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August 18, 2008

NYT Maligns Brigitte Gabriel as Islamophobe

In the August 17th New York Times Magazine, the author Brigitte Gabriel is unfairly and inaccurately labeled as a "radical Islamophobe." To be a radical Islamophobe means to have an irrational fear of radical Islam/Muslims, or to be prejudiced against them. It's interesting, and outrageous, that the Times' editors apparently believe that opposition to Islamic totalitarianism and supremacism must by definition be irrational or arising from prejudice.

Since when did it become irrational or prejudiced to oppose supremacists who scorn, harass and/or murder people for not being the "right" religion? Does the New York Times similarly label as crazy or bigoted the many Americans who oppose white supremacists?

* What oh-too-clever title did the Times use for this article about a Lebanese Christian activist who opposes the spread of Islamic totalitarianism? "The Crusader."

While normally calling an activist a "crusader" is a compliment, in the context of a Christian opposing Islamic totalitarianism, it inappropriately juxtaposes Gabriel's legitimate criticism of Muslim extremists with the Christian Crusaders who murdered thousands of Muslims (and Jews) in the Crusades.

* Furthermore, in the interview itself, reporter Deborah Solomon posed several inappropriate questions, such as:

"Are you an agent of the U.S. government? "

"Are you underwritten by the C.I.A.?"

"But I see that R. James Woolsey, a former director of the C.I.A., serves on the board of American Congress for Truth, your educational foundation."

Apparently in Deborah Solomon's world, one must be on the U.S. government payroll to want to sound the alarm about militant Muslim supremacists.

Another stunningly absurd question from Solomon:

"If you are worried about death threats, why would you put a glamorous photograph of yourself on the cover of your new book?"

Presumably Solomon feels that Brigitte Gabriel should wear a burka, or hide altogether, to appease the Islamists who want to kill her for speaking out against them? Why does Solomon feel it is somehow questionable for Gabriel to be "glamorous"?

Earlier Complaints about Solomon from Tim Russert, Ira Glass and her own editor

This is not the first time that Solomon's judgement and professionalism have been called into question. Times' Public Editor Clark Hoyt and New York Times Magazine Editor Gerald Marzorati did so themselves in a long column last year about Solomon's questionable questions and quotations. Click here to read their complaints, as well as those from Tim Russert, Ira Glass, and the current "Ann Landers."

Who is Brigitte Gabriel?

For those unfamiliar with Brigitte Gabriel's compelling life story and work,
click here and here . You can also see her videos on her Web site and on YouTube.

We urge the Times to publish an apology/correction regarding the inaccurate label of "radical Islamophobe" for Brigitte Gabriel. They should also remove the inaccurate description from their Web site.

Below are the blurb and article:

Table of Contents Blurb:

NY TIMES MAGAZINE | August 17, 2008
Questions for Brigitte Gabriel: The Crusader
Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON
The best-selling author and radical Islamophobe talks about why moderate Muslims are irrelevant, the lessons we should have learned from Lebanon and dressing like a French woman.

Article:

August 17, 2008
Questions for Brigitte Gabriel
The Crusader
Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON
As a Lebanese-Christian immigrant who spent her girlhood amid the bloody devastation of the Lebanese civil war, you have lately emerged as one of the most vehement critics of radical Islam in this country. Are you concerned that your new book, "They Must Be Stopped," will feed animosity toward Muslims?

I do not think I am feeding animosity. I am bringing an issue to light. I disapprove of any religion that calls for the killing of other people. If Christianity called for that, I would condemn it.

What about all the moderate Muslims who represent our hope for the future? Why don't you write about them?

The moderate Muslims at this point are truly irrelevant. I grew up in the Paris of the Middle East, and because we refused to read the writing on the wall, we lost our country to Hezbollah and the radicals who are now controlling it.

In your new book, you write about the Muslim presence in America and bemoan the rise of Islamic day schools and jihad summer camp. Is there really such a thing?

Yes. Instead of taking lessons on swimming and gymnastics, the kids are listening to speakers give lectures titled "Preparation for Death" and "The Life in the Grave."

You also lament the public foot baths that have been installed at the University of Michigan and elsewhere to accommodate Muslim students.

I lived in the Middle East for the first 24 years of my life. Never once did I see any foot-washing basins in airports or public buildings. So why are they pushing them down the throats of Americans?

I can't get upset if people want to wash their feet before they pray.

This is the way they are taking over the West. They are doing it culturally inch by inch. They don't need to fire one bullet. Look what is happening in Europe. Do we want to become like "Eurabia"?

