“Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America,” is written by Brigitte Gabriel. This is an edited version of our interview.
Larry Elder: You are of Christian Lebanese descent. When you heard what Rosie O’Donnell said, that Christian extremism is as bad as Islamic extremism, how did you react?
Brigitte Gabriel: Well, I do not know what land she is living in, but I do not recall when the last time I saw a Christian behead anybody on television, or behead somebody and advertise it on the Internet. I do not recall hearing a Christian preach that Muslims are apes and pigs because they are cursed by Jesus, the way that Muslims are teaching that we are apes and pigs. I do not recall the last time a Christian went into an elementary school, hijacked children and started shooting them in the back like the Muslims did in Beslan in Russia when they went into a schoolyard and took over the children and started butchering them and killing them. [Rosie] better be thankful that she is living in America because if she were living in Iran and spoke against her country — or any Arabic country — she would be beheaded or actually buried halfway in the ground, to be stoned to death.
Elder: Did you study Islam?
Gabriel: No, I did not study Islam; I lived Islam. I lived in the Middle East. I read the Koran in the Arabic language — I do not need translation. There is something about living in a place and being an eyewitness and coming from a culture and blowing the whistle on that culture, and that is very different from someone majoring in Islam and living in the Middle East for two months so they can write their thesis.
Elder: You were raised in Lebanon, you were 10 years old and living in southern Lebanon when militant Muslims . . . poured into your country and declared jihad against Lebanese Christians such as yourself.
Gabriel: Yes, my 9/11 happened to me in 1975 when I was a 10-year-old child, living and minding my own business, [in] a small town in south Lebanon. I was an only child to a businessman and his wife. I was blessed with a wonderful childhood . . . they showered me with love and everything life had blessed them with. However, our lives were turned upside down because in 1975, the Muslims declared Holy War on the Christians of Lebanon. My home exploded around me, buried in the rubble, wounded as the perpetrators shouted “Allahu Akbar” [God is great]. My only crime was that I was a Christian living in a Christian town. I learned at 10 years old the meaning of the word “infidel.” I had a crash course in survival not in the Girl Scouts, but in the bomb shelter that I lived for seven years of my life in freezing cold, pitch darkness, drinking stale water and eating grass to live. I remember at the age of 13, I dressed in my burial clothes going to bed at night, waiting to be slaughtered. By the age of 20, I had buried most of my friends who were slaughtered by Muslims.
Elder: You call your book a wake-up call. Tell us what the West does not understand about what I call Islamofascism. And, do you think “Islamofascism” is an appropriate term?
Gabriel: Yes, it is an appropriate term. We are fighting Islamofascism, we are fighting a war that is much worse than Nazism, anything we have fought before because even the Nazis did not encourage their children to strap bombs onto their bodies and then rejoice at their deaths, as well as the deaths of their victims. Islamists are encouraging their children to die.
Elder: There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. I want you to analyze them by ideology.
Gabriel: Not all of them are radicals. We estimate that the radicals are between 15 and 25 percent; that translates to between 180 and 300 million people like Mohammad Atta who are willing to strap bombs to their bodies and commit martyrdom operations. Now, that is still a minority, 15 to 25 percent, but 300 million Mohammad Attas ready to unleash their blood upon the West. . . . Now, the rest of them . . . despise the West, they hate our westernization, they think we are morally corrupt, that we are corrupting the world, and they think we are such a bad influence on the world that we need to be stopped at any cost. They may not be willing to commit martyrdom operations themselves, but they will sit there and cheer on and rally those who are willing to kill us.
Elder: Are we winning?
Gabriel: No, we are losing.
Next week, part two: seven steps necessary to fight Islamofascism.