Archive for lies

Watch Rep. Peter King Lie Through His Teeth: “NYPD, Doesn’t Profile Muslims”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by loonwatch

That the NYPD was profiling Muslims based on their religion is an indisputable fact, but King of course can’t and won’t admit it. His entire political career at the moment hinges on the “radicalization of Muslim Americans” myth:

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2012/05/14/exp-point-king-profiling-exchange.cnn

The lies are not a surprise, but reporters need to do a better job at challenging politicians like King.
Rep. Peter King On NYPD Muslim Surveillance: ‘There Is No Profiling‘

(HuffingtonPost)

Representative Peter King (R-NY) said Monday during an appearance on CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien that “there is no racial profiling” by the New York Police Department.

The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza asked King first what he thought of profiling as a practice, and then insinuated that perhaps King’s staunch defense of everything NYPD is problematic.

House Democrats Thursday introduced a resolution calling on the NYPD to end programs that infiltrated mosques and spied on innocent muslims.

King responded to Lizza, “First of all, there is no profiling. And that’s the absolute nonsense that people like you and others are propagating.”

Lizza quickly defended his question. “I’m not propagating anything,” he said. “I’m just telling you that there’s been some very good questions raised about what the NYPD’s doing. ”

King replied, “I’m telling you there is no profiling. So, I want you to take that back…. You have no evidence of profiling at all. They use terms like profiling, spying, casually and cavalierly. And you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

And when guest anchor Brooke Baldwin interjected that Izza was just brining up some valid points, King responded emphatically, “They’re not valid points!”

King and fellow New York Republican Rep. Bob Turner demanded Democrats apologize for the resolution Friday, issuing a statement that read, “We are utterly dumbfounded and shocked that after such a slanderous attack, the overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats and the entire Democratic leadership voted for the Holt amendment and against the NYPD. We believe the Democrats owe New York and the NYPD an explanation for their shameful surrender to political correctness.”

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2012/05/14/exp-point-king-profiling-exchange.cnn
This isn’t the first time King–who chairs the House’s Homeland Security Committee and who has held hearings on the radicalization of Islam in the US– has defended the NYPD from criticism over its surveillance of muslim communities.

In March, when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie criticized the NYPD’s operations in Newark, King responded, “It’s really disturbing and disappointing to have someone like Chris Christie join on this politically correct bandwagon. I wish Chris Christie was more concerned about keeping people alive than he is about trying to score cheap political points.”

Also in March, King joined the narrator of “The Third Jihad” at a rally held by muslims in defense of NYPD surveillance of muslims.

LGF: Fact-Checking Pamela Geller: ‘270 million’ victims of Islam?

Posted in Loon People, Loon Sites, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2011 by loonwatch

No surprise here, Geller is making up facts as she goes along, but what did you expect from the Looniest Blogger Ever.

Fact-Checking Pamela Geller: ‘270 million’ victims of Islam?

by Sergey Romanov (LGF)

In her latest post Pamela Geller screeches:

It is time there was a museum exhibit dedicated to the victims of jihad. Where is the Met’s showcase of the lives and cultures and histories of the 270 million victims of over a millennium of jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilations, and enslavements? Where is the grandiose suite of new galleries dedicated to highlighting Islam’s systematic dehumanization of women: honor killings, clitorectomies, and so much more?

Wow, wow, Pamela, wait there a second. “270 million victims” of Islam? Are you sure? What might be the source for this? She gives no link.

Thankfully, Gus found what might be the primary source for this statistic:

Tears of Jihad

These figures are a rough estimate of the death of non-Muslims by the political act of jihad.

