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Scorecard! Why Nonnie Darwish doesn’t matter.


I was a bit depressed earlier today.

I had finished watching this horrible Faux Noise video on dailykosTV, where the “expert”  on Islam and Sharia’ was none other than Nonie Darwish, who runs an outfit called “Arabs for Israel” (I mean she is not even trying to hide that she has sold her soul to her Israeli benefactor devils). In the clip, Nonie repeats the playbook Islamophobic rampage about what “Shariah” is, painting such a nasty picture that I would imagine most normal Americans would see right through this shrill *choice name*’s words. And then to hear the Faux anchor’s sighs, as if she really gives a hoot about any Muslim woman more than her choice of perfume for the day, got under my skin even more.

After that, I read and saw more crap from Israel’s latest tamed poodle, BBC, present a story of a sexually molested girl from UAE, who was able to escape her family, and more importantly (and the reason that the story was even presented) that she was able to escape repressive Islam (read this excellent analysis tackling the cry-me-a-river story, and dispatching it back to the stinking hole it came from). Her repetition of the word Muslim, as if it was a cuss word, was so programmed that you wonder if it wasn’t Nonie who wrote the script for this woman. What Islam, or hijab or anything Muslim has anything to do with a step-father who couldn’t control his sexual lust on his step-daughter, is besides me. But the girl is obviously smart. She knows that if she can tell a nice Islamophobic story, “Arabs for Israel” might as well make her their official spokesperson. [The timing of the story is also interesting for MM, considering Umm Reem’s series on sexual molestation that is ongoing].

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Not that this sort of nonsense is anything new, but it still rubbed me the wrong way.

But my mood was to change shortly. I went to pray Maghrib at the Masjid. As the prayer wrapped up, a brother stood up, whispered something to the Imam, and then announced to the musalleen that James (if I remember the name correctly) wants to take the shahada and become Muslim. Soon to be brother, James, then walked up, and sat next to the Imam.

The Imam read the words “ash-hadu un laillaha illallah” and James repeated “ash-hadu un laillaha illallah”. The Imam then read “wa ash-hadu anna muhammadan abduhu wa rasooluhi”, and James repeated “ash-hadu un laillaha illallah”. The Imam then read the translation, “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship other than Allah, and that Muhammad peace be upon him is His Messenger and Servant”, and brother James repeated, “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship other than Allah, and that Muhammad peace be upon him is His Messenger and Servant”.

One brother in the front row screamed takbir, and the masjid echoed with “Allahu Akbar”. This was repeated two more times. Then the same brother jumped up, and moved towards brother James, and others followed. He hugged him three times, and warned him that a lot more hugs were coming! Brother James smiled, his face shining with glee and obvious happiness. I eventually got my turn and congratulated James for the best decision of his life. The children also lined up to shake hands with the latest hero, a man who left his life’s baggage and his worship of others besides Allah behind, to testify that He will only worship Allah from that moment onwards.

As I left the Masjid, I was no longer depressed. The conversion was not an unusual event. Muslims in this country witness conversions all the time. I smiled. I thought about Nonnie and all the Nonnie-wannabes, the Spencers, the Pipes, the Horowitzs, and all the Islamophobes, working day and night spouting lies against Islam, trying their best to create hatred and misunderstandings about Islam.

Yet, today James reminded me and everyone in that Masjid (once again) that the world can join hands to extinguish the light of Islam, but they were fighting a losing battle.

They desire to extinguish Allah’s light with their mouths, however, Allah will never permit [that], except that his light will be perfected, despite the hatred of the disbelievers [Qur’an 9:32]

Scorecard Nonnie! Allah infinity, Islamophobes zero!

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").



  1. unconventionally-traditional

    April 3, 2009 at 12:10 AM

    Converts really lift my spirit, I was with a recent friend that converted, she asked in the utmost humility if i can read fatiha to her slowly and loud, since she hasn’t fully memorized it yet. I was almost brought to tears, I was in the middle of class and had to hurry back and II felt ashamed that I was planning on hastening my prayer. Her smile and love of the deen was so infectious, that my gloomy mood quickly disappeared. May Allah keep them on His path, and inshallah may many others follow suit.

  2. UmmeAmmaarah

    April 3, 2009 at 1:38 AM

    Takbeer once more! :) Allahu-Akbar!

