MUST READ: ANTI-ISLAM GROUP FINDS FERTILE GROUND IN NASHVILLE - TOP Bob Smietana, The Tennessean, 7/10/11
ACT! for America sums up its mission in four words: "They must be stopped."
The "they" in question are Muslims, who ACT! for America's leaders insist are involved in a stealthy jihad to destroy the United States from the inside out, replacing the Constitution with the Islamic legal code known as Shariah.
The Virginia Beach, Va.-based national nonprofit claims 150,000 members and spreads its message through books, websites, radio ads, cable television and the work of local chapters.
It has become a potent political force in Nashville, home to the largest ACT chapter in the nation. Local members have opposed new mosques and lobbied for laws limiting Islamic influence — including a new state anti-terrorism law that originally referenced Shariah law.
Their message appeals to Bible Belt Christians, who fear that Islam and secularization threaten their way of life, and Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel, who see Muslims as the enemy of that nation. Members point to the 2009 case of Carlos Bledsoe, a Muslim convert and former Tennessee State University student who confessed to murdering an Army recruiter in Little Rock.
Critics say ACT distorts the nature of Islam and labels law-abiding Muslims as terrorists. Local Muslims say they will stand up for their rights to religious freedom.
"We are not afraid of this ACT group," said Rashed Fakhruddin, a member of the Islamic Center of Nashville. "But we are concerned about the climate of fear they are trying to create.". . .
BACKGROUNDER: BRIGITTE GABRIEL AND ACT! FOR AMERICA - TOP
ACT! for America leader Brigitte Gabriel claims an American Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen" and that Islam is the "real enemy." 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."
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 [in]."
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 [Muslims'] holy stuff."
According to an expose 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: "[Gabriel] 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 expose 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."