But relatively few Muslims live in this country - about three million, or 1 percent of the population, whereas Amsterdam, for instance, has been estimated to be as high as 24 percent Muslim. They started as guest workers in Europe; they grow at a much faster rate than any other religion.

Your last book related the story of your childhood in southern Lebanon, where you hid out in a bomb shelter for seven years after your house was destroyed by a Muslim militia. Were you surprised it became a best seller?

No, I was not surprised. Anyone can relate to a story about human suffering inflicted by radicals.

Are your parents still in Lebanon?

I became an orphan at the age of 23. Both my parents are buried in Israel, on Mount Zion, with Oskar Schindler.

Why did you bury them in Israel?

I wanted to honor my parents. After all, it is the Holy Land. And I wanted to ensure that both my children will know where my loyalty lies - with Israel, because Israel for me represents democracy, respect and human rights, something that no other country in the Arabic world offers.

Are you an agent of the U.S. government? No.

Are you underwritten by the C.I.A.? No. Are you kidding? In 2000, I voted for Al Gore.

But I see that R. James Woolsey, a former director of the C.I.A., serves on the board of American Congress for Truth, your educational foundation.

We also have John Loftus, a staunch Democrat and former Justice Department prosecutor. We are not Red or Blue.

Where do you live?

I do not share that information because of the death threats I receive.

Threats from anyone we know?

Al Qaeda mentioned my name on their top Internet sites and recently sent a press release about my work.

If you are worried about death threats, why would you put a glamorous photograph of yourself on the cover of your new book?

In Lebanon, we were raised to be glamorous, feminine and sensual. It's the only good thing we inherited from the French.

INTERVIEW CONDUCTED, CONDENSED AND EDITED BY DEBORAH SOLOMON

Posted by LG at August 18, 2008 07:58 AM

Comments

I am not a big fan of Deborah Solomon's, but this post misses the point: If Brigitte Gabriel is in the NYT Sunday Magazine it means she is being mainstreamed, even if lightly chided. The NYT doesn't have the space or time to waste just making fun of non-entities. This interview with her is a good thing. My suggestion is to leave it alone.

And by the way, I am not sure "radical Islamophobe" means what you say it does, but Ms. Gabriel does not come across in the interview as anything but sane and smart, which would tend rather to lend distinction and prestige to the word "Islamophobe."

Posted by: Lee at August 18, 2008 11:49 AM

I would suggest everyone read her book, Because They Hate. Terrorism is coming here to America the same why it did in Lebanon, government and media are helping them by being politically correct. I met a fire officer from Israel over twenty years ago at a fire conference and he told me if I wanted to see what America would experience then keep an eye on their country and other Middle Eastern countries. We will experience what I call “body bombs in Wal-Mart syndrome” soon. We are like the frog in a pot of water story. We will not jump until it is too late. They already have their people in the FBI; Departments of Homeland Security, State, etc. They have their people in the DHS USCIS the agency that approves immigration applications.

Posted by: TopAssistant at August 19, 2008 03:33 PM

A total waste of paper space if you ask me. If I was the editor of the NYTimes I would have thrown this article out. Deborah Solomon has an expert on terrorism, foreign and domestic, sitting in front of her, and all she can print in the paper are these ridiculous questions? I'm surprised she didn't ask her what kind of conditioner she used in her hair.

Allow me to offer my assistance, Ms. Solomon:

What are terrorist groups in America up to now and how can we stop them?
What are moderate muslim organizations doing to combat the radicals of their religion?
How does your organization contribute to our great country in its quest to fight Islamofascism?
How successful is ACT and CAMERA with enforcing fair reporting on the Middle East by left-leaning media?
In what areas of our society and gov't are covert radicals trying to penetrate to weaken infrastructure in order to accomplish their goal of radical Islamization?
How successful are terrorist groups in other countries, and which should we be concerned with?
Any suggestions for the common American regarding what we all can do to keep aware and fight this predominant threat?
Thank you for your valuable time, Ms. Gabriel, you are doing the country a great service.

Does that help you at all Ms. Solomon?

Posted by: Mike at August 22, 2008 11:06 AM

I am currently reading Ms. Gabriel's book "Because They Hate" and I can say with certainty that this woman is not phobic or out of her mind. She is highly intelligent, succinct and straight to the point. The American public has fallen asleep and they'd better wake up!

Posted by: reg131 at February 7, 2009 07:13 PM

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