The Arkansas State University newspaper The Herald reports on a lecture by Nonie Darwish.
When it was announced Darwish would be the third speaker in this year’s ASU Lecture-Concert Series, the Executive Board of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) voiced its concerns.
The leaders of the MSA sent a protest letter to ASU administrators and members of the Lecture-Concert Committee on behalf of the more than 300 Muslim students who attend ASU, claiming Darwish’s presentation would cause a serious threat to these students.
In the letter, the MSA Executive Board included a quote from a YouTube video clip of a Darwish speech in which she said: “Islam is a poison to a society. It’s divisive. It’s hateful. Look what Islam is doing on our college campuses. It’s full of anti-Semitism. It’s going to turn us against one another. It’s going to produce chaos in society. Because Islam should be feared, and should be fought, and should be conquered, and defeated, and annihilated and it’s going to happen. Ladies and gentlemen, Islam is going to be brought down because Islam is based on lies and it’s not based on the truth. I have no doubt whatsoever that Islam is going to be destroyed.”
The protest letter listed reasons why it would be dangerous to host Darwish’s presentation on campus, including that the fear of Muslims it might create would lead to bullying of Muslim students and to an increase in hate-related crimes against Muslims and personal injuries, and that it would not contribute to higher education.
Despite the MSA’s request to cancel Darwish’s lecture, Arkansas State University held the presentation in Centennial Hall at 7p.m….
Before Darwish began her speech, Lecture-Concert Committee chair Timothy Crist introduced her and explained that ASU respects the rights protected by the First Amendment and read a brief statement from the president of the MSA, Siddique Aboobucker.
Aboobucker, in his statement, reminded the audience the lecture offered the view of one person and offered the chance for individuals to come talk to members of the MSA to get their take on Islam and information about Muslim beliefs….
Darwish talked about Sharia being interpreted from the Quran, and how the Islamic religion is connected to its law.
“If a religion has a legal system that controls every aspect of life, it is no longer a private matter” Darwish said. “By assuming the role of government, it becomes open to criticism.”
She recounted stories of people killed by Muslims for being Non-Muslim, especially Christians.
She told a story of a group of Christians in a country ruled by Sharia law being gunned down as they walked out of church on Christmas night.
At this point in the lecture, Aboobucker, the MSLA leader, quietly stood and walked out. Most of the more than 100 Muslims in the audience followed….
As the Muslims left, other audience members sitting in the back of the room near the doors shouted at them saying, “You cannot stand to hear the truth can you.”
Continuing with her lecture, Darwish explained how in the Egyptian Constitution the Sharia is said to be the supreme law of the land and noted the penalty for altering or not following it was death.
She gave several examples of the rules of the Sharia. She said under Sharia law fleeing from combat is punishable by death, Islamic men are allowed to beat their wives, and Muslim women don’t have equal rights.
Darwish said she believes the most dangerous aspect of the law is that a Muslim head of state is allowed to hold office through force or assassination, meaning anyone can seize power by force and become legitimate.
As Darwish spoke, a young, female Muslim sitting at the front of the room got up to go to the restroom, leaving her bag and books.
When she did, a man nearby said loudly in an alarmed tone that the woman had left her bag and stood to go inform police standing at the back of the room. His actions caused panic among those sitting close to where the woman had been seated.
Several people, apparently afraid the purse she left might have contained a bomb, started quickly for the doors and some even left. As the panic died down, some people returned to seats.
The woman’s possessions were searched and when she returned, she got her possessions back and returned to her seat at the front.
Resuming her lecture, Darwish said Islam was the only religion on Earth that kills its people for rejecting it, citing more laws from the Sharia, and told more stories about non-Muslim people being assassinated by Muslims.