As most researchers of Islamophobia know, Brigitte Gabriel is a prominent figure within the Islamophobia Industry. She is the founder of the right-wing organization, ACT For America, author of two hateful books demonizing Muslims, and a regular speaker at anti-Islam/Arab conferences. While “native informants” like Tarek Fatah and Irshad Manji tend to placate the Center-Right with their “nuanced” commentary about the supposed backwardness of their own people, Brigitte Gabriel and her band of misfits are the extreme Right – the type that really believe Obama is a one person sleeper cell who is going to implement Shariah Law as soon as the Muslim Brotherhood activates him.
Gabriel recently did an interview with Roger Aronoff’s “Take AIM” (I’m sure that’s just a “metaphor”) program for (In)Accuracy in Media. Honestly, if you’ve heard one interview of hers, you have heard them all. But what she said in the very beginning of this interview was so full of anti-Muslim immigrant code-language, it would take a book to refute all of it. She begins her diatribe by telling her faux life-story of being attacked by Muslims because she was Christian, and that this is when she learned that all Muslims, every last one of them, is evil and will try to kill you for being an “infidel.”
“As a child, I was born and raised in Lebanon, which used to be the majority Christian country in the Middle East—the only majority Christian country in the Middle East. We were open-minded. We were fair. We were tolerant. We were multi-cultural—we prided ourselves on our multi-culturalism. We had open border policy—we welcomed everyone to our country from the Arabic countries surrounding us because we wanted to share with them the Westernization which we had created in the heart of the Middle East. Muslims used to send their children to study in our universities from all the surrounding Arabic countries because we had built the best universities in the Middle East. We built the best economy—they graduated, then worked in our economy…
Unfortunately, Roger, all that began to change after 20, 30 years of our independence. By that time, the minority Islamic population in the country became the majority simply because of the way they multiplied, compared to people like us, who come from a Judeo-Christian background—they have multiple marriages, they have many children out of each wife. We had the situation contained until the 1970s, when Lebanon accepted a third wave of Palestinian refugees. The majority of them were Muslims, they put their heads together with the Muslims in Lebanon, declared war on the Christians— and that’s when my 9/11 happened to me, and my life turned upside-down.” (emphasis added)
Lets put aside the fact that this screed completely erases Muslim contribution to Lebanon and its culture, denying a historic Muslim and Arab presence dating back over a millennium. The whole point of this rant, in case it isn’t clear enough, is; “DON’T LET THE MUSLIMS IMMIGRATE TO YOUR COUNTRIES! BE VERY SCARED! THEY WILL OUT-BREED YOU! THEY WILL KILL YOU! THEY WILL OUT- SMART YOU! MULTI-CULTURALISM IS BAD! OPEN BORDERS ARE BAD! ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS MARCH!”
She also weds this ahistorical account with a bizarre but familiar type of pro-Israeli propaganda, claiming that “the Israelis” were so kind and compassionate to their enemies, and in return “the Palestinians” tried to drive the Jews into the sea. This is simply wrong. While there may be an occasional case of an Israeli soldier giving a Palestinian kid a candy bar once every ten years, there are many documented incidents of utter cruelty committed by various soldiers in the IDF. An occasional Butterfinger for one lone kid doesn’t make up for that. Going by Gabriel’s logic of the supposed cruelty of all Palestinians (whom she paints as being all Muslims even though there are also Palestinian Christians), then the following remark from an Israeli squad leader describing a sniper’s attitude toward killing a Palestinian mother and her children must be demonstrative of “all” Israeli soldiers?
“… I don’t know how to describe it …. The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way…”
When asked about the “distinction” between Islam and the “Judeo-Christian” tradition, Gabriel did what all good Islamophobes do: she obfuscated. “Hey! That’s the Old Testament, man!”
“There is a huge difference, because we Christians and Jews have reformed our religion. In the Old Testament we have violent verses—you know, “A tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye”—yet you do not see any Jews today strapping bombs on their bodies, going to mosques, and blowing themselves up in order to kill other human beings in revenge for suicide bombings in Israel, for example…”
“So we as Christians and Jews have reformed our religion. We know that we live in a different world today. We value human life. There is nothing in the Bible, in Christianity, that sanctions the killing of another human being…”
So the “God of the Bible” doesn’t command Moses to commit genocide against the Canaanites and other nations already inhabiting historic Palestine; or that Jesus won’t return to earth and “destroy” the unbelievers?
