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The Devil We Don't Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1118133392
ISBN-10: 1118133390
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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118133390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118133392
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Susan Smith on March 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Nonie Darwish grew up as a Muslim in Gaza, daughter of an Egyptian military commander who became a shaheed ("martyr"). She immigrated to the United States in 1978. When her daughters grew older, she decided to take them back to Egypt to meet their extended family and to learn more about their roots. She was shocked to see how her former homeland had changed--how Islamized it had become during her time away. She passed through New York City on her way home just one day before the tragic events of September 11, 2001. In the wake of those events, she felt she had no choice but to speak out. She has done so since with great courage and objectivity.

It wasn't that Egypt had become Muslim. It has been Muslim since 639, just 17 years after Muhammad's death. Rather, it had become Islamized. Islamism is a totalitarian, utopian political ideology, similar in ways to Nazism and Communism, but religiously based and therefore able to promise both earthly and eternal rewards to its devotees. Islamist leaders promise a perfect world of peace and justice once all current governments have been destroyed and all peoples "freed" to worship Allah alone, in other words, once all opposition to their ideology has been destroyed.

Islamists wish to restore the glory of Islam by bringing every corner of the world and every aspect of every individual's life into submission (Islam literally means "submission") to Allah and Allah's law (Sharia), by force if necessary. Among Islamists, some stress armed jihad (struggle); others stress dawa (invitation). The foundational ideology of Al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, and Hamas is basically the same; what differs are the methods each prefers to attain the goal.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Bigshaker on April 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've read all 3 of Ms. Darwish's books and think this is her best yet, although that may be comparing apples to oranges. Her first book,Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror, was more personal; the next one, Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, was obviously focused on sharia. But THE DEVIL WE DON'T KNOW is a fascinating, sweeping perspective on Islam and the real meaning of the Arab uprisings that the naive (and/or complicit) media were so quick to label "the Arab Spring."

Just to give you a taste of the issues she addresses, here are a few chapter titles: "A Muslim's Burden: How Islam Fails the Individual," "Exodus: The Rise of Islamic Apostasy," "Will the Arab Spring Usher in a Feminist Movement?" and "Western Vulnerability." She brings her own perceptive intellect and personal experience to all these topics and more. The book's not long, it's very readable and engaging, and Ms. Darwish is a unique voice on a timely, criticial current event, the so-called Arab Spring. You won't regret getting this one.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Diann on March 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Nonie's new book is excellent. I was especially struck by the chapter about all the characteristics of Muslims, ie not taking personal responsibility for anything; taking revenge; never expressing personal emotions; lying; etc. etc., All I could think of was that most of those characteristics I had lived with in my house for the year with an Afghan couple who our country rescued from the Taliban and certain execution. It didn't take long before my family and friends would joke among ourselves that we couldn't believe a word they said, but we loved them anyway. We thought they were just new to the country and not able to trust people yet. Your book explained so much to me about their world. After four years in the safety of our country, they now refuse to associate with those who saved their lives because we refuse to accept Islam. Without the west they would be dead.

I think the explanation of the cycle of violent revolution, overthrowing dictators, striving for freedom but finding themselves under yet another sharia rule, and not understanding why. That is all sad for the people who deserve to have a great life. It also explains why they cannot have it while they embrace Islam and the required sharia laws. There will be no end to this violence in the Islamic world, I think.

Nonie's book also explains why Israel is so successful and the entire Islamic world is not. While Islam requires that people do what has always been done, looking to the past and not being allowed to change things for the 'better', Israel is constantly looking to make improvements to everything in their lives. That's why there are so many Jewish Nobel Peace prize winners and a sparse few Islamic winners.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have lived and worked in several muslim countries and I agree with her books. I see America under attack. After seeing her talk on CSPAN, I started buying her books. If you want to know the truth, plans, and coming issues facing America, buy her books. You really need to know this. Islam is attacking us, see how! Know how! Know you enemy! Fight back with the truth!
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