Africa

Thomas Sowell [Thomas Sowell, Race and Culture, BasicBooks, 1994, p. 188] estimates that 11 million slaves were shipped across the Atlantic and 14 million were sent to the Islamic nations of North Africa and the Middle East. For every slave captured many others died. Estimates of this collateral damage vary. The renowned missionary David Livingstone estimated that for every slave who reached a plantation, five others were killed in the initial raid or died of illness and privation on the forced march.[Woman’s Presbyterian Board of Missions, David Livingstone, p. 62, 1888] Those who were left behind were the very young, the weak, the sick and the old. These soon died since the main providers had been killed or enslaved. So, for 25 million slaves delivered to the market, we have an estimated death of about 120 million people. Islam ran the wholesale slave trade in Africa.

120 million Africans

Christians

The number of Christians martyred by Islam is 9 million [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-10] . A rough estimate by Raphael Moore in History of Asia Minor is that another 50 million died in wars by jihad. So counting the million African Christians killed in the 20th century we have:

60 million Christians

Hindus

Koenard Elst in Negationism in India gives an estimate of 80 million Hindus killed in the total jihad against India. [Koenard Elst, Negationism in India, Voice of India, New Delhi, 2002, pg. 34.] The country of India today is only half the size of ancient India, due to jihad. The mountains near India are called the Hindu Kush, meaning the ‘funeral pyre of the Hindus.’

80 million Hindus

Buddhists

Buddhists do not keep up with the history of war. Keep in mind that in jihad only Christians and Jews were allowed to survive as dhimmis (servants to Islam); everyone else had to convert or die. Jihad killed the Buddhists in Turkey, Afghanistan, along the Silk Route, and in India. The total is roughly 10 million. [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-1.]

10 million Buddhists

Jews

Oddly enough there were not enough Jews killed in jihad to significantly affect the totals of the Great Annihilation. The jihad in Arabia was 100 percent effective, but the numbers were in the thousands, not millions. After that, the Jews submitted and became the dhimmis (servants and second class citizens) of Islam and did not have geographic political power.

This gives a rough estimate of 270 million killed by jihad.

This was written by Bill French aka “Bill Warner” of “Center for the Study of Political Islam” (cf. this FrontPageMag interview).

Let’s go over it step by step.

1. Africans. The number of 120 million victims is, of course, taken from thin air. Even assuming the number of 25 million slaves to be correct, and assuming that “Islam” was responsible for them, one cannot simply multpily the number by a single dodgy statistical point to get some sort of a total number of “dead”.

Notice that the whole transatlantic slave trade is attributed to Islam! Apparently, Christians had nothing to do with it. This way we will soon hear that Confederacy was an Islamic separatist state.

However, when we assume the scope of the Arab slave trade (which existed before Islam) to be between 10-18 million people, to claim that Islam as such is responsible for the associated victims is the same as claiming that Christianity is to blame for the victims of slavery and racism perpetrated by Christians (among many other things).

2. Christians. The first source cited is not quite scholarly. It’s a mish-mash of statistical data, and when it comes to “martyrdom” particularly, there is no careful, scholarly discussion of each particular number as well as its sources, which leaves the question of the reliability of each particular statistic open. Here’s the table 4-10. It is so exhaustive, yet it has only 9 million alleged Christian victims of Muslims (I did not bother to verify by recounting, but table 4-5 does have 9 million alleged victims of Muslims). However then the “Tears of Jihad” article claims that there were 50 million more of them. How did the authors of that table somehow miss these additional millions? If they were so incompetent, why cite their statistics in the first place?

But where is the 50 million figure from? The source is given as “History of Asia Minor” by Raphael Moore. Quick Google search brings up this source, which is an article by Raphael Moore entitled “In Memory Of The 50 Million Victims Of The Orthodox Christian Holocaust”. Its first sub-section is called “History Of Asia Minor: 1894-1923”, which is apparently at the root of confusion for Geller’s source: the name of the sub-section was confused with the name of the complete work. Such brilliant scholarship.

The number “50 million” does appear in the article, but only as a total number of Christians martyred in XXth century!

