Nonie Darwish, the executive director of Former Muslims United and author of Cruel And Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, was scheduled to speak at Columbia and Princeton last week, but both events were canceled under pressure from Muslim groups on campus.
Darwish, a soft-spoken ex-Muslim and daughter of an Islamic martyr, is a champion of the rights of women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies, and leader of the group Arabs for Israel. She had been planning to speak on “Sharia Law and Perspectives on Israel.” She is one of the few courageous voices who speak out against Islamic anti-Semitism and the oppression of women under Sharia.
At Princeton, she was invited three weeks ago and was scheduled to speak last Wednesday. But on Tuesday evening, Arab Society president Sami Yabroudi and former president Sarah Mousa issued a joint statement, claiming: “Nonie Darwish is to Arabs and Muslims what Ku Klux Klan members, skinheads and neo-Nazis are to other minorities, and we decided that the role of her talk in the logical, intellectual discourse espoused by Princeton University needed to be questioned.”
The sponsors of her talk immediately caved in to this defamation. The president of the Whig-Clio student debate Society, Ben Weisman, said: “Our decision to co-host the event was based on our belief that by extending an offer to speak to Ms. Darwish, members of TFI deemed her views a legitimate element of the mainstream discourse and in part agreed with her incendiary opinions. By rescinding their offer, TFI indicated their understanding that Darwish’s views have no place in the campus community.”
TFI was the other group that had invited Darwish to campus: the ironically named Tigers for Israel. They also issued a statement: “On Tuesday evening Tigers for Israel and Whig-Clio rescinded our cosponsorship of today’s Nonie Darwish Lecture. Tigers for Israel accepted the opportunity for her to speak based on a misconception about what she actually believes. After her anti-Islam position was brought to my attention on Tuesday afternoon by the Center for Jewish Life director Rabbi Julie Roth and the Muslim Chaplain Imam Sohaib Sultan, I conducted extensive research and discussed the issue with TFI and Whig-Clio leadership, and we decided to rescind our cosponsorship after concluding that Tigers for Israel disagrees with and does not condone Ms. Darwish and her beliefs on Islam…. As President of TFI I take full responsibility for not vetting Ms. Darwish from the beginning, and I sincerely apologize for offending any person or group on campus, especially the Muslim community. Tigers for Israel deeply regrets the initial sponsorship and we do not in any way endorse her views.”
At Columbia, where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was welcomed like a returning king, Darwish was rejected. Just hours before Darwish was scheduled to speak at Columbia last Thursday, the Whig-Clio group and the Tigers for Israel again succumbed to demands from student Muslim groups and canceled her speaking event.
The Whig-Clio Society is the oldest debating society in the U.S., founded by James Madison in 1765. These are the students who are supposed to be the leaders of the future. Haven’t these Ivy League students studied Islam? Jihad? Have they read Dr. Andrew Bostom’s The Legacy of Jihad and his Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism? Here is something they don’t know: Sohaib Sultan, who helped get the Darwish lecture canceled, wrote the book The Koran for Dummies. In that book he says that the medieval Islamic scholar Ibn Kathir is the “most referred to” authority on Islam “in the Muslim world today.” Sultan says that Ibn Kathir offers “an excellent collection of historical analysis on the Koran and his mastery of Islamic law makes his insights especially interesting.” Yet Ibn Kathir taught that Muslims should wage jihad war against Jews and Christians and impose laws upon them that would make them “disgraced, humiliated and belittled.” Ibn Kathir said that “Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah [Jews and Christians] or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated.”
So who is more like the KKK or neo-Nazis? A courageous woman standing up for human rights for Muslim women and ex-Muslims, or a Muslim imam who holds up as an authority someone who says that non-Muslims should be “disgraced, humiliated and belittled”?
Darwish told me that she was shocked that just weeks after an Islamic attack on a military base on U.S. soil, the largest such attack in U.S. history, activists who speak the truth about Islam are being shut down and marginalized.
And in another assault on free speech last week, they were throwing pies at a Robert Spencer event at NYU. What’s next?
Voices of truth are being marginalized. And things have gotten decidedly worse since Obama took over.