Now They Call Me Infidel
Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror
• Hardcover: 272 pages
• Publisher: Sentinel HC (November 16, 2006)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1595230319
• ISBN-13: 978-1595230317
• Amazon.com Sales Rank: #5,353
Review on 22 March 2007 by Donald N. Anderson (a version of this review is on Amazon.com under the title “A very perceptive contrast of Arab and American cultures. A must read!”):
Nonie Darwish has written a very important book that chronicles her experiences growing up as a perceptive upper class Egyptian woman in the post WWII world. This period has seen the revival of Islamic fundamentalism throughout the Muslim world. She vividly describes the gradual descent of Egyptian culture as oil money gave voice to the most primitive political-religious elements within the Middle East.
Ms. Darwish writes very well and one can easily see the charms of the Middle Eastern world as well as the terrible costs to the whole world of this renewed appeal to a dysfunctional 7th century belief system. The heavily filtered information flows and constant drumfire of hate propaganda against Israel and the United States has corrupted even the best educated in Egyptian society so that on her last visit to her family in 2001 she encountered ignorant statements that a generation earlier would have been considered boorish.
Her chapter on the vicious consequences of polygamy on wives especially, but ultimately on the men, the family, and the whole society is described with careful analysis. The horrible results certainly argue against any tinkering with our traditional one man – one woman families. The easy availability of second wives poisons the family structure and prevents friendships among adult women.
Nonie Darwish’s open enquiring nature found a natural home in the United States and she can be counted as one of our citizens who understands fully why America is such a wonderful place to live. Since she grew up in Egypt and spent her first 3 decades as a careful observer and participant in that culture she has important information for immigrants to the United States from any of the Arab cultures. The chapter “A New Beginning in America” should be read by every immigrant or visitor from an Arab culture. It will allay unnecessary worries, and if acted on, will give the immigrant or visitor opportunities for a life that was never possible in their home culture. Throughout her book she makes comparisons of the cultures and expresses surprise at the low value often expressed, particularly on college campuses, about the value of a Western culture.
She explains that most mosques in the U.S. are under the control of radical imams imported from and paid by Saudi Arabia and have become places in which few self-respecting American Muslims would set foot. She recommends that American Muslims hire their own imams, take back or build their own mosques, and send the terrorist recruiters packing.
She has been shocked by the degree of radicalism she encountered on American college campuses. Until she felt compelled to start lecturing after 9/11, she had not encountered the Middle Eastern anti-intellectualism and hate propaganda in America. She now knows it is infecting the country she loves and needs to be exposed for its fraud it is.
This is a truly wonderful book and should be read by every literate American. It can also be of tremendous value to any immigrant from an Arab culture.