Daily Israel Report

NY Debate on Homeland Security Becomes Heated

A debate in New York on homeland security exploded when an ex-Muslim activist said that Muslims are taught to hate Jews and and America.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/11/2011, 3:19 AM / Last Update: 4/11/2011, 3:14 AM

Israel News photo: Flash 90

A hearing in Manhattan on the subject of homeland security exploded on Friday when an Arab-American activist testified that she was taught as a youngster to “hate Jews” and “hate America”. Her comments enraged a Brooklyn lawmaker, who in response grabbed a Koran and accused her of spreading “hate and poison.”

The meeting was attended by ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish, director of Former Muslims United and founder of Arabs for Israel.

Darwish was born in Cairo and spent her childhood in Egypt and Gaza before immigrating to America in 1978, when she was eight years old. Her father, a high-ranking Egyptian military officer, died while leading covert attacks on Israel when he was in Gaza. While he was considered a “shahid” (martyr), earning Darwish and her family an elevated position in Muslim society, Darwish developed a skeptical eye at an early age, questioning Muslim culture and later abandoning Islam.

Darwish authored the book Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, in which she warns about the Islamic Sharia law and how it is manifested in Islamic countries.

She has said in the past that the hatred Muslims have for Jews is even worse than the hatred the Nazis had for them.

The New York Post quoted Darwish as saying during Friday’s meeting: “Check what's going on -- it's not a secret. You’re supposed to hate Jews, you’re supposed to hate America, you’re supposed to hate Western culture.”

In response, Democratic Senator Eric Adams held up a copy of the Koran and said: “This is offending this hearing by having her here. This is not our enemy...You’re bringing hate, hate and poison into a diverse country.”

The meeting chairman, Republican Greg Ball, instructed Adams to quiet down, which resulted in a shouting match between the two. Adams suggested that Ball condoned bigotry, and in response, Ball accused Adams of playing to the TV cameras.

“I'm glad no one is between those TV cameras and you,” Ball told Adams, “because that's the most dangerous place in New York City right now.”

Darwish was followed later by Frank J. Gaffney Jr., a former Defense Department official who has publicly criticized Islam. In his testimony Gaffney denounced Sharia law as a threat to the United States.

Also taking part in the hearing was Long Island Republican Representative Peter T. King, who initiated a Congressional hearing held last month on the question of homegrown Islamic terrorism.

The New York Times reported that King prefaced his comments by noting that “99 percent” of Muslims in the United States are “outstanding Americans” and not terrorists.

King added, however, that “the fact is: The enemy, or those being recruited by Al Qaeda, live within the Muslim community, and that’s the reality we have to face. This is not to put a broad brush over a community, but you go where the threat is coming from, and that’s the reality today.”

Click here for an op-ed by Nonie Darwish on the subject of Muslim women under Sharia law.