Brigitte Gabriel has made a post-9/11 career out of roundly denouncing Islam, decrying "political correctness," and promoting the concept of an existential clash of cultures. She founded American Congress for Truth (ACT) in October 2003, a nonprofit organization that describes itself as "dedicated to educating millions of uninformed Americans about the threat of radical Islam to world peace and national security."
Her tone is typically passionate and alarmist, and she often cites her personal experience as an Arab Christian/Lebanese refugee—saved by Israelis—to bolster her credibility, using her tale of Christian persecution to enforce claims about the existential threat to the West from Islam.
According to Gabriel, "War has been declared on Christians, Jews, non-Muslims, and secularists worldwide by Islamic extremists ... simply because we are infidels according to their belief. As Islamic fundamentalism spreads its tentacles worldwide, it is crucial for the people of the Western world to understand the danger, know what to expect, and know what to do about it. Threats and realities of forced conversions to Islam, beheadings, torture, and murder are quickly becoming commonplace. They're rarely mentioned in the news and when they are, it's with a disclaimer...the word 'insurgent' has replaced the truth of 'terrorists.'"
"Political correctness is killing us," she states in her letter to visitors to ACT's website. "We are in for the fight of our lives. That we have not yet had another terrorist attack in the United States is remarkable, but it will happen. Al-Qaida keeps its promises.
"How do I know this? I was born in Lebanon and raised as a Christian. When the Lebanese Civil War broke out, our family, and our Maronite [Christian] community came under vicious attack by Islamic extremists. They promised to destroy us, and as you know from the recent war in Lebanon, the country is now nearly Islamic.
"I was nearly killed by a mortar. Our home was destroyed. We lived in a bomb shelter for seven years. Most of my childhood friends were killed. That's how I know."
Born and raised in Lebanon, Gabriel was a news anchor before she immigrated to the United States in 1989, married an American, and founded a media business. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Gabriel says she felt compelled to warn Americans about the dangers of Islam to democracy and the West.
Her hardline pro-Israel, anti-Islam spiel, coupled with her compelling personal history, has made her a popular speaker, writer, and general "expert." She appears sometimes as a commentator on television news and radio programs, often speaking out for the rights of Muslim women. In a September 2006 Heritage Foundation presentation based in part on her 2006 book Because They Hate, a New York Times best-seller, Gabriel spoke about the history of Lebanon in the Middle East. One of her major themes is that Americans are oblivious to the threat that Islam is to the West. In a 2005 interview, Gabriel said: "Americans just don't realize the viciousness of the Militant Islamic fundamentalist. I think the biggest disservice for the American people was the denial by the networks to air the beheading video of Daniel Pearl. I think we as a society need to see what type of enemy we are fighting. People have been so sheltered in this country they have not paid attention to what was going on in the last 20 some years. They were more interested in watching a documentary about Madonna than paying attention to world events" (FrontPageMagazine.com, August 11, 2005).
Gabriel gave a keynote address on "Western Apathy Versus Islamic Determination" at the March 2007 International Intelligence Summit conference. She also spoke heatedly about U.S. vulnerability to militant Islam at the Intelligence Summit's February 2006 conference: "Apathy is the weapon by which the West is committing suicide. Political correctness forms the shackles around our ankles, by which Islamists are leading us to our demise.
"America and the West are doomed to failure in this war [on terror] unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam. ... If you want to understand the nature of the enemy we face, visualize a tapestry of snakes. They slither and they hiss, and they would eat each other alive, but they will unite in a hideous mass to achieve their common goal of imposing Islam on the world. This is the ugly face of the enemy we are fighting" (speech at the Intelligence Summit, February 18, 2006). Not surprisingly, her rhetoric has angered many Muslims. (For her account of the reaction to her speaking engagement at the University of Memphis, see "Muslims Muzzling Memphis," Family Security Foundation, April 6, 2006.)
Gabriel is one of several listed speakers, along with Daniel Pipes and other Likud-aligned figures, for the Hasbara Fellowships, a program run by the activist Jewish organization Aish International that "educates and trains university students to be effective pro-Israel activists on their campuses." She is also a speaker listed by the Greater Talent Network and the Jewish National Fund. Gabriel is a contributing editor to the conservative group Family Security Matters.