Between the tolls exacted from prisons, concentration camps, forced marches and exiles, warfare, famine, and brutal military occupation, it is reasonable to conclude that up to 50 million Orthodox Christians have perished in the first eight decades of the twentieth century.

Geller’s source simply took this number and ascribed it to “Jihad”.

(As a side note, this source is also far from scholarly and the number is not calculated properly, but that is already irrelevant for the purposes of the present critique.)

3. Hindus. It is claimed that the number is estimated by Elst (who is known for right-wing anti-Muslim bias). However, when we take a look at his book we see this:

As a contribution to research on the quantity of the Islamic crimes against humanity, we may mention Prof. K.S.Lal’s estimates about the population figures in medieval India (Growth of Muslim Population in India). According to his calculations, the Indian (subcontinent) population decreased by 80 million between 1000 (conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 (end of Delhi Sultanate). More research is needed before we can settle for a quantitatively accurate evaluation of Muslim rule in India, but at least we know for sure that the term crime against humanity is not exaggerated.

So it’s not Elst’s estimate, but Lal’s estimate. And moreover, it is not an estimate of 80 million murders. It’s an estimate of a population decrease in five centuries, the causes of which may be many, including natural population decrease, conversions, etc.

The problem, however, is that Lal’s estimates are simply fantasies. One cannot take seriously any such estimates based on extremely fragmentary demographic data for the year 1000. Simon Digby writes in his review of Lal’s book, after addressing some of Lal’s assumptions (Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, vol. 38, no. 1, 1975, p. 177):

Regarding the population of India before A.D. 1000 Lal quotes the guesses of Colin Clark – 70 millions – and Jyotindra Mohan Datta – 200 to 300 millions. He himself prefers 200 millions and he believes that, mainly as a result of the Muslim invasions and presence, the population of India fell from 200 millions in A.D. 1000 to 125 millions in A.D. 1500, to rise under more amiable Mughal rule to 175 millions in 1700.

[…]

The author is known for his detailed studies of the Khalji dynasty and of the fifteenth century Delhi sultanate. He is well versed in the sources of medieval North Indian history. In the present study he has assembled almost all the conceivably relevant data and for this reason it will remain of value as a compendium of references. Yet the unknown variables are so great and the quality of the data yielded by our sources so poor that almost any detailed general estimates of population based upon them must appear wilful, if not fantastic. At the time when this review was being written, E. J. Hobsbawm (in New Society, 11 July 1974, 76) called the attention of historians of premodern Europe, who dabble in social statistics based on sources of comparable quality to those of Lal, to an axiom of computer operators ‘GIGO’: this stands for ‘Garbage in – Garbage out’!

A reasonable person can agree with this conclusion. Thus, the figure of “80,000,000” Hindus murdered by Muslims is based on nothing but weak speculations.

Interestingly, elsewhere Elst writes:

Prof. K.S. Lal once estimated that the Indian population declined by 50 million under the Sultanate, but that would be hard to substantiate; research into the magnitude of the damage Islam did to India is yet to start in right earnest.

4. Buddhists. The only source given for the alleged Buddhist victims of Muslims is the same book with Christian statistics, not any scholarly historical source about, you know, Buddhists. But when we look at the table 4-1, we only see the number of 10,000,000 Buddhists cited (without sources, I might add; and it contains 80,000,000 alleged Muslim martyrs as well, 10 million more than alleged Christian martyrs, estimated to be 70 million!). There is no indication in the table that these Buddhists were slaughtered by Muslims.

———

As an atheist, I have no problem with talking about the responsibility of religions for many evils of this world. However I must state that the much bandied about number of “270 million” victims of Islam is total bunk based on nothing.

