Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian who lived through jihad as a child, wrote “Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America.” This is an edited version of our interview.
Larry Elder: What caused Lebanon’s 1975 jihad invasion?
Brigitte Gabriel: . . . In the early ’70s, Lebanon was a majority Christian country . . . a republic very much like America. We prospered. We focused on growing our economy. We were multicultural, fair and tolerant, and had an open border policy. We welcomed everybody into our country, because we wanted to share the westernizations we had created in the Middle East. . . . Sadly, many people who came didn’t want to assimilate and adopt westernizations, but wanted to drag us down to their tribal Islamic culture. . . . By 1974, Christians stopped traveling. We became prisoners in our homes and cities because Muslims would set up fly-by-night checkpoints. . . . Our religion is written on our national ID. . . . So, Muslims would stop cars, look at their IDs and if a Christian family was traveling, they would shoot them in cold blood. The whole family. . . . Extremist Muslims started coming from all around the Arabic world to fight alongside the Muslims in Lebanon.
Elder: Tell us about Islamofascism in the West.
Gabriel: The Center for Religious Freedom went undercover last year and collected 200 publications from some of the most prominent mosques in the United States. Those books, provided by the government of Saudi Arabia to American mosques, teach Muslims living in an infidel land how to deal with infidels. These Saudi publications repeatedly exalt Muslims to, and I quote, hate them for their religion — meaning Christians, Jews, atheists and everybody in between. . . . They say that democracy, justice, freedom, brotherhood and equality cause all of the world’s problems. This is being taught in the mosques. And it gets worse. They say it is the religious duty of every Muslim to impose functionally Islamic government on every country in the world. This religious duty is binding . . . and a sacred obligation of jihad. . . . Many people do not realize that under the banner of Islam the Muslims killed children in Israel, massacred children in Lebanon, killed cops in Egypt, murdered Armenians in Turkey, killed Hindus in India, and expelled over 900,000 Jews from Arab land. All that happened before they turned their eyes to the West and before September 11, 2001. . . . This is the religion of Islam. . . .
Elder: Are there moderate Muslims who condemn the radicals, who don’t feel threatened by democracy?
Gabriel: Yes. . . . I call it a practicing Muslim and a non-practicing Muslim. I think it is a better description than “moderate” and “radical.” A practicing Muslim goes to mosque, prays five times a day, doesn’t drink, believes God gave him women to be his property — to beat, to stone to death. . . . He believes Christians and Jews are apes and pigs because they are cursed by Allah. He believes it is his duty to declare war on the infidels because they are Allah’s enemies. That is a practicing Muslim. A non-practicing Muslim no longer goes to mosque or prays five times a day, has an occasional glass of wine and believes that a woman is equal to a man. . . . He believes he cannot murder his wife just because he wants to. He does not believe in taking four wives just for sexual pleasure. . . . He no longer believes that, as a Muslim, it is his duty to kill the apes and pigs that have been cursed by Allah. A non-practicing Muslim is educated, an intellectual who believes the Koran — written in the 7th century — doesn’t apply to today’s standards, and Islam needs to be reformed. Those Muslims do exist and live in the West. However, they are such a minority — we estimate about 2 percent — they are irrelevant because it is the majority that is causing the problem now.
Elder: What should be done?
Brigitte Gabriel: Shut our borders. We have terrorists coming through our borders. Al Qaeda is working with the MS-13 gang [El Salvadorian gang Mara Salvatrucha], smuggling al Qaeda terrorists into the country. Hezbollah is doing the same. . . . We estimate thousands have already been smuggled into America. . . . Hamas is here. . . . They have cells in over 40 states. . . . We also need to reform our immigration and visa programs. We need to monitor who is coming into our country and why. . . . We need to increase human intelligence. . . .To get that human element that gets you the information, it takes years to establish trust with the enemy in order to get the secrets out of them. . . . As for profiling, I want everyone who fits the terrorist profile to be profiled. We have men between the ages of 16 and 40 who have committed terrorist acts around the world in the name of Islam. They are not little old ladies from Ohio with blue hair. They are not children going to Disney World on their Easter vacation.
Elder: What happens if a Democrat wins the 2008 election?
Gabriel: We are doomed. Our enemies want the Democrats to win. This last election, jihadist websites were playing victory songs and declaring the Democrats are our allies in the war against America. . . . Whoever comes next is going to have to deal with the same things Bush is dealing with.