Author and activist Nonie Darwish spoke about the threat of radical Islam on Thursday as part of the Young America’s Foundation Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.
Speaking to about 150 students in the Jack Morton Auditorium, Darwish discussed the origins of Islamic and Sharia law, the Sharia culture in the Middle East and her fears that radical Islam will spread to Western democracies.
“Sharia law doesn’t allow freedom of speech. It does not allow separation of church and state,” Darwish said. “Sharia law is a dictator’s dream. It is dictator-friendly.”
Darwish lived in Egypt for 30 years as the daughter of an Egyptian lieutenant general, witnessing the country’s wars with Israel in 1956, 1967 and 1973. It was not until she moved to the United States in 1979 that she was able to vote and began to speak out against Sharia law and the jihad, she said.
The activist said Sharia law was created 150 years after the death of Mohammed to create “a sense of control under one unified law.” This law governs many countries in the Middle East and is advocated by some Muslim leaders in Western Europe and the United States.
“Jihad is to ward against non-Muslims to establish the religion,” Darwish said. “That is the meaning of jihad according to Islamic Sharia.”
She added that under Sharia law it is the responsibility of Muslim leaders to organize jihad against any non-Muslim governments and “make war on Jews and Christians until they become Muslim.”
Darwish said discrimination against women is rampant in Sharia law – by which sex before marriage can result in death and there must be five witnesses to prove rape.
“Under Sharia, wife-beating is allowed,” she said. “A man will not be asked about why he beats his wife.”
She said she had never heard a Muslim leader denounce wife-beating. Instead, she has heard leaders specify which stick was appropriate to use.
Fearing what could happen in Western countries, Darwish said America should be “afraid and concerned,” citing recent racially charged rallies in New York and San Francisco.
After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she recalled that many of her friends in Egypt said the Jews perpetrated the attacks as the result of a Jewish conspiracy.
“Don’t let this ever creep into American ethics and norms,” she said.
Darwish added that the majority of Muslims are moderates, but they do not speak out as publicly as their radical counterparts.
She said an end of this reality would only come if Islam weakens or reforms are undertaken to exclude Sharia law.
Darwish received two standing ovations and did not attract the same controversy as conservative author David Horowitz, the keynote speaker for last fall’s Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week
Last year’s keynote event – which was held after several students gained national media attention from alleged “anti-Muslim” posters that satirized the week – drew protesters who were escorted from the speech after unveiling a banner condemning Horowitz.
YAF President Rob Lockwood said his organization encouraged members of the Muslim Student Association, the Jewish Student Association and the College Democrats to attend the keynote address in order to create a better environment for YAF’s message to reach the student body.
“That was one of the things we wanted to do this time: dialogue,” said Lockwood, a junior. “The cause is bipartisanship. They all agree that there is a threat to America.” n
Billy McGlinn contributed to this report.