  3. Imam Zia

    April 3, 2009 at 1:55 AM

    Jazakallah khair for the encouraging words…yes Faux News really does get under my skin…you forgot to mention that EX-TERRORIST…Walid Shoebat lol…he demands $13,000 for an appearance…

    Anyways, it’s very important to follow up with these new shahadas, to take them under ur wing and teach them. We have an Islam 101 class in our masjid, and also Islam 102, and all masajid should have such support structures as an Ansaar program, that we also have in our masjid mashallah.

    Please make dua Allah SWT accepts it.

  4. AsimG

    April 3, 2009 at 1:55 AM

    heh Amad is writing eeman boosting articles?

    What an awesome surprise alhamdillah :)

  5. AnonyMuslim

    April 3, 2009 at 2:19 AM

    Enjoyed it, good piece.

  6. S

    April 3, 2009 at 8:30 AM

    Beautiful article. May Allah(SubhanaHuWaTa’la) reward you.

  7. Amad

    April 3, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    Imam Zia, jazak’Allahkhair for what you do. There is no doubt that conversion is the simplest part for Muslim communities who accept the converts. Rather, it is helping them become bonafide members of the community, helping them learn basics about Islam, etc. The class you are doing should be done at every Masjid, but unfortunately it doesn’t. And converts are left to kinda figure it for themselves.

    jazakumallahkhair to everyone else for the kind comments.

  8. SaqibSaab

    April 3, 2009 at 9:41 AM

    Nice one, Amad Bhai. I’m gonna think back to this post the next time I witness a shahada inshaAllah.

    Witness a shahada. Grammatical pun? :)

    • Amad

      April 3, 2009 at 10:26 AM

      “Witness a shahada”…. i like it!

  9. MM Associates

    April 3, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Jazakum Allahu khayran, this was beautiful! I love how the ayah fits perfectly with this account. (Amatullah)

  10. Joyhamza

    April 3, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    Amad bhai did you notice the funny way she pronounces Shari’ah. Its like “Shoriya”. Hahahaha

    Where do they find these puppets?

  11. Sista

    April 3, 2009 at 6:05 PM

    A very beneficial post for all of us. JazakAllah. :)

  12. Faisal

    April 4, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    JazakAllah Brother Amad for the reminder

  13. shaam

    April 4, 2009 at 6:24 PM

    Its great to read convert stories…but not great to see how they are “celibrities” for months or so, but forgotten as easily as was accepted. InshAllah “born” Muslims and Scholars should be more conscious about them and guide them, and include them in the “community.”

  14. coolred38

    April 5, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    As a resident of an Islamic country and subject to its conflicting use of Sharia Laws I find that more often then not those laws favour men and abuse women, myself included….sooooooo if a Muslim woman stands up and says because of Sharia Law the abuse of my family went unpunished….because of Sharia Law I was either forcibly divorced or forced to remain married…because of Sharia Law I had my children taken from me after divorce due to no fault of my own…simply because thats the law…and because of Sharia Law…when I decide to stand up and complain about that treatment Im quite often forced to flee the community or country because my words of injustice are taken as an insult to my religion and therefore I should be punished…so please dont stand there and point a finger at women that dare to stand up just because of what they say doesnt sit well with you….

    I personally could stand up and say much worse about Sharia Law then either of those women could dream of…23 years living here and I know exactly how Sharia Law works…and I wonder how many women in the west would be so happy and eager to convert if they knew exactly what they would be subjected to if Sharia Law ever gains a foothold in America…just a thought.

    • Amad

      April 5, 2009 at 12:06 PM

      coolred, what your experience is the “application” of what the nation considers shariah. How it is applied and what is applied and its consistency with true shariah is another matter, and the history of shariah where it was applied properly belies what you may have seen.

      There is no nation that has full application of shariah today, and that is a fact, not an opinion.

  15. Imam Zia

    April 5, 2009 at 2:25 PM

    Coolred, the things that you mention have nothing to do with Shariah. Nobody can force you to get married, or force you to stay married, or prevent you from being divorced in Shariah law. Women retain custody of their children after divorce until puberty, boys then go to the exhusband, as this is the period where women have a hard time taking care of their teenage sons. Teenage girls stay with their mothers.

    These are just a couple of example where you have cited Shariah is to blame. I don’t have time or I would answer the other issues too.

    The reality is the country or culture that claims they are practicing Shariah are wrong, they are practicing their own understanding of Shariah.

