Eye on the Middle East Sep/Oct 2004
I am a former Moslem, born and raised in the Middle East. I am very disappointed and almost scared after watching your presentation about Islam. One of the reasons I fled to the United States of America was to escape the oppressive regime of Islam in the Middle East. From a former Moslem, these people are in the U.S. to Islamize America and have a scary agenda. They audaciously buy churches and convert them into mosques!
I think your show was insensitive to the Judeo-Christian community of the United States. Islam is cruel, anti-women, anti-religious freedom and anti-personal freedom in general. How could you sympathize with a religion that kills adulterers, homosexuals and people who convert out of Islam? How could you present Islam with such affection? I am sorry that PBS failed to represent the oppression, fear and the straight jacket I had to endure when I lived under that crazy regime.
In the show, you stressed how the West should understand Islam. Why is America responsible for understanding every little and big culture and religion around the world, failing which we are branded bigots and racists? How about asking the Moslems if they could open their minds and hearts and understand the West? Perhaps they will slow down their terrorism, burning our flags and hijacking airplanes. Unfortunately, the Middle East has no clue about the American culture and they only judge us by Hollywood! How about U.S. media educating Moslems about U.S. culture and the virtues of our Constitution? Did that ever occur to you?
When I married a Christian man in my home country twenty-five years ago, I could have been killed by Moslems for daring to do so. I was questioned about my husband’s religion even by Moslem workers at the U.S. embassy, who asked me point blank if he converted to Islam, implicitly threatening to report me to Moslem authorities! I personally know Moslem women who were circumcised against their will! How could you defend a religion that declares a fatwa, or death sentence, to anyone who is critical of the religion? How could you defend a religion that inspired 9/11? Of course not all Moslems are terrorists, but unfortunately, the majority of “moderate” Moslems respect the fundamentalists as “true” Moslems and even feel guilty toward them. If this were not true we should be seeing massive displays of support for the U.S., strong denouncements of radical Islam by the moderates. This has not happened. Instead, the most vocal Islamic groups in the West are taking a confrontational stance, complaining of discriminatory treatment, taking their cue from liberal civil-rights groups.
The liberal media is only too eager to egg them on.
I now write articles critical of Islam and speak to many groups about the Middle East but have to use a pseudonym so I do not get killed by some of your Moslem friends in the U.S. mosques you were interviewing! They have no shame to be complaining of discrimination after 9/11, thanks to media outlets like you who gave them a voice. The U.S. goes out of its way to protect them. What discrimination? Are you kidding? These mosques in the U.S. are financed by Saudi money and have an agenda and they scare people like me who want to write and speak freely. Scared and oppressed former Moslems like me could be killed by these Moslem extremists in U.S. mosques. There are many moderate Moslems and former Moslems like me who feel intimidated by some U.S. Moslem extremists. Former Moslems have to be given a voice on why they escaped Islam. People like me and oppressed Christians and Jews in the Moslem World had no say on your show. That is very sad. I wish you had defended my right to choose or reject Islam without getting killed.
Is Islam now the “in” thing to defend to sabotage America, or did Saudi money corrupt you?!
Nonie Darwish is a freelance writer and translator who founded www.ArabsforIsrael.com. Her Website is www.noniedarwish.com.