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Sean Hannity hosts founder of an anti-Muslim hate group to discuss student protests

On his radio show, Hannity hosted Brigitte Gabriel, who has argued that practicing Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office, and cannot be “loyal citizen[s] to the United States.”

On April 26, Fox News’ Sean Hannity hosted anti-Muslim activist Brigitte Gabriel on his radio program The Sean Hannity Show. Gabriel is the founder and chairman of ACT for America, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-Muslim hate group that masquerades as an organization created to fight terrorism.

Gabriel has previously appeared on Fox News’ Hannity multiple times. On the April 26 program, she joined his radio show to comment on the student protesters in encampments at universities around the country. She called for the FBI’s counterterrorism task force to look into student protestors, whom she called “mini-Jihadists,” and cast doubt on the fact that people are hungry in the Gaza Strip. International assessments have concluded that there is a famine unfolding in Gaza. Gabriel then thanked Sean for “bringing people like me on” to discuss “the important issues that most talk radio hosts are afraid to talk about.”

Gabriel has recently appeared on a QAnon show to urge the audience to join and raise funds for ACT for America. Here is a partial summary of Gabriel and her organization’s islamophobia.

  • Anti-Muslim remarks and writing

    • Gabriel has appeared on Fox News as a guest on multiple occasions, and also in a 2019 appearance with fellow anti-Muslim personality and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on Fox Nation, where they suggested Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) were representing other countries in Congress.

    PIRRO: Well what's interesting about it, is that the — Omar and Rashida Tlaib who you referred to, they — it's almost as though they think they're representing another country, and yet what they did was they kind of projected, and they said, “You know what? You're preventing us from talking. You people are promoting another country. You people are promoting Israel, AIPAC promotes Israel.” And when in truth, they're promoting their countries and their philosophies. And yet for Nancy Pelosi to buckle and have this watered-down resolution, when it all started with the outrage at Omar's attacks, thinly veiled as I said, against Israel, what does this say about Nancy Pelosi?

    GABRIEL: It says a lot, not only about Nancy Pelosi but also about the Democratic Party. But it also says something about activism in our country, because the left and the Islamists bombarded members of Congress to water down the resolution. They were walking the halls of Congress. You don't see the same push and resistance on the side of the right, who is sitting on the sidelines and shaking their head. Look, Rashida Tlaib came out and said, “I am a voice to the Palestinians in the West Bank.” Last time I checked, she was elected by Americans in the United States to serve in the United States Congress, not the West Bank and not in the Palestinian Authority. Yet she is talking about dual loyalty, she is the one who said it flat out very clearly. [Media Matters, 3/18/19]

    • Gabriel has said that practicing Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office, and cannot be “loyal citizen[s] to the United States.”: “If a Muslim who has — who is — a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day — this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.” [Huffington Post, 3/26/09

    • At a 2010 Tea Party convention in Fort Worth, Gabriel declared that people “radicalized in radical mosques” had infiltrated America “on all levels”: “America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America. They have infiltrated us at the CIA, at the FBI, at the Pentagon, at the State Department. They’re being radicalized in radical mosques, in our cities and communities within the United States.” [The New York Times, 3/7/11]

    • In an interview on CNN, Gabriel claimed “the difference between Israel and the Arabic world, was the difference between democracy and barbarism”: “Palestinian mothers are encouraging their children to go out and blow themselves up to smithereens just to kill Christians and Jews. And it was in that context that I — that I contrasted the difference between Israel and the Arabic world, was the difference between democracy and barbarism.” [CNN, 3/8/11

    • In her 2006 book titled Because They Hate, Gabriel wrote, “I began to realize that the Arab Muslim world, because of its religion and culture, is a natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western civilization.” [SPLC]

    • Gabriel wrote in her 2008 book titled They Must be Stopped that Islam released “hatred and rage on the world”: “Islam has created and unleashed an uncontrollable wave of hatred and rage on the world, and we must brace ourselves for the consequences. Going forward we must realize that the portent behind the terrorist attacks is the purest form of what the Prophet Mohammed created. It’s not radical Islam. It’s what Islam is at its core.” [SPLC, 9/17/21]

    • In Gabriel’s 2018 book titled Rise: In Defense of Judeo-Christian Values and Freedom, she wrote, “Unless the West wakes up to the fact that their culture and way of life is eroding through immigration from the Islamic world, the values of the Islamic world will soon overtake us.” [SPLC, 3/21/19]

    • Again, in Rise, Gabriel wrote that “all cultures are not equal,” and “in the West we celebrate life. In the Islamic world they celebrate death.” [SPLC, 3/21/19]

    • Gabriel made a xenophobic remark on immigration in Rise: “A massive wave of third-world immigration has been engulfing America for half a century, yet all American citizens hear about from the ‘lamestream’ media is what a racist, intolerant country we live in. If we don’t openly accept millions of individuals who have no desire to embrace the language, culture, and values that made America the greatest country in the history of the world, we must be racists.” [Right Wing Watch, 7/23/18]

  • Gabriel’s organization ACT for America pushes anti-Muslim policies

    • ACT has targeted refugee resettlement programs, fearmongering that Syrian war refugees are “potential terrorists” that should be “kept on the outside looking in.” SPLC, which compiled instances of the hate group’s efforts, states: “In 2011, ACT helped pass anti-refugee legislation in Tennessee giving the state the option to weigh the economic costs of resettling refugees. In 2015, when Syrian refugee relocation was at its height, ACT launched a working group to push back against the federal resettlement program and 'ensure that this broken system is fixed, and that potential terrorists are kept on the outside looking in.' In a 2015 email to supporters, ACT announced plans to expand the effort to as many states as possible. 'We are happy to announce that we will soon be working to see similar, enhanced, legislation of this nature introduced and passed in all 50 state legislatures,' it read." [SPLC]

    • ACT has pushed anti-Muslim legislation at the federal and local levels, including a campaign called Stop Shariah Now in 2008. The project was launched “to inform and educate the public about what Shariah is, how it is creeping into American society and compromising our constitutional freedom of speech, press, religion and equality.” [SPLC]

    • Gabriel’s organization ACT for America “saw an ally in Donald Trump when he was elected in 2016.” Gabriel visited the White House a year after the election “to deliver a petition in support of President Trump’s Muslim ban.” Additionally, during ACT’s 2018 conference, Gabriel “bragged about her influence in the White House, telling attendees she works ‘very closely with the office of the President’ on talking points and issues.” [SPLC]

    • ACT for America attempted to hold a gala at Mar-a-Lago, but after SPLC’s Hatewatch broke the story and other news media outlets reported on it, the Trump Organization reneged and canceled the event. [SPLC, 10/7/19]

    • The Southern Poverty Law Center showcased leaked documents obtained by the investigative research organization Documented, which allegedly showed Gabriel and other anti-Muslim figures were members of the “secretive and influential right-wing coalition” Council for National Policy. For over 40 years, the Council for National Policy has brought together “influential right-wing leaders, political operatives, conservative media figures, members of the religious right, free-market fundamentalists and donors.” [SPLC, 5/27/21]