  16. coolred38

    April 6, 2009 at 8:44 AM

    There is no nation that properly practices Sharia Law is exactly my point…Muslims who suffer under Sharia Law are made to suffer because of the mere whims of men…Muslim men who grow their beards long…shorten their thobes just so….use a miswak, step into the bathroom with the proper foot, wiggle their finger exactly the right way when they pray, do the correct amount of rakats for prayers and fast without cheating during Ramadan etc etc…but cannot seem to understand how to properly implement the laws according to either God or the Prophet…and yet those are the laws and that is the practice that we, innocent Muslims, must live under and suffer through.

    And your right…the things I mentioned have NOTHING to do with Sharia Law…and yet we Muslims must stand in front of the judge in SHARIA COURT and have our cases judged according to what the judge believes to be either right or just based on his personal preference…as there is no codified standard for basing judgement on individual cases…each and every judge can pass judgement according to how he understands the law to be…and if this judge happens to be one of those very numberous Muslim men that feel Muslim women are property and deficient in religion..then he will base his judgement on that belief…not hardly what I would call fair or just right?

    Women are forced to marry all the time…what planet do you live on? Open the middle east paper any day of the week and you will see young girls, as young as 8, being forced to marry all the time…and nobody stops it…why…because apparently Prophet Muhammed married Aisha when she was merely 6…so its Sunnah to marry little girls…are you telling me thats not in Sharia…they have tried to limit the minimun age in several “Islamic”countries declaring the female must be a certain age…but it doesnt pass…why because its Sunnah to marry girls when they are young.

    I know 7 women as of right now who are being “forced” to remain married to their abusive husbands because when they stand before the judge in the SHARIA COURT their husband declares he does not want to divorce them…so they are ordered to “work it out” and to be “better wives and more patient”…sounds like forcing someone to stay married to me. I myself was forced to remain married to my very abusive husband because the SHARIA law said my chilldren would automatically go to him…and that I would have to leave the country considering I was no longer married to him…so yes…that forced me to remain married to him…and guess what…I found out later that he was a pedophile and was raping his own children…just imagine if I would have been allowed to divorce him way back when I first realized he was a piece of shit…might have saved my children some horrendous abuse…and yet when I went back to court to divorce him based on his sexual crime…the judge preferred not to hear the details of that and just told me to divorce him quietly and that would be that. Very just and fair you think…and its SHARIA COURT and its what we must live by.

    The reality is that Muslims have had over 1400 years to get this Sharia Law in order and implement a fair and just policy towards Muslims…especially Muslim women…and yet as you said…there is NO country that properly implements Sharia Law….so as I stated before…all the women that suffer under Sharia Law in whatever countries they live in…the Sharia Law being practiced there is the only one she can depend on or rely on…and it fails us time and time again…because of culture…because of mans belief that HIS word is law and not the word of God.

    Please dont stand there as a man living in a western country (Im assuming) subject to western laws that are by far more just and equally implemented compared to any single muslim country today that lives by its version of Sharia Law which abuses and punishes women on a daily basis…is not to blame for that abuse. If its the only law we live by…are judged by…are dependent upon and suffering from…then yes…it is to blame.

  17. Imam Zia

    April 6, 2009 at 4:25 PM

    Your posting is contradictory. In the first line, you say “no nation practices Shariah”, then you go on to blame the judge in your community for practicing Shariah, which is not necessarily what he was doing.

    I am an Imam, and I can tell you this. A woman can be divorced in one of three ways, all legitimate.
    1. Her husband divorces her, this is known as Talaq, and there are a lot of details about how this is done, and there are right ways to do it and wrong ways to do it.
    2. She requests a divorce, and her husband divorces her.
    3. She requests, he refuses, she takes the matter to an authorized Imam. If the Imam sees that her rights are not being fulfilled, or she is being abused, the Imam can cancel the marriage. This is known as “faskh-ul-aqd”.

    Now why didnt the judge you mentioned do that? It could be for a number of reasons.

    MOST imams will not issue the divorce straight away, they will try to make things work out, as of course there are children involved etc. If you can imagine if the Imam issues a divorce to every single person that walks in, how troubling that would be!
    OR he knows from experience that sometimes people are hot-headed and can ask for divorce, and they can regret it afterwards. I have seen many cases where the wife compels her husband to divorce her, then she comes back a month later and wants to get back with him!
    So he could be just giving you time to cool down.