Pamela Geller Called out for Being an “anti-Muslim Bigot” on CNN

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2010 by loonwatch

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ9g4WDIy4o 350 300]

On the heels of the Salon.com article that traced the Ground Zero mosque controversy back to Pamela Geller, CNN ran a special segment on the anatomy of this story. In it Pamela Geller is called out for who she is, an “anti-Muslim blogger.” The evidence for that abounds,

Geller: Obama “is a third worlder and a coward” who’s “appeas[ing] his Islamic overlords.” In an April 13 blog post, Gellerwrote: “Obama is a third worlder and a coward. He will do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords. All this is going down while Obama plays footsie at his nuclear nonsense campfire — sucking up to Iran’s enablers while beating up our allies.”

Geller: Liberal Jews are “lost souls,” “self-hating wretches.” In her January 25 Newsmax column, Geller wrote that Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League “has come out against a great and wonderful friend of the Jews, Rush Limbaugh.” Geller added that this “is symptomatic of a deeper problem: I have for years derided Jews in America and the Jewish lay leadership for tolerating and supporting clear and present enemies of the Jewish people among our senior ranks. It is a sickness of the soul.” She further wrote, “The liberal Jew worships at the church of human secularism. These lost souls are married to their liberal dogma” and asked, “Which Jews support deleterious characters like Foxman? Which Jews give blood money to these self-hating wretches?”

Geller on Obama’s Israel policy: “Jews Refuse to Get on Obama’s Trains.” In a post apparently responding to Obama’s opposition to settlement growth, Geller wrote, “Jews refuse to get on Obama’s Trains.” She added: “Obama is pressuring Jews to “evacuate” from parts of Israel? And what Warsaw ghetto does the muhammadan [sic] president have in mind? I think I am gonna hurl. The Jews will not go. The Jews will not submit to this century’s nazis [sic] and Mansourian poser. No way, bloodsuckers. Not again. Never again.”

Geller on transgender Obama appointee: “What a freak show this presidency is.”In a January 4 blog post, Geller responded to a report that Obama named a transgender appointee to a Commerce Department position by stating, “Does Obama know anyone who isn’t wacky, radical, militant, judeophobic, socialist, marxist, pedophilic? …… Does he chill with anyone who is normal? Isn’t there one Marilyn Munster in the family? What a freak show this presidency is.”

Geller: Obama “wants jihad to win. That’s what he is doing.” In an April 1 blog post titled, “”President Jihad: Obama Encouraged Violent Palestinian Muslim protests against Israel,” Geller claimed Obama “is agitating Muslims against Jews” and stated, “The President of the United States is advancing jihad against the oath of office that he took.” Geller also stated in an April 11 post, “President Sarkozy called [Obama] ‘a madman,’ ‘a lunatic.’ Perhaps, I don’t know — but one thing is for sure: Hussein is a muhammadan. He’s not insane ………..he wants jihad to win. That’s what he is doing. Of course, to the western mind, the rational mind, the logical mind, the American mind, that is insane.”

Geller called Democrats “National Socialists.” In a March 13 blog post, Geller wrote, ”National Socialists [Democrats] Obamacare: Sheeps to ‘Slaughter Solution.’” She added, “The buzz on Capitol Hill is that the Democrats are now considering what is being called the ’Slaughter Solution’ that will allow ObamaCare to be signed into law WITHOUT HOUSE MEMBERS EVEN HAVING TO VOTE.

Geller: Senate Democrats supporting health care reform voted “to rape the American people.” In a December 21, 2009, blog post, Geller wrote of the cloture vote for health care reform: “The moochers and the looters, the crooks and degenerates voted at 1 am this morning to rip the constitution to shreds, to rape the American people and to nationalize medicine.” She added that passing the bill on Christmas Eve would be “an act of treason and blasphemy.”

Geller declared “VICTORY!” after Swiss established ban on minaret construction.In a November 29 post to her Atlas Shrugs blog — headlined “VICTORY! SWISS BAN MOSQUE MINARETS IN A LANDSLIDE VOTE” — Pamela Geller commented: “The Swiss have hand [sic] enough. They actually had the spine to take back their country. I wonder how the religion of peaceniks will react…in their usual tolerant and pacifist manner?”

