Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror
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Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  345 ratings  ·  96 reviews
One woman’s story of why she left the culture of Islamic Jihad to support American liberty and tolerance

Why are so many Muslims embracing jihad and cheering for al-Qaeda and Hamas? Why are even the modern, secularized Arab states such as Egypt producing a generation of angry young extremists?

Nonie Darwish knows why. When she was eight, her father died while leading Fed

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 16th 2006 by Sentinel HC (first published November 13th 2006)
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Hope Corizzo
Apr 03, 2008 Hope Corizzo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Hope by: Jennifer G.
This selection is for two book groups. It was recommended by a neighbor who prefers non-fiction.
I was a bit bored in the beginning pages, until I realized that I needed the history of egypt to accept Ms. Darwish's POV on radical Islam and current terrorist tactics. It was important to understand the succession of leaders in Egypt, the ordinary family dynamics, education system, economics and information flow of Egypt from the 1950s to present time to not feel overwhelmed and skeptical of her c...more
Steven Salaita
I should start off by confessing that I haven't actually read this book. I did, however, hear the author speak about it at Virginia Tech in 2007, which I feel provides an adequate basis for comment.

The book is called "Now They Call Me Infidel." I don't know who "they" are, but I can assure you it's not what everybody I know calls Darwish. Given Darwish's annoying propensity to confuse reality with her well-timed con artistry, I wouldn't be surprised if she's disingenuously substituting "infidel...more
This book ends much better than it starts, and it is the first book for which I considered punctuation, paragraph transitions, and chapter allocations to be a signification part of a review. It is not enjoyable to have to do a drill-down on how a book is edited, but it is the poor editing of this book that originally lowered my rating of the text. Had it not been for the subject matter combined with both the intent and voice of the author, this book would have received a one-star rating and plac...more
I was quite dissapointed about this book. I agree with one of the reviews, indicating that there should've been more effort in the editing. The author's points and arguments were repeated and oftentimes drawn out. I also don't think there was enough emphasis given to explain that the true-essence of the Koran & Islam, which is completely different than the fanatical interpretation fueling politics & culture of mostIslamic states. While this book provides a generalized opinion of muslims...more
Very pro-American/anti-Islam book. It is interesting to hear a former Arab speak out so passionately against their culture that breeds terrorists. If nothing else, it will make you feel better about being an American.

I also have to say that I read this book while I was studying Isaiah. All of a sudden Isaiah makes a lot more sense.......
Nonie Darwish's fascinating peak into the mind of a Muslim woman, Now They Call Me Infidel (Sentinel 2006) takes the reader through her life as she shares the events that shaped her opinions and ultimately caused her to leave her homeland Egypt and make her life in America. It is a history of Egypt and why it changed from a middle class somewhat prospering nation that valued effort, hard-work, kindness, and honesty to a socialist society that ultimately destroyed the middle class of workers and...more
An insightful discussion of Islam from the viewpoint of someone who grew up Egyptian Muslim but converted to Christianity and became a US citizen. Darwish very clearly lays out her specific issues with different aspects of Islam and how they impact people's lives and attitudes. The ideas are compelling, but the actual voice is somewhat dry. In addition, the clear opinion sometimes seem to push aside other explanations behind the "radicalism" discussed. That being said, the book is a worthwhile r...more
Oct 02, 2007 Sherry rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Brave and unapologetic. In a time when being PC could cost America everything, Nonie Darwish sends out a stern warning, don't trade the truth for Political Correctness. If you want to know why this woman renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the war on terror then this is a must read. Also check out the movie "Obsession" that the PC distributors refuse to put into theaters. You can purchase it at You will hear Nonie speak out in this groundbreaking documentary.
You absolutely must read this book to understand what is going in in Gaza, Israel and Egypt. This is the story you will never get from our biased media and you can't understand the Middle East if you don't know what is in this book.
This book was very educational. I read it prior going to a dominant Muslim nation so I had a difficult time enjoying my time in the Mosques. I think it is a must read for anyone who wants to travel to Egypt.
Karen Melby
She is so against the culture that she doesn't share any of the good traits. We need to look at different cultures with tolerance and acceptance to dispel hatred.
Zvi Jonathan
This illuminating , penetrating, engrossing and heartfelt book is essential reading for anyone who wishes to truly understand the realities and dynamics at play concerning terrorism, the threat of Islamist radicalism to the free world , the Arab-Israel conflict and Islamic oppression of and atrocities against women and minorities.
Nonie Darwish in the first chapter of the book describes her childhood in Cairo and Gaza. Her father a top officer in Egyptian military intelligence was the man in char...more
Simply put, Muslim student organizations wanted to advocate "Islam as a religion of peace" through intimidation and arguments that made no sense.
p 230