    Of course, your situation is a tragic one, and I sympathize with you, and hope that never happens to anyone. But to blame it on Shariah, where women have rights is very foolish.

    Did you know for example that a woman can merely request divorce on the basis of her husband not fulfilling her sexual desires? There are ahadith that show this!

    As for forced marriages, again, that’s a cultural issue rather than a Shar’ee issue. When the marriage ceremony takes place, the bride and groom are asked, “Do you accept x to be your wife/husband”, and they can say no. NOBODY can force ANYONE to marry someone else Islamically.

    Now if a woman under pressure from parents and family says Yes, Shariah should not be blamed for that. Her family and culture are to blame.

    As for the facts about laws, if you study Islamic Jurisprudence, you will find that the MAJORITY of laws in the West are derived from laws of Shariah. That would take pages and pages of writing, so please, please, please, before blaming Islam, Shariah, the Quran, the Sunnah, research what Islam truly says.

    May Allah guide us all to that which pleases Him.

    • Amad

      April 6, 2009 at 4:37 PM

      jazakAllahkhair Imam Zia. Your contributions are invaluable for all of us here. We hope you will continue to provide your thoughts and disseminate the knowledge as you are doing thus far.

  18. Siraaj

    April 6, 2009 at 8:42 PM

    salaam alaykum coolred38,

    Do you believe it is the shari’ah as it is meant to be practiced that is the fault, or the people implementing it selectively?


  19. Imam Zia

    April 6, 2009 at 9:50 PM

    I honestly think it’s the latter…but then practicing the Shariah selectively is open to interpretation too sometimes. What if there is a genuine difference of opinions between jurists? What if the judge prefers one opinion over the other?

    So selectively practicing the Shariah in this case is obviously okay, as this selection is being done in the light of Ijtihaad.

    However if the practicing is done purely based on one’s own desires, then that is wrong.

    Sorry, I just realized the question was for coolred…me and my big mouth!

  20. coolred38

    April 7, 2009 at 12:18 AM

    Thank you for explaining to all of us to what ACTUAL Sharia is supposed to be as opposed to what is being practiced as Sharia around the world. Im fully aware of what ACTUAL Sharia is just like most other Muslims…my complaints are that there is NO country that practices it properly.

    Muslims keep coming back with explanations of what it SUPPOSED to be, fair and just and everyone gets their rights but thats just pie in sky talk, rainbows and butterfly talk, wishful thinking and heaven on earth talk…its not the reality….the reality is what we are forced to live with…and that is the Sharia as practiced by the judges that interepret pretty much based on personal preference depending on who is standing before them.

    Please dont tell me women arent forced to stay married cause the judge thinks they are emotional and might be a hothead…thats such a guy answer….3 of my friends have police and medical records showing the abuse they have suffered…along with their children…and yet all 3 of them have stood before 3 different judges who still will not grant them the right of divorce…simply because the husband refuses to accept it. Who is the hothead and emotional one is these cases? Thats just the from the 7 women I know personally…shall we take the Muslim world at large and see how women fair?

    I dont understand when you say dont blame it on Sharia…because the Sharia ideal that you are speaking of just doesnt exist…nowhere…there are two completely separate issues concerning Sharia Law…that which we WISH was implemented based on the Quran and Sunnah…and that which is actually set forth and implemented…we have to deal with reality here and reality is the man based Sharia Law that Muslims are forced to deal with and rely on to serve them with justice and fairness….and obviously it doesnt. …and women suffer because of it.

  21. Rob Cheshire

    July 8, 2009 at 1:43 PM

    There is no doubt as to where your partisan beliefs and sentiments lay. But, interestingly enough Darwish was raised within Islam and was very much a practicing Muslim, so her thoughts and experiences have relevance. It is written that: ‘A life unexamined is not worth living, and a faith unexamined is NOT worth believing”. Although this quote does not come from either the Bible or the Quran it is yet accurate. From many of the activities of the so called ‘faithful’ is would be hard to distinguish who indeed is evil. I am a Christian, and though I am, I am frustrated and angry at some of the activities that those of supposed faith engage in. I challenge all: Christians, Jews and Muslims to know the truth, for that is what sets us free. Do not just discard the unwanted, as untrue. Man and all of mankind is fallen and has a fallen nature, not just the nations we do not agree with, or those religions we do not profess. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.
    Rob Cheshire Windsor, On.

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