The Devil We Don't Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East

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9781118133392: The Devil We Don't Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East

Respected human rights activist Nonie Darwish assesses the potential for freedom to succeed following the recent revolutions in the Middle East

The recent powerful wave of Middle East uprisings has fueled both hope and trepidation in the region and around the world as the ultimate fate—and fallout—of the Arab Spring continue to hang in the balance. Born and raised as a Muslim in Egypt and now living in the United States, Nonie Darwish brings an informed perspective to this carefully considered assessment of the potential outcome of the revolutions in the Middle East. This thought-provoking book will add to the ongoing debate on what the future holds for the people and the politics of the region and on the ultimate compatibility of freedom and democracy in the Muslim world.

  • Takes an unflinching, in-depth look at the ramifications of the game-changing recent uprisings in the Middle East
  • Examines the factors that will obstruct or support freedom and democracy in the Muslim world
  • Written by a former journalist for the Middle East News Agency who has written extensively on the Middle East, Islam, and women's rights, and who is also the author of Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Terrifying Implications of Islamic Law and Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror

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From the Inside Flap:

Did the Arab Spring mark the beginning of a bright new future for the Middle East? Will it usher in a new era in which democracy will flourish, freedom of speech and religion will be seen as absolute rights, and economic opportunities will open to all? Or will the bright hopes lit by the Facebook revolution be drowned under waves of mob violence, police brutality, and renewed repression? According to Middle East expert Nonie Darwish, there will be no democracy, no freedom, and no new economic opportunity, and the violence and repression have already begun. This should not surprise anyone, she says. We've seen it all before—many times.

In The Devil We Don't Know, Darwish reveals the unpleasant truths behind the Arab Spring: the students, activists, and young professionals who initiated the Cairo protests represent only a tiny minority of Egypt's population. Other groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi, shared their desire to oust President Hosni Mubarak, but for entirely different reasons. Now that Mubarak is gone, says Darwish, these radical conservative factions have seized the initiative to further their own goals, including waging war on Israel, expelling Coptic Christians from Egypt, and engaging in jihad against non-Islamic nations.

Darwish presents a brief history of the cycle of revolution and dictatorship that has plagued Islamic nations of the Middle East since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. She finds a common thread among all of these regimes, whether military, monarchist, or ideology driven. They have all been Islamic states in which sharia, the divine law of Islam, supersedes all others, forbidding freedom of speech and religion, as well as gender equality. Under sharia law, any ruler who refuses to conduct jihad and advocates peace with non-Muslim nations can be removed from office.

She describes how the rigid, authoritarian class structure demanded by sharia law precludes any possibility of democracy or equality, and she laments the fact that among all of the many placards carried by protesters in Tahrir Square in January 2011, she didn't see a single one demanding "Down with Sharia."

Darwish also examines the effect of the Islamic revolutions on the state of Israel, the rise of Islamic apostasy in recent years, and whether the uprisings have helped or hindered the budding Arab feminist movement. Further, she explores the impact of these rebellions on the West and whether they will lead to a reduction or an increase in terrorist attacks by Islamist groups.

Backing up all of her claims with hard facts and solid, well-reasoned arguments, Darwish makes it clear that she has no fear of controversy, and The Devil We Don't Know is sure to provoke plenty of that as events continue to unfold.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for The Devil We Don't Know

"An insightful and enlightening explanation of why the 'Arab Spring' will not bring freedom and democracy to people in Egypt and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East, especially the women and non-Muslims. With a depth of insight derived from her experiences living as a Muslim in Gaza, the courageous freedom fighter Nonie Darwish also shows why, even though aggressive, expansionist, oppressive Islam appears to be more confident than ever in the U.S. and around the world today, it is actually weaker than ever, with Islamic civilization on the brink of collapse. This book is an inspiring call to freedom, and above all, a wonderful source of hope." —Pamela Geller, author of Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance

"This unsettling and compelling book describes the Dark Ages that are descending on Egypt and the Arab Middle East under the auspices of the Muslim Brotherhood with help from the Obama White House. Americans need to read this book so they can understand the dangers these developments pose to their freedom." —David Horowitz, author of Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left

"In The Devil We Don't Know, Nonie Darwish shows us that there are no accidents in Islam; events do not 'just happen.' Instead, Islamic culture is driven by a doctrine that is much more than a religion. She covers the so-called 'Arab Spring' as well as the effects of Islam on personal psychology, community, and gender issues. Last, but not least, we see how Western naiveté is endangering us. All of this ground is covered in a well-written style that will appeal to all readers." —Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam

"The West owes a great debt of gratitude to Nonie Darwish, a courageous and most knowledgeable writer on Muslim politics and culture. This fascinating book is essential and urgent reading for understanding the current Arab revolutions and their challenges for America."—Bat Ye'or, Egyptian-born British writer on the status of minorities under Islam and author of Europe, Globalization, and the Coming of the Universal Caliphate

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