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Saturday, April 23, 2011

From Fringe Groups: Meeting Nonie Darwish

Nonie Darwish began her story. She was born in Cairo in the 1950’s, and grew up in Gaza under Nasser. She lived her whole childhood in the Arab/Israeli conflict. It was the overriding subject, in schools, cartoons, media, and sermons. Her father started the fedayeen (self-sacrifice) operation whose assignment was to destroy Israel. She learned hatred and retaliation – not exactly normal lessons for children. Peace was never mentioned as a value. Only “jihad” against Jews.

“Jihad,” she explained, is not inner struggle. It is not yoga or self-analysis. In the Middle East, everyone knows what “jihad” means. It’s sharia’s obligatory war against nonMuslims, to establish Islam. The sovereignty of nonMuslim states cannot be conceded (except tactically). By the same token, international law cannot supercede sharia law. Unbelievers must either convert or agree to pay a tax, while being made to feel demeaned/humiliated. She and her school friends were filled with fear of Jews who, they were told, “love to kill Arab children.” Victimhood is essential to jihad.

After her father was killed, the family moved back to Cairo. Nasser paid them a condolence visit. This powerful man put a paternal hand against her cheek and asked, “Which of you kids will avenge your father’s death by killing Jews?” If she didn’t want to do that, she’d be considered disloyal. Noted: at that time, Israel was not in Gaza, not on the West Bank. The ideology of terrorism wasn’t caused by “occupation,” but preceded it.

Read it all at Werner Cohn's blog, Fringe Groups

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