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Nonie Darwish Under Fire By: Phyllis Chesler
Pajamas | Friday, September 25, 2009


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Not again. Ah, yes again and again until we have won this war of ideas.

Nonie Darwish, the warmest, sanest, least prejudiced Egyptian whom I know, has both been attacked and has not been defended by the administrative elite at the Whittier College Law School where she is scheduled to speak later today. According to Steven Emerson, the Muslim Student Association on campus defamed Darwish and tried to stop or at least delay her presentation.

Not surprising. They specialize in such demonization and censorship campaigns. Darwish pleads the case of Muslim women whose human rights are seriously violated by shariah law. But the academic administrators at Whittier Law School have not strongly defended her right to speak, nor have they praised her work. This is unforgivable; according to Emerson, many happen to be women who are also feminists.

Alas, this is also not surprising. I wrote an entire book about this phenomenon: The Death of Feminism. What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom

I have written about Darwish before. I admit it: I adore her for her courage. Darwish is also the founder of ArabsforIsrael—c’mon, this woman warrior has guts.

But, I now wonder whether this brou-ha-ha has anything to do with a press release that Darwish has just sent round. Darwish and others have formed a new organization: Former Muslims United. Darwish is an apostate (she converted to Christianity)—just like Magdi Alam who converted to Catholicism and now requires seven police officers around the clock– and just like Rifqa Bary, the Ohio teenager who has run away from her Muslim family and is now in state custody in Florida.

The Former Muslim press release reads as follows:

“Prominent former Muslims– apostates from Islam– will hold a press conference Thursday, September 24 to announce the launch of a new civil liberties organization, Former Muslims United, and the start of a national campaign to educate the American public and policymakers about the threat from authoritative Shariah– Islamic law– to the religious freedom and safety of former Muslims.

At the press conference, Former Muslims United founders Nonie Darwish and Ibn Warraq (both internationally-respected authors and scholars) will release letters calling on the Department of Justice and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to investigate possible hate crimes and civil rights violations against apostates from Islam, including the circumstances of the current Florida case of 17-year old Rifqa Bary, a former Muslim. The letters are also signed by Former Muslims United co-founders Mohammad Asghar, Wafa Sultan and Amil Imani.”

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) The New Anti-Semitism (2003) and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (2005). She has just published a new edition of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman (2009). She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1976). Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.


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