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Monday, November 20, 2006

"Peace Was Never An Option"

That's the first of many stunning quotes from Kathryn Lopez' interview of Nonie Darwish. Here's the full exchange:
Kathryn Jean Lopez: What were you taught about Jews?
Nonie Darwish: As Arab children, we were taught about Jews in schools, at home, in the media, at mosque sermons, and by politicians. No one can escape the overwhelming anti-Semitic propaganda and the venomous hatred that my culture of origin advocated against Jews. In Gaza elementary schools I learned hate, vengeance, and retaliation. Peace was never an option; it was considered a sign of defeat and weakness. Those who wanted peace and compromise were called traitors and cowards. When I asked "Why do we hate Jews," the answer was "Aren’t you a Muslim"? We were told "Don't take candy from strangers since it could be a Jew trying to poison you" or that Israeli soldiers would kill pregnant Arab women just for fun, place bets on whether she was carrying a boy or a girl, and cut her open to see who won the bet. My classmates would cry while reciting jihadist poetry daily, wishing to die as martyrs.
I remember seeing a presentation from a man named Dr. Arthur Allen in the fall of 1993. Dr. Allen travelled to Israel upwards of 25 times before his death in 1995. Dr. Allen told the audience that there isn't an Arabic word that translates into the English word peace, that there's only a word that translates into piece. Dr. Allen's assertion is all the more believeable after reading Ms. Darwish's statement.
Lopez: How did you manage to eventually come to be part of the Zionist conspiracy?
Darwish: It took me many years to change, evolve, and realize that I was indoctrinated with a lot of propaganda and outright lies about Israel. I owe my change to America. I appreciated the tolerance, respect for minorities and equality under the law that America stands for. When I heard church and synagogue sermons I realized how different the message was from the hate speech, cursing, and incitement advocated in many mosques across the world.
In other words, something happened to Ms. Darwish that made her listen to church and synagogue sermons, which led to her understanding that she'd been lied to all her life. I can't imagine what that must've been like, finding out that the people you trusted most had lied to you repeatedly in furtherance of their own agenda. It's easy to imagine that the impact must've been dramatic.
Darwish: Many of us who immigrated to America thought we had escaped jihad, hateful propaganda, intimidation, and mind control, but we found that even in America, there are powerful radical Muslim forces who are trying to silence us. For the sin of criticizing terrorism, not Islam, just terrorism, we are threatened. Terrorism is like the elephant in the room that no one is supposed to talk about, especially if you are an Arab American. But when 9/11 happened, it was no longer about me or my culture of origin; it is about the safety and security of the country that I now call home; America.
I wish Ms. Darwish had stated specifically which "powerful radical Muslim forces" were "trying to silence" her. It would've been a huge benefit to the American people. most of whom don't have a clue about what these organizations are like. I'm fairly certain that one of the organizations that she's talking about is CAIR because they're in the business of intimidating people who speak out about radical Islam. Here's proof of that:
CAIR consistently defends other militant Islamic terrorists too. The conviction of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing it deemed "a travesty of justice." The conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh who planned to blow up New York City landmarks, it called a "hate crime." The extradition order for suspected Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marook it labeled "anti-Islamic" and "anti-American."
Not surprisingly, CAIR also backs those who finance terrorism. When President Bush closed the Holy Land Foundation in December for collecting money he said was "used to support the Hamas terror organization," CAIR decried his action as "unjust" and "disturbing."
Since when is prosecuting a terrorist who tried blowing up the World Trade Center "a hate crime"? Why is shutting down a terrorist fundraising organization unjust or disturbing? I'd think that shutting down a known terrorist fundraiser would be seen as a positive thing. I'd think that prosecuting someone who'd committed a terrorist act in the U.S. would be thought of as taking the job of fighting terrorism seriously.

Based on that information, it's fairly certain that CAIR is one of the organizations that Ms. Darwish is talking about. Here's some information that solidifies that opinion:

Intimidating moderate Muslims. In at least two cases (Hisham Kabbani and Khalid Durán), CAIR has defamed moderate Muslims who reject its extremist agenda, leading to death threats against them. (H/T: Daniel Pipes)
Lopez: When did you know there was something off about how you were raised?
Darwish: Several incidents during my childhood led me to question my beliefs and upbringing. As Arab children we were not allowed to ask why or question any of the propaganda we were given. After my father's death President Nasser vowed that all of Egypt would take revenge. My siblings and I were asked by top government officials: "Which one of you will avenge your father's blood by killing Jews." We were speechless; they made us feel that if we really loved our father we would kill Jews.
That's doublespeak if I ever heard it. All of Egypt taking revenge quickly turned into "Which of you will avenge your father's blood"?

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog


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