Geller: “Obama Goes Full On Nazi.” Geller headlined a November 9, 2009, post “Obama Goes Full On Nazi: Subject: “Democratic consultant says he got a warning from White House after appearing on Fox News.”

Geller: ” ‘Kick a Jew’ days … are part of this growing evil Evil unleashed with an anti-semite in the White House.” In a December 14, 2009, post, Geller wrote:

It’s as if the floodgates of hell have been thrown open. The moratorium on the holocaust is officially over and all the savages are free to incite, hate and destroy. Clearly those “Kick a Jew” days discussed here and here in schools are part of this growing evil Evil [sic] unleashed with an anti-semite in the White House.

Geller: “Obama is bringing his jihad to Illinois.” In a December 15, 2009, post, Geller responded to reports that Guantanamo Bay detainees may be housed at the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois by stating: “Obama is bringing his jihad to Illinois. Has anyone asked the people of Chicago if they want KSM’s soul mates in their state? Obama’s treachery is breathtaking. A killer’s paradise.”

Geller: “It is well known that Obama allegedly was involved with a crack whore in his youth,” and he only visited Pakistan while in college because of “jihad or drugs.” In an August 1, 2009, post, Geller discussed rumors of a Palin divorce being spread by bloggers, including one supposedly tied to CNN and stated:

Let’s understand this. CNN won’t touch the birth certificate issue, the Rezko/Auchi corruption, Obama’s anti-semitism, his ACORN/SEIU ties and corruption, and other legitimate stories that need investigation. But they write fiction about Palin. Daily. So why not tell the truth about Obama and his reported strange sexual predilections? My question is, it is well known that Obama allegedly was involved with a crack whore in his youth. Very seedy stuff. Why aren’t they pursuing that story? Find the ho, give her a show! Obama allegedly trafficked in some very deviant practices. Where’s the investigation?

Geller further stated of Obama’s trip to Pakistan during college: “Back in the early 80′s, there were only two reasons to travel to Pakistan. Jihad or drugs. I think he went for the drugs and came back with jihad.”

Geller on Dome of the Rock: “The dome has got to go.” On September 27, 2009, Geller posted an image of Muslims praying at the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s holy sites, and stated, “On Erev Yom Kippur, Muslims attack Jews in Jerusalem. The dome has got to go. It is sitting atop the great Jewish temple. The dome has got to go. It’s time to push back and stop indulging evil. Evil is made possible by the sanction you give it. Withdraw your sanction (paraphrasing Rand).”

There is more where this came from, please read our profile of Geller, The Looniest Blogger Ever.The sad thing is that this segment on CNN had Pamela Geller on unopposed. The host, John Roberts, obviously didn’t do his research and didn’t press her enough with the tough questions that Geller should be asked.

Instead, the show in effect gave Pamela Geller an opportunity to lie and cover up the fact that she is a Muslim hater. It is now common to see Pamela in her TV appearances claim that she “loves Muslims,” though the type of love she seems to be talking about is some twisted love in which the only good Muslim is one who doesn’t practice Islam, or believe in the Quran or the Prophet Muhammad.

The fact is she is against the building of mosques. Even in this CNN program she exposes herself by equating terrorists as representatives of “pure Islam,” echoing her friend, Euro-supremacist demagogue Geert Wilders who wants to tax the Hijab, ban Muslim immigration and outlaw Islam in the Netherlands.

The truth is Geller is opposed to the building of mosques, as is clear when she triumphantly claims victory after the Swiss ban minarets and when she calls for the destruction of mosques like the Golden Dome.

 

Pamela Geller: Two faced Liar

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by loonwatch

Debbie Schlussel must have been right, Pamela should be better known as “Scamela.”

Pamela Geller gets on TV, and knowing that she has to act some what normal says, “I love Muslims.”A statement belied by her constant hate and fear mongering about Islam and Muslims. She wants todestroy the Golden Dome in Jerusalem, is that love?