To some Islamic idealists, what muslims are doing on earth - terrorism and jihad - is necessary and will be forgiven because they have good intentions to spread Islam to those who dont know they need it. ... In their minds, the ideal of peace will be achieved later when Islam dominates the world. They reason that peace can wait until that great ach...more
Read this book!

It was a lively book-club discussion/contraversy. This woman is amazingly brave to write a book that made it so she could never return to the middle east. She has faced that very scaaaary radical Islamic machine and made her best effort to save America from terrorism. We are a bit naive.

I learned a lot from this. I thought it was repetitive at times, especially near the end though. It rings so true to be that our democracy, free speech, and political correctness are often used aga...more
Michelle Ng
Ms Darwish has my utmost respect for writing this book. THe courage it takes for her to speak out against the twisted teaching of Islam, against the radical Muslims, is unimaginable. She placed herself in constant danger for writing a book like this. THus I don't believe in the accusation that it's all a lie and that she was never a Muslim. I don't believe anyone would conjure up stories like this in an attempt to gain profits. There are better, SAFER ways to get rich.

The book is easy to read f...more
This is an AWESOME book. I read this for a school assignment, but afte reading only the first chapter or two, I decided that I would have wanted to read this book regardless of whether it had been assigned or not.

Mrs. Darwish gives a very thorough, poignant, eye-opening account of Islam and Arab culture, both as someone born and raised within such an environment, as well as an immigrated outsider looking into the various situations and circumstances that such a society faces on a daily basis. F...more
Steve Cran
Nonie Darwish was a young girl in Gaza, whose father was stationed by the Egyptian government to maintain law and order in the Gaza Stip. Her description of life under the Egyptians is dismal. They live a life of harsh conditions and are largely confined to an open air prison. Poor coinditions led to intifada against the Egyptian government. To fix the situation her father was sent o make life better and organize fedayeen squads to atack Israel. Life in Gaza is not easy when returning from Cairo...more
I truly wish this book were in every stocking this Christmas. The author of this book is the daughter of an Egyptian Army Lt. General, Mustafa Hafez, who was martyred in 1956 when serving under Nasser's administration. The first half of the book presents the history of conflict between Egypt, Gaza, Palestine (and the entire Middle East) -- I would venture to say, it is not the record of account that any of us learned in High School, which makes it so important to read. What we are experiencing t...more
Michael Connolly
Nonie Darwish was born in Cairo. Her father, Colonel Mustafa Hafez, served in the Egyptian army in Gaza. Darwish went to elementary school in Gaza. The Palestinians in Gaza were prevented from entering the rest of Egypt, even though Gaza was part of Egypt. Egypt intentionally kept the Palestinians in Gaza in poverty, in order to make Israel look bad. In Gaza in the 1950s there were two primary political ideologies, Communism and the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1955 the Palestinians staged an intifada...more
Jenny Conatser
This was somewhere between three and four stars for me, but I decided to round up. I can sum up my feelings about this book by saying that it's something I'd have liked to read as part of a book club or class. I'd like to have read it with those who are more informed than I about Islam in general, and I'd also like to have sat down with a map while reading and a better historical and cultural understanding of the topic in advance of reading.

