I was disappointed, but not surprised, to read about the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley’s guest speaker Nonie Darwish’s hateful message denouncing the “ideology of Islam that cultivates a climate of fear with promise of death to nonbelievers” (“Islam critic decries culture of fear in Conservative Forum talk,” June 11). Historical records contradict Darwish’s false allegations.
Recently, Audrey Shabbas spoke at the Los Altos main library on “How Jews, Christians and Muslims Built a Magnificent Civilization in Spain While Under Arab Rule” (709-1614). Following the expulsion of Jews from Spain by the Catholic Queen Isabella, they were protected and welcomed by Muslims throughout the Ottoman Empire in Morocco, Cairo, Damascus and Istanbul.
Also, during the early days of Islam, in the seventh century, both the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Coptic Patriarch of Egypt welcomed the Muslim armies that liberated their lands from the abusive Roman occupiers.
Moreover, in his famous book “The Outline of History,” H. G. Wells praises “Islam’s spirit of kindliness, generosity, brotherhood and justice for all.”
The radicalization of the Muslim nations of the Middle East began following World War I. The division of the Middle East into 22 nations under British and French hegemony and the 1948 expulsion of three-quarters of the Palestinians from their ancestral homes – coupled with President George W. Bush’s Iraq War and the war on terror – have fueled anger and created more terrorist organizations throughout the Arab nations of the Middle East.
It is very regrettable that Darwish, a recent convert from Islam to Christianity, has neither learned the true message of Islam, which insists on one merciful God and one humanity, nor the message of the Prince of Peace: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.”
Equally regrettable is the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley’s choice of a well-known Islam hater to speak at its gathering.
It is ironic that the Forum presentation was held at the IFES Portuguese Hall in Mountain View, the same hall where the peaceful Muslim-American residents of Los Altos and Mountain View hold their weekly Friday prayers.
Sami A. Ibrahim is a Los Altos resident.