Brigitte Gabriel has described herself as a U.S.-based journalist and news producer who started her career as an anchor for an evening Arabic news program, terrorism expert and the founder of the nonprofit organization ACT! For America. She has become a best-selling author and activist sounding the alarm against Islamic supremacism and terrorism. She is seen by many as an expert on Islamic terrorism and is founder of the nonprofit organization ACT! For America.
In an article critical of Gabriel and her message, an undisclosed source said to be familiar with her past claims she was born Hanan Qahwaji. Another critical site claims her birth name was Hanah Kahwagi Tudor.
Brigitte Gabriel was born in the Marjeyoun District of Lebanon to a Maronite Christian couple, their only child. Gabriel lived with her family through the Lebanese civil war. She worked as a news anchor in Lebanon and Israel before immigrating to the United States. She recalls that during the Lebanese Civil War, Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base near her family's house and destroyed her home. Gabriel, ten years old at the time, was injured by shrapnel in the attack. For the next seven years, she and her parents were forced to live underground in all that remained, an 8 x 10 ft. bomb shelter, with no sanitary systems, electricity or running water, only a small kerosene lantern and little food. She says that to evade Islamic snipers, she had to crawl in a roadside ditch to a spring for water.
According to Gabriel, at one point in the spring of 1978, a bomb explosion caused her and her parents to become trapped in the shelter for two days. They were eventually rescued by three Christian militia fighters, one of whom befriended Gabriel but was later killed by a land mine. Gabriel wrote that in 1978 a stranger warned her family of an upcoming attack by the Islamic militias on all Christians. Her life was saved when the Israeli army invaded Lebanon. Later, when her mother was seriously injured and taken to an Israeli hospital, Gabriel was surprised by the humanity shown by the Israelis, in contrast to the constant propaganda against the Jews she had seen as a child. She says that in experiencing this she was amazed that the Israelis were providing medical treatment to Islamic gunmen who were sworn, mortal enemies, dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews. Yet, Israeli doctors and nurses worked to save their lives and each patient was treated solely according to the nature of his or her injury. She says the doctor treated her mother before he treated an Israeli soldier lying next to her because her injury was more severe than his.
Work as a journalist in Lebanon
Gabriel used the pseudonym Nour Semaan as an anchor for World News, an Arabic-language evening news broadcast of Middle East Television, a Marjayoun-based station run by the now defunct South Lebanon Army (SLA) and funded by Israel. Gabriel covered the Israeli withdrawal from central Lebanon, the Israeli Security Zone (occupied South Lebanon), and the "Palestinian" uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She moved to Israel before immigrating in 1989 to the United States. Gabriel is listed as a recommended speaker by the Public diplomacy (Israel) Hasbara Fellowship Speakers Bureau, a pro-Israeli advocacy group, on their Web site, although she is not a member of that organization.
Work against Islamic supremacism
Gabriel frequently speaks at American conservative organizations such as The Heritage Foundation, Christians United for Israel, Evangelical and Jewish groups. In her own words, she gives voice to "what many in America are thinking, but afraid to say out loud, for fear of being labeled racist, bigoted, Islamophobic, or intolerant." She has appeared often as a commentator on news programs, speaking out for the rights of Islamic women.
Because They Hate
In her first book, Gabriel discusses her experiences as a Maronite Christian living in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s. She describes the story of her family and childhood hiding in a bomb shelter. She details her strong convictions that her country's inherent multicultural blind acceptance of all faiths and cultures, including the then-dominant Lebanese Christian phalangists, led to Lebanon's ruin by the continuous attacks from indigenous Muslims, other Christian groups and migrant "Palestinians".
Gabriel comments that "anyone who voices his or her opinion contrary to "political correctness" is immediately tagged a "racist" or "bigot" and that this has resulted in a "social paranoia which discourages free thought and expression." Moreover, she states that societies and cultures must be held accountable for their actions and that "by not judging others... we have helped create the monsters we are dealing with today." The book made The New York Times hardcover best seller list. The introduction of the 2008 edition of Because They Hate stated that the book was put on the reading list at the FBI Academy and that it was assigned as mandatory reading for United States Navy SEALs heading to the Middle East.