From LGF:

Pamela Geller: I have no problems with Muslims except ‘goodness makes them ill’

I wouldn’t post about this hateful creature again so soon, but this is a case of absolutely classic shrieking harpy hypocrisy. Yesterday Pamela Geller posted this:

“I believe I’m fighting for Muslims here,” she said. “I have no problem with Muslims.”

Today she posts this:

The Muslims are finishing the work of the Mufti al-Husseini, Hitlers ally and mass slaughterer of Jews during the the holocaust. Sixty years later, it’s the Muslims who are dragging the rest of the world with them, in their genocidal dreams of annihilating goodness, creativity, production, inventiveness, benevolence, charity, medicine, technology, and all of the gifts of the Jews.

Our goodness makes them ill.

Right — she has no problem with Muslims at all! They’re just all Nazi-allied genocidal murderers who want to destroy everything good in the world.

Who would ever get the idea that Geller has a problem with Muslims?

 

Nonie Darwish Caught in a Pool of Lies

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2010 by loonwatch
Nonie DarwishNonie Darwish

We are going to have an explosive breakdown of the clownish Nonie Darwish, another charlatan akin to Wafa Sultan who is milking the Islamophobic cash cow for all it’s worth. Jim Holstun, a professor at SUNY Buffalo wrote this great piece in 2008 that lays bear Nonie’s excessive Islamophobia, as well as her contradictions and lies.

Nonie Darwish and the al-Bureij Massacre

StandWithUs is a Zionist advocacy group in Los Angeles. It concentrates on US colleges and universities, offering fellowships, book donations, lectures, training and hands-on activism. I first heard about the group in 2005, after its Executive Director, Roz Rothstein, wrote my university’s president, provost and Arts and Sciences dean to warn them that I was teaching courses in Palestinian culture. She passed along some hysterical libels from anonymous community members (not my students), gave a detailed critique of my syllabuses, encouraged them to investigate me and two other colleagues, and helpfully suggested a few questions they might want to ask.

StandWithUs manages an impressive stable of Zionist speakers, including several who are Arabs, Muslims, or ex-Muslims: Brigitte Gabriel, Ishmael Khaldi, Walid Shoebat, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Nonie Darwish. Darwish, born an Egyptian Muslim, now an American Evangelical Christian, is one of the most energetic. She manages the website Arabs for Israel and has appeared on FOX News, on the website Frontpage Magazine, and in the film Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. She is also the author of Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror. Penguin Books publishes it under its Sentinel imprint — a special line of conservative titles. Since her book’s publication in 2006, Darwish has toured extensively, speaking primarily at colleges and universities.

Now They Call Me Infidel has blurbs from all the usual crew: Daniel Pipes, David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, Bat Ye’Or, former Senator Rick Santorum, Representative Tom “Nuke Mecca” Tancredo, and General Paul Vallely, who advocates the final ethnic cleansing of all Palestinian citizens of Israel. In the book itself, Darwish interweaves stories of her Egyptian girlhood with potted accounts of female genital mutilation, arranged marriages, polygamy, veiling, domestic abuse, honor killings, sharia law, jihad, censorship, hate-oriented education, the rejection of modernity, the cult of martyrdom, Islamic imperialism, and the pathological, groundless hatred of Israel.

In her interviews and in her book, she insists that she is not anti-Arab or anti-Islamic, and even suggests from time to time that she is still a Muslim. Then she pivots nimbly and attacks “the Arab mind,” “the seething Arab street,” and “the Muslim world,” with its “culture of jihad,” “culture of death,” and “culture of envy.” There are “no real distinctions between moderate or radical Muslims,” and no significant differences within or among Arab or Muslim cultures: for Darwish, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s secular Arab nationalism was essentially jihadist. Darwish is allergic to social history: “I realized that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not a crisis over land, but a crisis of hate, lack of compassion, ingratitude, and insecurity.” Instead of history, scholarship, and footnotes, she gives us a watered-down version of Raphael Patai’s The Arab Mind: a dictionary of Islamophobic commonplaces underwritten by the authority of an ex-Muslim native informant: I was there — I know.

