From The Seattle University Spectator
Members of Seattle University’s Muslim community have been gathering signatures on a petition since Monday to voice their resentment over the university hosting author Nonie Darwish last week.
Darwish, a former Muslim who renounced Islam for Christianity and tours the nation speaking out against radical Islam and Sharia law, spoke at Seattle University Thursday.
Event organizers maintain they brought Darwish to campus to foster discussion about human rights issues and conflict in the Middle East.
“The idea of a university is to exchange ideas,” said Gracie Cohen, a sophomore pre-major who publicized Darwish’s talk.
Some students, however—who said Darwish spreads falsehoods and undue fear about Islam—demonstrated at the event Members of Seattle U’s Muslim Student Association plan to bring their grievances to President Stephen Sundborg, S.J.
“We believe hosting a person like Nonie on the SU campus is contrary to all of the values upon which this institution is founded,” said Ahmed Alnafie, former president of, MSA.
Darwish is the author of three books: "Now They Call Me Infidel; Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror,” "Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law” and “Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the West.”
“The message she carries is a message of hatred and defamation to Islam,” Alnafie said.
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America—a nonpartisan media-monitoring organization formed in 1982 that focuses on decreasing anti-Israel bias in mainstream news—sponsored the event. Cohen, a CAMERA intern, publicized Darwish’s appearance at Seattle U through e mails and flyers.
Some of the students who attended the talk Thursday said they questioned Darwish’s credentials.
“If she had used the Quran to support any of her claims, she would have had some substance,” said Nabiha Pirbhai,
“It was horrible,” Al Harbi said. “She was giving wrong, misleading information about my religion. . . I’m OK with her criticizing Islam, but she was throwing out lies to people that don’t understand the situation.”
Many students who arrived in Bannan to hear Darwish speak Thursday were unreceptive to her, Cohen said. Public Safety received a report of a heated argument in the building.
“The majority of the audience came in hostile.” Cohen said. “She couldn’t get though half a sentence.”
Cohen said when she returned to clean up after the event, she found all of the CAMERA magazines and pamphlets she had displayed on the table for audience members were in the recycling bin.
Members of MSA passed out a handout listing short statements Darwish has made on Islam. They also distributed DVDs about the five pillars of Islam and other basics of the religion, Pirbhai said.
Al Harbi said he and other Muslim students purposefully interrupted Darwish when they thought she said something that misrepresented the religion.
Pirbhai said MSA will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss future steps. She estimates 25 students have signed the petition.
I think the University should take steps against students with such bad manners they will not let an invited guest speak although it must have been very galling for them to have an Egyptian former Muslim speaking the unpalatable truths. Non muslims should be left wondering why Islam cannot stand up to honest criticism.
It's a disgrace and outrage that an informed and positively intended speaker like Nonie can't speak at a university without fascists interrupting her. The University is culpable in allowing this travesty to occur and is kow towing to theocratic fascists just like the civil society of Germany kow towed to the nazis in the Thirties.
Freedom of speech....that is why they allowed a hate monger to speak? I think the university should be open to all forms of speech, including the KKK telling the students how blacks are sub-human, and the extremist Mormons who preach that Catholics will all go to hell, and don't forget the Nazis...that is freedom of speech isn't it? Those speakers are no different than Nonie D.
Even this disgusting website has no freedom of speech..you "approve" comments....how free is that? Morons. hate mongers. racists.
I have just read Nonie Darwish's book on sharia and its effects upon family and society, entitled "Cruel and Usual Punishment".
While reading, I observed that every major statement in it, about sharia, is supported not only by Ms Darwish's own personal experience of 30 years as a Muslim child, girl and woman in heavily-Islamified Egypt, living within the culture produced by 'family sharia', but also by chapter and verse from the Quran and/ or from those Hadith collections which are deemed authoritative, and from the major compendium of sharia law whose modern English translation bears the imprimatur of Al Azhar University in Cairo in Ms Darwish's own country of origin, where she lived until she was 30.
Thus the claim by Al-Harbi that 'she [Darwish] was giving wrong, misleading information about my religion [Islam]' is a complete falsehood, and is itself in fact a classic example of something that Darwish herself points out several times in the book - the phenomenon of Lying For Islam, Lying to Protect Islam from critical scrutiny. Al-Harbi is practising taqiyya. So is Nabiha Pirbai, who accused Darwish of not being able to support her statements from the Quran. She can. Oh she can, and in 'Cruel and Usual Punishment' she does, over and over.
As for the claim that Darwish has a message of 'hate and defamation'...everything she says about Islam, about what it prescribes should be done, and does to women and to people generally, about its antisemitism and its sacralised cruelty toward all non-Muslims, is nothing but a plain description of facts.
It is a measure of the malignant narcissism inculcated by Islam that its adherents, when confronted with an accurate description and critique of the appalling content and history of their belief-system, respond with blind fury and brazen denial.