FP: Nonie Darwish, welcome to Frontpage Interview.I have a friend, an Egyptian Coptic Christian, who maintains ties with Christians in the Muslim world. He tells me a story we don't often hear here in the Western World. That is, Muslims are converting to Christianity by the millions across the Islamic world.
I would like to talk to you today a bit about the Muslim voices for change that are increasing through the Islamic world. There is an unprecedented defiance taking place behind the Islamic Curtain.
Can you tell us what is transpiring?
Darwish: As you know, Jamie, I lived for 30 years in the cocoon of the Muslim world and I can see a huge change going on inside the Muslim world. More and more people are challenging the status quo.
After 9/11 and with constant recurring explosive Islamic terrorism, it has become harder for the Muslim establishment to keep the lid on Muslims questioning their system, religion and holy wars. Criticism of Islam is coming at them from every direction, putting Muslim clerics in a quagmire unable to honestly answer questions. Muslim scholars were never trained to answer questions critical of Islam or engage in hostile debate. But now, suddenly, they are challenged to the core like never before, not by Western critics, but by brave hosts of Arabic language shows from unidentified locations in the West and hosted by former Muslims and/or Egyptian Christian Copts.
Father Zakareya Botros rocks the Arab world with his show “Howard Al Hak” or “Honest Debate” when callers from various parts of the Muslim world call in renouncing Islam. Former Muslim turned Christian, Rachid Hmami, originally from Morocco, has a popular show “Fil Samim”, or “from the core”. Hmami, who is the son of a Muslim cleric, is eloquent, respectful with a calm and peaceful demeanor — a characteristic in sharp contrast to the angry loud and cursing image of many Muslim clerics.
The Muslim leadership is suddenly under a lot of pressure to answer taboo questions rarely ever asked before; taboo topics such as questioning the validity of the Qur’an, the life and marriage of Mohammad, his violent wars and assassinations, the fact that there is no minimum age for marriage of women in Islam and about ridiculous Fatwas regarding breast feeding of adult males by Muslim women and Muhammad’s urine as a cure. Muslim callers to these Arabic shows have proved beyond doubt how many Muslims have no clue as to what is written in their scriptures and religious laws.
Many Muslims are demanding answers from their religious leaders and for them to vigorously defend such criticism of Islam. However, not one Muslim cleric has answered the questions on people’s minds. Their response is more yelling, threatening, hate speech, paranoid accusations and propaganda of misinformation. This led Hmami and Father Zakaria, for instance, to personally challenge Muslim leaders to a debate. A well-known Muslim cleric was exposed to have lied when he accepted the challenge to debate on TV, but privately, on recorded phone call with Hmami, the Muslim cleric was evasive, lied and declined the invitation to the debate, giving ridiculous excuses.
Even Imams are converting.
Many of the Imams who are converting keep their positions as Imams, and use them as a pedestal to preach a more peaceful philosophy. Their thinking being, it is better for me to preach peace, which is not Islam, than to leave my post and be replaced by yet another hate preacher.
It is hard to believe that such a great thing is happening, but I do believe my friend. And, Nonie Darwishs' words back up his story.