Now They Call Me Infidel (Darwish)

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1. How was Nonie's childhood and adolescence different from that of other Muslim children? How did her privileged upbringing, as the daughter of a "shahid," shape her future views on Islamic culture and faith?

2. In what way did her father's death cause Nonie to question Islamic society, rather than accept the way things were? You would have expected her to insist on revenge for his death; why didn't she?

3. What was Nonie taught about Israel and the Jews when growing up?

4. Discuss the build-up of Jihad through the 1960s and 70s? To what does Darwish attribute the growth and spread of Islamic radicalism.

5. How was Egypt different from other countries in the Middle East? Why was it different?
6. Discuss Darwish's views of Islam and the Qur'an. How does Darwish describe the practices of Islam, especially Sharia? What is her response to young American-born Muslim women who whom she sees wearing the hajib and calling for Sharia?

7. Why, according to Darwish, do many of the Muslim-American families not attend their local mosques?

8. Why does Darwish see the moderate image of Islam as a tolerant faith—a position proffered by academic institutions like Columbia University—as misguided, even dangerous? Do you agree with her? Does the Western world need a more realistic view of Islam? Should it take a harsher stance against Islam's more radical elements, both within the US and outside its borders?

9. When the planes flew into the World Trade Center on 9/11, Darwish called her family and friends back in Egypt. Talk about their response to the attacks.

10. What roll does the dependence on petroleum play, according to Darwish, in America's ostrich-like attitude toward Saudi Arabia? Do you agree with her?

11. Have your views of Islam been altered by reading Now They Call Me Infidel? What have you learned? What in the book struck or even suprised you most? Do you agree with Darwish in her assessment of the dangers of Jihad? Or does she overstate her case?

12. Have you read other works about Islam that seem to support or perhaps contradict Darwish's book?

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