Darwish’s portraits of Israel and of the US, to which she emigrated in 1978, are diametrically opposite but equally fatuous: Israeli Jews are tolerant, pragmatic, and peace-loving. From 1967 to 1982, they made the Sinai bloom. Americans are honest, charitable, industrious, self-sufficient, intellectually curious, and benevolent toward the foreign nations to whom they bring liberty. They err only in their excess of credulous goodness: because of “the simplicity of American values such as truthfulness,” they risk falling prey to duplicitous jihadist immigrants and dangerous professors, who “indoctrinate American young people with the radical Muslim agenda.”

Her outsider’s view of America complements her insider’s view of the Arab and Muslim world, for imperial states want not only other people’s land and labor, but their love. Here, we may compare Now They Call Me Infidel not only to recent anti-Islamic conversion narratives like Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel (her conversion was to neoconservative atheism and the American Enterprise Institute), but to earlier works in the genre. In her 1964 Editions Gallimard autobiography, O mes soeurs musulmanes, pleurez! (O My Muslim Sisters, Weep!), Zoubeida Bittari recounts her escape from Algerian Muslim patriarchy to French Christian bliss as a domestic servant to a Pied-Noir family; Nonie Darwish finds friends, family, and faith in southern California, including a Republican women’s group, an American husband, and Christian fellowship in Pastor Dudley Rutherford’s Shepherd of the Hills Church. As Bittari helped French colons feel better about their ungratefully rebuffed civilizing mission in Algeria, so Darwish helps Americans feel better about the long and bumpy road to global democratization.

There are occasional flashes of something more individual and authentic in Darwish’s book. For instance, her reiterated heartfelt attack on Nasser’s rent control laws (her mother lived partly off of her Cairo rentals) helps us understand why she feels so much more at home in southern California, where she arrived with enough money to buy a house with a swimming pool. But as a whole, the book is tedious, predictable, and badly edited — born to be bought, scanned and displayed, not actually read. But this will not diminish the demand for Darwish as a lecturer, which derives not from her writing but from her parentage: her father was Colonel Mustafa Hafez, head of Egyptian army intelligence in the Gaza Strip in the early ’50s, who was killed by an Israeli letter bomb in July 1956. Every lecture notice, every interview, even the title page of her book announces her as “a Muslim Shahid’s Daughter.”

Throughout her book, Darwish struggles to maintain love and loyalty both to the father she lost at age eight and to the Israeli state that killed him. In a parting flourish, she says that “My father — and potentially my whole family — was sent to his death in Gaza by Nasser, who was consumed by his desire to destroy Israel,” and she fondly imagines him surviving and flying with assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to Israel. But this argument sometimes requires a torturous chronology: “When, on January 16, 1956, Nasser vowed a renewed offensive to destroy Israel, the pressure on my father to step up operations increased. More fedayeen groups were organized, and their training expanded to other areas of the Gaza Strip. Often my father was gone for days at a time. In an attempt to end the terror, Israel sent its commandos one night to our heavily guarded home.”

The problem here is that this early, failed assassination attempt occurred in 1953, when Hafez was struggling to prevent destabilizing Palestinian infiltration from Gaza into Israel. Things changed dramatically in February 1955, when then military commander Ariel Sharon’s Gaza raid killed 37 Egyptian soldiers and wounded 31. This raid brought shocked international condemnation, the end of Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett’s ongoing negotiations with Nasser, mass demonstrations of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, and Nasser’s decision to have Hafez organize and arm Palestinian fedayeen for cross-border forays. Israeli historians Avi Shlaim and Benny Morris see the raid as a turning point in Israeli-Arab relations. Darwish never mentions it.

