Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is working to stop author and former Muslim Nonie Darwish from addressing students this week at Virginia’s George Mason University School of Law.
According to a press release, CAIR wants the school to disinvite Darwish – whom CAIR calls “a notorious Islamophobe who has stated that Islam is a ‘poison to a society’ that is ‘based on lies’ and must be ‘annihilated’” – from a planned Oct. 5 address titled “The West’s Clash with Radicalism.”
“Such hate-filled views should not be funded by student organizations or endorsed by professors,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Darwish’s genocidal statements are reminiscent of those used to target the Jewish community in Nazi Germany.”
But Darwish, who told WND she sees Muslims as largest victims of Shariah (or Islamic) law, says CAIR is falsely equating criticism of a religion with hatred for a people because “the problem for CAIR is that they cannot debate us about the glaring truth, so they claim we hate Muslims, trying to deflect the attention of the American people from the true worldwide problem of Islamism, jihad, Shariah and tyranny.
“If anyone criticizes the ideology of Islam, jihad and Shariah, CAIR spins it to an attack on the Muslim people, confusing the American people between criticism of an ideology and being a racist against a whole group of people,” Darwish told WND. “I hope that the American people are more intelligent than to fall for this kind of childish spin.”
As for being labeled a “Islamophobe,” Darwish said, “The truth is that I am afraid of Islamic laws that condemn me and thousands, if not millions of others, who have left the religion of Islam. Shariah is the only religious law in the word that condemns those who leave the religion to death. I do not think it is unreasonable phobia to speak against such a tyrannical law. Actually, it is my duty towards myself and the civil and human rights of many others.”
Darwish’s address is sponsored by the Federalist Society and the Jewish Law Students Association.
CAIR’s objection to her appearance is based partially on a previous speech, in which Darwish addressed a rally in Florida sponsored by Stop Islamization of America, a organization headed by Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, whom CAIR calls “two of the nation’s leading Islamophobes,” blasting their organization as “a hate group.”
In May of last year, CAIR attempted to have Geller removed from the list of speakers at the inaugural Tennessee Tea Party Convention. Event organizers rebuffed CAIR’s objections.
Geller later wrote on her blog, “CAIR is trying to get good, decent Americans in the Tennessee Tea Party to crush free speech by dropping me.”
“Islam is a poison to a society. It’s divisive. It’s hateful,” Darwish told Geller’s Florida rally. “Islam should be feared, and should be fought, and should be conquered, and defeated and annihilated, and it’s going to happen. Ladies and gentlemen, Islam is going to be brought down. . .Because Islam is based on lies and it’s not based on the truth. I have no doubt whatsoever that Islam is going to be destroyed.”
For these comments, CAIR blasted Darwish as “filled with anti-Islam hate.”
Darwish, however, says she’s speaking not from hate, but from a desire to see people – especially Muslims – freed: “What I speak about, and what CAIR is afraid of being exposed, is my standing up against the tyranny of Shariah law, the radical ideology of violent jihad, the commandments to kill Jews by many sheikhs in the Middle East and in many Muslim scriptures, my stand against atrocities happening today in the name of Shariah law to thousands and perhaps millions of people, including Muslims, in over 54 countries around the world.
“Criticizing Sharia, Islamic law and other radical laws against women, Jews and non-Muslims is a crime against Islam in Shariah,” she concluded, “and CAIR has convinced some Americans that it’s a crime in America also.”