabs For Israel, and is Director of Former Muslims United. She is the author of three books: Now They Call Me Infidel; Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror, Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, and The Devil We Don't Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East . Darwish's speech topics cover human rights, with emphasis on women's rights and minority rights in the Middle East. Born in Egypt, Darwish is the daughter of an Egyptian Army lieutenant general, who was called a "shahid" by the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, after being killed in a targeted killing by the Israeli Defense Forces in 1956. Darwish blames "the Middle Eastern Islamic culture and the propaganda of hatred taught to children from birth" for his death. In 1978, she moved with her husband to the United States, and converted to Christianity there. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, she has written on Islam-related topics.
Awards and recognition
- Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute "Woman of Exceptional Courage" Award.
Views on Islam
Darwish believes Islam is an authoritarian ideology that is attempting to impose on the world the norms of seventh-century culture of the Arabian Peninsula. She writes that Islam is a "sinister force" that must be resisted and contained. She remarks that it is hard to "comprehend that an entire religion and its culture believes God orders the killing of unbelievers." She claims that Islam and Sharia of forming a retrograde ideology that adds greatly to the world's stock of misery.
She claims the Qur'an is a text that is "violent, incendiary, and disrespectful" and says that barbarities such as brutalization of women, the persecution of homosexuals, honor killings, the beheading of apostates and the stoning of adulterers come directly out of the Qur'an.
Arabs for Israel
Darwish is a strong supporter of Israel, and has founded the group "Arabs for Israel",. composed of ethnic Arabs and Muslims who respect and support the State of Israel, welcome a peaceful and diverse Middle East, reject suicide terrorism as a form of Jihad, and promote constructive self-criticism and reform in the Arab/Muslim world.
Nonie Darwish was born in 1949 in Cairo, Egypt.Blake Boldt, 'Nashville presentation focuses on homosexuality and the Islamic culture', in Out & About Newspaper, October 4, 2011 Her family moved to Gaza in the 1950s when her father, Colonel Mustafa Hafez, was sent by Gamal Abdel Nasser to serve as commander of the Egyptian Army Intelligence in Gaza, which was under supervision of Egypt. Hafez founded the fedayeen who launched raids across Israel's southern border, that between 1951 and 1956, killed many Israelis, the majority civilians. In July 1956 when Nonie was eight years old, her father was killed by a mail bomb in an operation by the Israeli Defense Forces. This became the first targeted killing carried out by the IDF. The assassination was a response to Fedayeen's attacks, making Darwish's father a shahid.Gray, Alan , News Blaze, February 16, 2006. During his speech announcing the nationalization of the Suez Canal, Nasser vowed that all of Egypt would take revenge for Hafez's death. Darwish claims that Nasser asked her and her siblings, "Which one of you will avenge your father's death by killing Jews?" Daily Telegraph; "We were brought up to hate and we do." February 12, 2006
After the death of her father, her family moved back to Cairo, where she attended Catholic high school and then the American University in Cairo, earning a BA in Sociology/Anthropology. She then worked as an editor and translator for the Middle East News Agency, until emigrating to the United States in 1978 with her husband, ultimately receiving United States citizenship. After arriving in the US, she became a Christian and began attending a non-denominational evangelical church. About a year after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Darwish began writing columns critical of Islamic extremism and the silence of moderate Muslims.
Asked what can be done to encourage more moderate Muslims to speak out, Darwish answers:
Darwish is the current Director of Former Muslims United. In a letter sent from that organization to Muslim leaders, Darwish said:
She says, "Just because I am pro- Israel does not mean I am anti- Arab, its just that my culture is in desperate need for reformation which must come from within”.
She has spoken on numerous college campuses including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Brown, Tufts, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Oxford, Cornell, UCLA, NYU, Virginia Tech, Pepperdine, UC Berkeley and several others. She has also spoken in the United States Congress, the House of Lords and the European Parliament.
Darwish denies that she is the author of an essay entitled "Joys of Muslim Women" circulating on the internet although she considers it accurate to a large extent.
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