They Must Be Stopped
The jacket cover of her 2008 book They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It states the following:
- Fundamentalist Islam is a religion rooted in seventh-century teachings that are fundamentally opposed to democracy and equality
- Radical Islamists are utterly contemptuous of all "infidels" (non-Muslims) and regard them as enemies worthy of death
- Madrasas in America are increasing in number, and they are just one part of a growing radical Islamic army on U.S. soil
- Radical Islam exploits the U.S. legal system and America's protection of religion to spread its hatred for Western values
- America must organize a unified voice that says "enough" to political correctness, and demands that government officials and elected representatives do whatever is necessary to protect us
Views on Islam
Gabriel sees the problems of terrorism and Islamic militarism as inherent in the ideology itself. She says, “the main driving force behind all Islamic terrorism is the Koran. What drives these passionate soldiers of Allah is Islam itself and the promises made to them by the Prophert Mohammed.” In speaking of the historic conquests of Islam she writes, “These armies were dutifully following what Mohammed had established as a normal modus operandi: ‘So, fight them till all opposition ends and the only religion is Islam” (Koran 8:39).” She asserts that the goal of Islam is the establishment of a worldwide caliphate under Islamic rule. She notes that one of the most influential Islamic thinkers, Abdulla Azzam, said that for him, life “revolved around a single goal, namely the establishment of Allah’s rule on earth”, which means the restoration of the caliphate. Gabriel's writing can be sharp. She writes, “Radical Islam abhors sin. In particular it abhors the sin of Muslims’ failure to slaughter and subjugate large numbers of infidels.” As an activist against Islamic supremacism, she founded and serves as president of the American Congress For Truth (founded 2002) and ACT! for America, a citizen action network that promotes "national security and the defense of American democratic values against the values of radical Islam.
As an outspoken opponent of Islamic supremacy, Gabriel has many critics. She is found on all the standard right-wing watches.
Views on the Arab–Israeli conflict
Gabriel views the Arab–Israeli conflict as being intractable because the Arab world refuses to accept the right of a Jewish state to exist. She cites examples such as the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the rise of Hamas as bringing to the forefront radical Islamic ideologies that are rooted in "religious hatred, humiliation, and resentment" of Israel and the West. Gabriel believes this can be seen in the Israeli–"Palestinian" conflict where, in her view, "Palestinian" nationalism has largely been replaced by "holy obligation" motivating adherents to commit "terrorist murder." She states that the legitimization of "Palestinian" suicide attacks within Israel has now evolved to where, "Islamists believe that they may commit mass murder anywhere in the world to advance their holy cause." As a result, she believes the world now suffers "from a plague of Islamic terrorism... authored and perfected by the Palestinians."
With regard to the proposed two-state solution, Gabriel states: "Forcing Israel to accept a two-state solution is not going to work unless the Palestinians first are forced to clean up their act and eliminate hatred from their schoolbooks, teach tolerance to their people, and preach acceptance of Israel and the Jews as a neighbor." According to Gabriel, since Islamic supremacism views the destruction of Israel alongside the United States as "a parallel strategic objective", she therefore sees the survival of Israel as being of paramount importance as a vanguard of Western culture and as "the only Western-style nation in the Middle East, one that Arabs despise, feel threatened by, and vow to destroy."
- Brigitte Gabriel, They Must Be Stopped, (New York:St. Martin’s Press, 2008), cover jacket
- Brigitte Gabriel, They Must Be Stopped, (New York:St. Martin’s Press, 2008), cover jacket
- Gabriel, Because They Hate, 2006, p. 205
- Gabriel. Because They Hate,2006, pp=4–6
- Gabriel, Because They Hate, 2006, p.216
- Gabriel, Because They Hate, p 186
- https://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/17/books/16blog-polibooks.html?_r=1&oref=slogin%7Ctitle=Hardcover Best Seller List|accessdate=2008-03-09|date=17 November 2006
- Gabriel, Because They Hate, 2006, p.xx of the 2008 edition.
- Brigitte Gabriel, They Must Be Stopped” (NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2008), p. 60.
- Gabriel, “They Must Be Stopped,” 2008, p. 120.
- Gabriel, They Must Be Stopped, 2006, p. 127, quoting Daniel Pipes, “What Do the Terrorists Want? [A Caliphate], New York Sun, July 26, 2005.
- Gabriel, “They Must Be Stopped”, p. 69.
- Gabriel, Because They Hate, 2006, p. 173-174.
- Gabriel, Because They Hate, 2006, p. 181.
- Gabriel, Because They Hate, 2006, p. 182.
- Gabriel, Because They Hate, 2006, p. 169,184
Brigitte Gabriel, Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America (New York, St. Martin's Press, 2006).
Brigitte Gabriel, They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (New York:St. Martin's,2008).
- American Congress For Truth website
- Presentation to the Heritage Foundation
- "Polarized points of view", National Post
- Brigitte Gabriel's article about her lecture in Memphis: Muslims Muzzling Memphis