(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 7/29/13) — The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on Republican leaders in that state to repudiate a GOP official who is promoting an event tonight featuring the leader of an anti-Muslim hate group.
Seventh District GOP Congressional Chair Craig Bishop distributed an email invitation to a talk at a Little Falls, Minn., high school by “Brigitte Gabriel,” head of the hate group ACT! for America. In the email, sent using Bishop's official 7th District GOP email address, he stated: “This is a must to attend.”
ACT! for America leader Hanah Kahwagi Tudor, who goes by the pseudonym “Brigitte Gabriel,” has said Arabs have “no soul” and that Islam is the “real enemy.” The Southern Poverty Law Center lists her as one of the “Anti-Islam Inner Circle.” The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says Gabriel's beliefs are extreme, while the New York Times described her as an “Islamophobe.”
CAIR Islamophobia Backgrounder: ACT! for America and 'Brigitte Gabriel'
“The perceived endorsement by a Republican official of hate speech sends the message that the Minnesota GOP is hostile to minority voters,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya. “We urge state Republican Party officials to repudiate this invitation to religious hatred and to instead promote mutual respect and positive civic participation by voters of all faiths and backgrounds.”
CAIR-MN previously urged school district officials to consider whether a school was a proper venue for hate speech.
After receiving hundreds of emails and phone calls from concerned Minnesotans, Superintendent of Schools Stephen Jones stated that the Central Minnesota Tea Party has “promised to abide by all relevant district policies including religion, speech, and material distribution.”
In a July 26 letter sent to the Little Falls Board of Education and the Minnesota Department of Education, CAIR-MN asked for a clarification on what actions will be taken if the “promise” is broken and district policies are violated. CAIR-MN also asked how the district will counter the perception of endorsement of an anti-Muslim speaker and ensure a hostile-free environment for minority students.
CAIR-MN and concerned community members will monitor the event and will consider filing a federal complaint against the school district if the policies are violated.
Saroya said Gabriel is giving the same talk in Mankato this week but CAIR-MN has no plans to speak out publicly against an event in a private hotel setting. Additionally, Gabriel spoke in 2011 at a Minnesota church.
CAIR-MN Asks School to Drop Anti-Muslim Tea Party Speaker (SC Times)
CAIR-MN: Islamic Group Says Speaker with Anti-Muslim Views Shouldn't Speak at Tea Party Event (MinnPost)
CAIR Asks L.F. Schools to Cancel Speaker (Brainerd Dispatch)
“Brigitte Gabriel” claims an American Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen.” She once told the Australian Jewish News: “Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.” She also claimed that “Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word … it's the vehicle for Islam … Islam is the problem.”
According to an exposÃ© of the group by the Tennessean newspaper, “ACT members see themselves as warriors in a clash between Western civilization and Islam.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists Gabriel as one of the “Anti-Muslim Inner Circle” and says, “She is prone to sweeping generalizations and exaggerations as she describes a grand, sophisticated Muslim conspiracy bent on world domination.”
When asked whether Americans should “resist Muslims who want to seek political office in this nation,” Gabriel said: “Absolutely. 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.”
Gabriel stated: “America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam.”
Along with her stated desire to have Muslims barred from public office, Gabriel has also claimed that Arabs “have no soul” and that Muslims worship “something they call 'Allah,' which is very different from the God we believe .”
A person staffing an ACT! for America information table in Florida was caught on video bragging that he desecrated the Quran, Islam's revealed text, and urinates in the washing stations Muslims use to perform their ritual ablutions (wudu) for prayer.
That person states: “Their foot baths, I love pissing in them … The Quran makes worthless toilet paper. It just kind of scratches my a** a little bit … To me, I like desecrating their holy stuff.”
According to an exposÃ© of Gabriel and her group published in the New York Times:
“Through her books, media appearances and speeches, and her organization, ACT! for America, Ms. Gabriel has become one of the most visible personalities on a circuit of self-appointed terrorism detectors who warn that Muslims pose an enormous danger within United States borders.”
The New York Times also stated: ” presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practice the religion.”
Another exposÃ© of Gabriel's hate group published on Politico.com quoted an Arab-American activist who said: “The idea that congressional staffers would agree to meet an organization led by a woman whose agenda is pure unadulterated hatred and whose purported life story is a laughable fiction — it's sad.”
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org