If all Christians and Jews have “reformed” their religion, then why are there a growing number of American Christians who advocate replacing the Constitution with “Biblical Law?” Jason “Molotov” Mitchell, a “cool” right-wing Christian, teaches young people that Christianity is meant to be “masculine” and not “effeminate”, and that Christians who decry classical Shariah Law because it allows polygamy and executes adulterers should shut up because, “hey! It’s in the Bible!”
“If the Bible doesn’t condemn something but you do, that’s not a biblical position, that’s man-made religion,”
He’s not even one of the most well-known “Christian” bigots this country has to offer. Bryan Fischer, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, just to name a few, all believe that this country’s political structure should “return” to either “Biblical principles” or “Biblical Law” altogether. But of course it is “different” when the tables are turned. I’m positive that these Christians “don’t represent mainstream Christianity”, yet these are the same type of people who Brigitte Gabriel associates with! You can’t have it both ways.
Gabriel continues in true Orwellian fashion,
“Under Islam, killing of infidels, or non-Muslims, not only justified, but encouraged, but praised under the Qur’an. A Muslim is only guaranteed an entrance into heaven when they commit to martyrdom fi sabilillah—in the cause of Allah. While Christians and Jews can do good deeds or good work and buy themselves forgiveness that will enable them to get into heaven, in Islam it does not exist…”
This is a wonderful demonstration of inverted reality. “Doing good deeds” and “working for forgiveness” is one of the main themes of Islam. While many Evangelical Christians furiously deny that one can “work their way to Heaven”, many Muslims view performing good deeds and living a decent life as a prerequisite to entering Paradise, while also maintaining that God is the “Most Merciful” and can grant or withhold Paradise to anyone He wishes regardless of how many “good” or “bad” deeds they have committed.
One would think that such a “slip of the tongue” would get her into hot water with some of her Evangelical friends, because they are adamant in the belief that only through professing belief in Jesus Christ as one’s “Lord and Savior”, can a person be “guaranteed” a place in Heaven; and no amount of “good deeds” will grant an unbeliever Heaven, while no amount of “bad deeds” can damn a believer to Hell. Gabriel once again proves why Islampohobes are the chief dissemblers and practitioners of “double speak,” i.e. what they project onto Muslims as taqiyya.
Most importantly, the Qur’an categorically condemns the killing of innocent people; it is a blatant, enormous and dangerous falsity to claim that a Quran following Muslim has no recourse but to kill an “infidel” to enter Paradise. Such a warped statement is what feeds ignorance and hatred, increasing suspicion of the Muslim “other,” and reads like something out of a sultry, 19th century Orientalist screed about the “fanatical Mohammedans.”
Not even sparing “liberal” and “progressive Muslims,” Gabriel goes for the jugular,
“This is why when we see the radicals come up against the moderates in a debate, when the moderates say, “Islam is a peaceful religion, Islam does not call for the killing of others,” the radicals begin quoting chapter after chapter and verse after verse—because the law is on their side. That’s why they leave the moderates silenced, unable to come back with a response: Islam in itself, as a religion, approves and encourages the killings of infidels.” (emphasis added.)
If there is any doubt left that Brigitte Gabriel is a militant Islamophobe, this one quotation from a quite lengthy interview should dispel any skepticism one might still have. She has proven herself to be a bigot of the worst kind, even surpassing Robert Spencer in some ways, for while Spencer (sometimes) tries to pass off his Pink Floyd and bong water induced drivel as the musings of a serious scholar, Gabriel just lets all of her hate pour through her like a perpetual well of hostility.
Managing to transform from a right-wing bigot to a stand-up comedian, Gabriel finally adds this bit of hilarity while describing the bias of the mainstream (codeword for liberal) media;
“…But at least with Fox News, you get fair and balanced debate…”
But doesn’t a Saudi Arabian Muslim dude own like 7% of News Corp., the parent company of Fox News? Sounds like Gabriel is practicing taqiyya.