Nonie Darwish: Wikis


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Nonie Darwish
Born 1949 (age 60–61)[1][2]
Cairo, Egypt
Nationality American
Education American University in Cairo
Occupation Writer, public speaker, Founder & President of Arabs For Israel
Arabs for Israel,

Nonie Darwish (Arabic: نوني درويش‎) (born 1949[1][2]) 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 two books: Now They Call Me Infidel; Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror and Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law. 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,[3] after being killed in a targeted assassination 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 September 11, 2001 she has written on Islam-related topics.[3]



Nonie Darwish was born in 1949 in Cairo, Egypt.[1][2] 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 some 400 Israelis, the majority civilians.[2][4] 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.[2][4] This became the first targeted assassination carried out by the IDF.[citation needed] The assassination was a response to Fedayeen's attacks, making Darwish's father a shahid.[5][6] 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?"[7]

Darwish explains:

"I always blamed Israel for my father's death, because that's what I was taught. I never looked at why Israel killed my father. They killed my father because the fedayeen were killing Israelis. They killed my father because when I was growing up, we had to recite poetry pledging jihad against Israel. We would have tears in our eyes, pledging that we wanted to die. I speak to people who think there was no terrorism against Israel before the '67 war. How can they deny it? My father died in it." [8]

After his death, 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.

"After 9/11 very few Americans of Arab and Muslim origin spoke out and from my experience it took us a long time to get noticed by Western media. Western media still regards Muslim organizations such as CAIR as representative of moderate Muslims in America. This is not the case. Muslim groups in the U.S. try to silence us and intimidate American campuses who invite us to speak. I often tell Muslim students that Arab Americans who are speaking out against terrorism are not the problem, it’s the terrorists who are giving Islam a bad name. And what the West must do is ask the politically incorrect questions and we Americans of Arab and Muslim origin owe them honest answers."[3]

Darwish is the current Director of Former Muslims United.

” On that date 220 years ago in 1789, the U.S. Congress passed the Bill of Rights. This is a fitting date to put our pledge to the world, for the first of those rights guarantees religious freedom and freedom of speech. These rights are, as our Declaration of Independence states, unalienable – they cannot be denied to any of us. For former Muslims, who throughout history have lost their liberties and lives when they left Islam, both the First Amendment and the Declaration of Independence have special significance.”

“As founders of Former Muslims United, we now pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to achieve for former Muslims their unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We claim these rights as the foundation for our right to freedom from Shariah. We urge you to join us.”

Darwish's Arabs for Israel an organization of Arabs and Muslims who "respect and support the State of Israel", welcome a "peaceful and diverse Middle East", reject "suicide/homicide terrorism as a form of Jihad", and promote "constructive self-criticism and reform" in the Arab/Muslim world.[citation needed] She often 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, UC Berkeley and several others. She has also spoken on Capitol Hill, the House of Lords, and The European Parliament.

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 accuses Islam and Sharia of forming a retrograde ideology that adds greatly to the world's stock of misery.[9]

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.[9]


Arabs for Israel

Darwish is a strong supporter of Israel, and has founded the group "Arabs for Israel",[10] composed of ethnic Arabs in support of Israel.


  • Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror. Sentinel HC, 2006. ISBN 1595230319.[11]
  • Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law. Nashville, Tenn. : Thomas Nelson, 2009. ISBN 1595551611. ISBN 9781595551610.[9]

Honors and awards


  1. ^ a b c Friedman, Lisa (2005-06-05). "Ex-Muslim calls on her people to reject hatred". Los Angeles Daily News (reproduced). Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Langton, James (2007-05-13). "Life as an Infidel". Guardian. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  3. ^ a b c "We Don’t Like to Hear That Here; Nonie Darwish is censored here and abroad". National Review Online. 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  4. ^ a b Mehlman, Yossi. "Targeted killings - a retro fashion very much in vogue". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  5. ^ Gannett News Service. "Peace moms push tough love in Arab-Israeli conflict", Tucson Citizen, 10 February 2006.
  6. ^ Gray, Alan "Mothers for Peace Challenge The Brainwashing of Middle East Children", News Blaze, 16 February 2006.
  7. ^ Interview with Daily Telegraph; "We were brought up to hate and we do." 12 February 2006
  8. ^ CBN News. "Call Me Infidel: An Ex-Muslim Speaks Out", CBN News, 27 March 2007. (reproduced)
  9. ^ a b c Keeney, Patrick (2009-02-17). "Book Review: Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law by Nonie Darwish". National Post. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  10. ^ Diamond, Ilana (2008-08-15). "It's lonely being pro-Israel on campus". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  11. ^ Gilbert, Lela (2007-10-23). "An 'infidel' in Israel". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  12. ^ Press Release (2008-04-22). "Nonie Darwish to Receive the “Woman of Exceptional Courage” Award at the First Annual Western Women’s Summit". CBLPI. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 

External links




Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Nonie Darwish (Arabic: نوني درويش) (born 1948) is an Egyptian-born American writer and public speaker.


  • I am familiar with what goes on in the Arab countries, and I'm sad to say that most of us want to annihilate Israel. We want to kill all the Israelis... Do you know what they used to say in the mosques in Egypt? "We want to go to the White House and turn it into the Islamic House..." We call upon the Arab countries to stop teaching hatred to the Arab children.
    • "We Must Begin to View the Jews in a Forgiving Light," Middle East Media Research Institute (March 2007)
  • Jewish success is due to a culture that promotes excellence, blessed with self discipline, education, dedication and a quest for leaving this world a better place.
    • Address at the Feat of Tabernacles convention, Jerusalem (2007)

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