I very much enjoy memoirs, but have a hard time simply...more
Jason Mccool
This was an eye-opening book that every American should read. Her life in the imprisoning culture of the Arab countries and the freedom she found here in the States has given her a unique perspective that many outspoken Muslim supporters don't have. She discusses in a very honest way the contradictions and hypocrisy of modern Islam without being insulting to Muslims. She approaches it as a Muslim that had to leave because of those issues, and respectfully asks Muslims everywhere to make Islam th...more
Overall: some interesting insights into Egyptian culture and definitely worth a read. However, not as strong as Ayaan Hirsi Ali's "Infidel".

Strengths: Reveals how Muslim politicians manipulate populace into blind hatred of Israel, America and the West. Also shows how poorly women are treated in modern Muslim society and attempts to provide answers as to why moderate Muslims in the west don't speak up against the Wahabbists. The most powerful part is how she's able to forgive and love those who k...more
Cheryl Goldstein
Through Darwish's words we are provided insight to the world of Islam and the values they hold and teach. Had Nonie not emigrated to the USA she never would have shared her story as it never would have been allowed. Thank you, Nonie, for your candor and for educating us on a very current and important topic.
They say that there are two sides to every story. When it comes to terrorism, there are many more than two sides. Nonie Darwish's father was a Muslim Shahid who was the head of Egyptian military intelligence in Gaza when he was killed in 1956. She grew up in Gaza and then Egypt and was educated in British and American schools there and moved to the US at age 30. She shares about the extreme poverty in Egypt and the many problems caused by the government, the Muslim religion and the culture of th...more
This book was very eye opening and very challenging for me to read. Darwish introduces us to life inside cultures where Islam is prevalent. Her main theme is that we, as Americans, need to be cautious about how much access Islam has in our culture. After reading her story, I agree, but I struggle with it because I believe freedom of speech is SO important and drawing lines is very difficult. I also want to be sure that we, as a society, don't pre-judge Muslims. Some are good, decent, loving peop...more
"When Nonie Darwish was a girl of eight, her father died while leading covert attacks on Israel. A high-ranking Egyptian military officer stationed with his family in Gaza, he was considered a "shahid," a martyr for jihad. His posthumous state earned Nonie and her family an elevated position in Muslim society. Today Darwish thrives as an American citizen and an advocate for Israel. To many she is an infidael. But she is risking her comfort and her safety to reveal the many politically incorrect...more
Where do I start? First I was reminded of a Middle East history class I took with Dr Griswald back @ CSU. I felt the author's sense of what is being taught on college campus could be inacurate (although I was an undergrad over a decade again, well before 9/11)in that I believe that Dr Gris did a great job teaching fact rather than opinion or misinterpretation. Second, I enjoyed "learning" what the Middle Eastern perspective of America and the west is and why the "rage" of the people escalates. A...more
Fiorella Cecilia
I enjoyed reading this book. I agree with many points of view of the author. I believe that Muslims are not bad people but the people who interpret the scriptures for their personal gain is the ones who are evil. Once again just like Christians used the Crusades and Inquisition to dominate one and other in the name of God, people use religion for domination. I wish the government was more strict and get ride of the extreme Muslims who believe in killing people in the name of religion like what h...more
This book is a must-read for every American, every Christian. It is Nonie's bird's eye view of Islam as it is taught in her home country of Egypt. There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim according to Ms. Darwish. She gives a poignant, first hand picture of her life as the daughter of a "shahid" (martyr for the faith) that will give you chills and will make your heart hurt for the devastation that this family suffered under the guise of their "religion". Ms. Darwish now lives in America and s...more
Very interesting! The author was raised in Egypt, the daughter of a man who worked for the army and lead attacks on Israel from Gaza. He was killed. She came to the US. She says terrorism is a behavior of desperate people. Also she says that democracy (the right to question and debate,and change religions)cannot survive with current Muslim values (jihad, terrorism, and martyrdom). She calls the silent Muslim majority to speak up, accept responsibility and not blame problems and corruption on Isr...more
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