Continuing with her discussion of the earlier undated raid on her family’s home (it actually occurred on 28-29 August 1953), she says, “My father was not at home that night, and the Israelis found only women and children — my mother, two maids, and five small children. The commandos left us unharmed. I personally did not even wake up or know of the incident until later in life, when I read a book written about my father. After I read it, I called my mother immediately, and she confirmed the story. The Israelis chose not [to] kill us even though the Egyptian-organized fedayeen did kill Israeli civilians, women and children.”

Young Nonie must have been a very sound sleeper, since one squad blew the gate off her house, injuring several civilians, and, by one account, proceeded to demolish the house. Grown-up Nonie seems not to know that the Israeli commandos were part of Ariel Sharon’s newly-organized Unit 101. While the one squad attacked her house, Sharon’s was cornered nearby in al-Bureij refugee camp. He decided they would bomb and shoot their way through the camp rather than retreat from it. General Vagn Bennike, the Danish UN Truce Chief, reported to the Security Council on the ensuing massacre: “Bombs were thrown through the windows of huts in which the refugees were sleeping and, as they fled, they were attacked by small arms and automatic weapons. The casualties were 20 killed, 27 seriously wounded, and 35 less seriously wounded.” Other sources estimate from 15 to 50 fatalities.

The Israeli army blamed the raid on rogue kibbutzniks, and Ariel Sharon tried to reassure his men, telling them that all the dead women were camp whores or murderous Palestinian infiltrators. But some of them remained shocked at what they had done. Participant Meir Barbut said they felt as if they were slaughtering the pathetic inhabitants of a Jewish transit camp: “The boys threw Molotov cocktails at [innocent] people, not at the saboteurs we had come to punish. It was shameful for the 101 and the IDF [Israel army].” Another asked, “Is this screaming, whimpering multitude … the enemy? … How did these fellahin sin against us?” In 2006, Palestinian journalist Laila El-Haddad interviewed a survivor for Al Jazeera English:

“Mohammad Nabahini, 55, was two at the time and lived in the camp. He survived the attack in the arms of his slain mother. ‘My father decided to stay behind when they attacked. He hid in a pile of firewood and pleaded with my mother to stay with him. She was too afraid, and fled with hundreds of others, only to return to take me and a few of her belongings with her,’ he said. ‘As she was escaping, her dress got caught in a fence around the camp, just over there,’ he gestured, near a field now covered with olive trees. ‘And then they threw a bomb at her, Sharon and his men. She tossed me on the ground behind her before she died.’”

Though Darwish never mentions it, the al-Bureij Massacre hasn’t exactly been a secret — both Zionist and anti-Zionist historians have described it clearly, with little disagreement save the number of fatalities, with the high-end estimate coming from an Israeli history. If it tends not to loom large in Palestinian historical memory, that’s because it was overshadowed just two months later by the Qibya Massacre, during which Sharon’s Unit 101 killed 67, women and children, demolishing buildings over their heads and shooting them down when they tried to flee — the tactic pioneered at al-Bureij. Given its propensity for civilian soft targets, this daredevil elite unit might be better described as a death squad.

We probably shouldn’t expect Nonie Darwish to alter her campus presentations anytime soon. The bookings by StandWithUs might dry up if she were to start supplementing her cautionary tales about sharia law, jihadi immigrants, and female genital mutilation with a serious discussion of Israeli massacres at Deir Yassin, Tantura, al-Bureij, Qibya, Kfar Qasim, Sabra and Shatila, and Beit Hanoun. In any case, Darwish prefers simple cultural generalities and intimate personal reflection to historical analysis. But since that’s the case, someone at her next lecture might ask if she remembers playing with any of the refugee children murdered at al-Bureij, and why the kindly Israeli commandos who spared her family decided to blow up Mohammad Nabahini’s mother.

Jim Holstun teaches world literature and Marxism at SUNY Buffalo and can be reached at jamesholstun A T hotmail D O T com.