Nonie Darwish is an Egyptian turned American writer and public speaker who grew up in Cairo. Darwish rebelled against the tyranny and hate-mongering of Islam, detailing it in her book, "Now they Call Me Infidel; Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror."
Darwish spoke at University of California Berkeley last night, Tuesday, October 23, in the face of harrassment from radicals, captured in photos by Zombie. Her lecture was part of a series of events on dozens of campuses across the US for "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week," organized by conservative intellectual David Horowitz to highlight Islamic extremism. You can read the whole speech here, but here are some excerpts:
"I moved to the US in 1978. In my first visit to a mosque in America, we were told not to assimilate in America and that Islam is here to become the dominant religion. I was told to cover up in Islamic clothes; but how can I do that when I have never worn Islamic clothes in Egypt? Women in Egypt until the 1980’s did not wear Islamic clothes.
"In August 2001, I visited my birthplace, Cairo, Egypt. I was stunned to see how radical Islam had taken over. The level of anger and hate speech was alarming. I saw extreme poverty, pollution, hazardous material and garbage along the Nile. There was high unemployment, inflation and widespread corruption. But when I read Arab media, all I saw was Israel and America bashing. Citizens were unaware of Muslim against Muslim atrocities in Iraq, Algeria, Sudan etc. ...
"I was happy to return to the US on the evening of Sept. 10th. 2001. The next morning I saw the second airplane hit the twin towers, I knew ‘Jihad has come to America.’ Muhammad Attah was from Cairo, the same city I came from.
"I called several friends in Cairo, they were all in denial and said ‘How dare you say that Arabs did this? Don’t you know this is a Jewish conspiracy?'
"These were not radicals, but ordinary Egyptians who otherwise are very nice people. I hung up the phone and felt alone and disconnected from my culture of origin. Once again, my people are accusing the Jewish people of something we know very well, we Arabs have done ourselves. In any religion this is considered a sin, but in the eyes of radial Islam, Jews do not deserve the truth, justice or mercy. The Jews that we describe in our mosques, Arab textbooks and media don't exist. We, Arabs are fighting an imaginary Jew of our own creation. ...
"On Arab TV, I once saw a Muslim preacher telling little children that lying is not allowed except under three conditions 1- Lying to non-Muslims when it is in the best interest of Islam. 2- Lying to Muslims if it will end conflict between them. And 3rd: Lying to one’s wife to improve the relationship.
"Lying thus has become an obligation in international relationships, Muslim relationships and family relationships. Any wonder why Muslims were silent after 9/11? Those who expose the lying game are considered traitors. By allowing lying, Muslims have created a culture unable to distinguish between lies from truth; truth has become a convoluted game of saving face for the best interest of Islam.
"The Times of London reported that Muslim students in Britain are being taught to despise non-Muslims as ‘filth’. The Arabic word for this is ‘Nagas.’ That is why many Arabs believe that the existence of non-Muslims on Muslim land is a desecration or occupation.
"US soldiers, at the request of Saudi Arabia, sacrificed their lives to protect it from Saddam. Under normal conditions that could have been met with appreciation, but instead, the Arab street reaction was “how dare the infidels desecrate Muslim land.” That is why America’s defense of the Muslims against the Serbs, the Afghani Muslims against the Soviet Union, feeding the Somali Muslims starved by their own leadership, all did not get the US any credit in the Muslim world; just the opposite, the more America tries to help stabilize the region, the more it is despised. Arab-Muslims do not want to be rescued by infidels. This is a proud culture that is easily shamed by feelings of dependency on the non-Muslims. This is the psychology of the Arab Street.
"That is how the West is perceived. In the Judeo Christian culture they say: “we are all sinners” -- but in the Muslim culture “they are all sinners; but we are Muslims”. Non-Muslim are “Cafir”, non-Muslims are not innocent; they are viewed as sinners who need Islam and Islamists have given themselves the role of Allah to force Islam on the world, against their will, through the principle of Jihad."