Counter-Islamophobia Project

U.S. Islamophobia Network

Islamophobic Organizations

ACT For America

Overview

Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT for America is an anti-Islam hate group. Brigitte Gabriel believes that, “America is at stage two Islamic Cancer.” She also argues that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim,” a Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen of the United States,” and that Arabs “have no soul.” ACT is linked to white supremacist and anti-government groups such as the Oath Keepers, Identity Evorpa and Vanguard America. ACT hosted these groups at sanctioned anti-Islam rallies in 2017.  

An ACT email attributed to Gabriel discussing “Islam and its threat to our country and our values” contradict the group’s public policy assertion that it has never, and will never, tolerate any bias.” ACT-sanctioned rallies further contradict this policy by including material claiming “There has been a ban on Islam since 1952,” and also by statements such as allegations that Muslims condone bestiality and support or banning Muslim immigrants to the U.S.

The group supports anti-Islam legislation and unequal treatment for Muslims.

Complete Profile

Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT for America is an anti-Islam hate group. ACT is split into two entities under Internal Revenue Service classifications for non-profit entities. Its 501c3 arm is the American Congress for Truth, Inc., which was founded in 2004 The 501c4 wing is ACT for America, which was founded in 2007. This is a common action allowing the 501c3 to focus on education and the 501c4 to engage in policy and political work.

Brigitte Gabriel’s Islamophobic Statements

During a 2015 interview ACT for America Founder Brigitte Gabriel said, "We, as Americans, are facing the same thing. America is at stage two Islamic cancer and unless we start speaking about the problem and unless we have a president identifying the problem as Islamic terrorism — not Buddhist terrorism, Jewish terrorism, Christian terrorism but Islamic terrorism — we don't have a chance of defeating it unless we identify it."

Gabriel told the Australian Jewish News, "Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.” After supporting the idea of opposing any Muslim who seeks public office in the United States, Gabriel alleged, “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.”

Speaking at a Christians United for Israel conference, while talking about Arabs Gabriel said, “They have no soul.”

In an email to ACT supporters on February 27, 2017, in which Gabriel explained the firing of San Antonio Chapter Leader Roy White, she also discussed an event held by the local ACT entity in Wichita, Kansas. “The chapter meeting was about Islam and its threat to our country and our values,” she said. Gabriel then quoted a report about the Wichita event authored by the local Chapter Leader, “John Guandolo spoke last night about the reality of Islam, not “radical Islam” or “extreme Islam” but “Islam” which, as I’ve also learned, true Islam is evil.”  

ACT for America’s Ties to White Supremacist and Anti-Government Groups, Anti-Islam Bias

In June 2017, ACT for America sponsored a series of anti-Islam rallies nationwide. ACT invites an anti-government group to provide security and hosted several white supremacist groups. 

The Oath Keepers, an anti-government group ACT organizers invited to provide security for its June 2017 rallies issued a notice to their members saying, “ACT for America encourages our well trained and vetted members/security teams to come armed wherever you can do so legally, but has specifically asked that volunteer security carry concealed rather than open-carry, even where open-carry is legal.  They prefer this so their events do not present too militaristic an image.” At the state capitol in Austin, Texas, an ACT rally generated a “few dozen” supporters, including Oath Keepers armed with rifles.

Peter Bokin, who coordinated ACT’s Raleigh, N.C. rally “publicly thanked Identity Evropa, a group founded last year that openly espouses white supremacy.” An Identity Evropa banner at the rally in Orlando, Florida called for an “End to Islamic Immigration.” In Indianapolis, Ind. “Several dozen” ACT supporters faced “30 counter-protestors.” Among the ACT supporters were “flag holders for the white nationalist group Identity Evropa.” According to the Washington Post among the “few dozen” supporters of the ACT rally in New York City were “a dozen members of Identity Evropa, which seeks a whites-only state.”

NPR reported that in  Harrisburg, Penn. “about 60 ‘anti-Sharia’ protestors were separated from the same number of counter protestors.” Hosted by the ACT rally were members of Vanguard America, “a group that has claimed credit for white nationalist posters on college campuses.” Also on hand, “Nearly a dozen men carrying sidearms belonging to the anti-government Oath Keepers were on hand, invited by ACT to provide security.” Men wearing Soldiers of Odin jackets were also photographed taking part.

At the Harrisburg, Penn. ACT rally Vanguard America spokesperson Francisco Rivera told reporters, “I don’t believe in having Muslims in the United States. Their culture is incompatible with ours.”

ACT’s efforts to assert they reject bias are further undermined by a flyer on their own letter head proclaiming “There has been a ban on Islam since 1952” that was distributed at a sanctioned rally in Calif. Other acts of bias at ACT-sanctioned events include a rally speaker in Texas and a sign in New York suggesting that Muslims commit bestiality, as well as Islamophobic rhetoric such as “Islam is the problem,” “I want the Quran burned” and “End all Islamic Immigration.”

According to the Tennessean, “ACT members see themselves as warriors in a clash between Western civilization and Islam."

Brigitte Gabriel Profits from Her Islamophobia

In 2010, as ACT’s Board President and Treasurer Gabriel raised her own compensation from $87,300 to $156, 473. This is a 79 percent increase.  Since CAIR originally drew public attention to this information, Act has listed Gabriel’s reportable income as $0.

The Southern Poverty Law Center summarized anti-Islam activist Dave Gaubatz’s criticism of what he calls Brigitte Gabriel’s “Hollywood style life.” Gaubatz alleges she “charges between $3,000 and $10,000” for public speaking events and is accompanied at times by, “a whole entourage of staff to include a hairdresser.” In another post, he claims that, “Gabriel lives in a $3 million, 10,000 sq. ft. home.” Gaubatz’s criticism of Gabriel was published by former ACT Sarasota Director Dr. Rich Swier. CAIR has not independently confirmed Gaubatz’s assertions.

ACT Supports Anti-Islam Legislation and Unequal Treatment for Muslims

In ACT’s 2012 “The Art of Chapter Leadership,” National Field Director Kelly Cook wrote, “we patiently work all the angles to get anti-Sharia legislation passed in state after state.” These legislative efforts include spending “$60,000 into about 600,000 robocalls and a statewide radio campaign” supporting an Oklahoma law vilifying Islam that was ultimately deemed un-Constitutional.

While serving as ACT’s Executive Director and CFO, Guy Rodgers “contended that Muslims should be treated differently because their legal system is inherently flawed.” Rodgers was with ACT until at least 2014, four years after making this call for Muslims to be treated differently under U.S. law.

Nine Members of Congress Hosted a Press Conference Referring to ACT as an "Anti-Islam Hate Group” That Is “Known For Its Hate Speech” and Noted That “It’s All About Bigotry”

In June 2017, nine Members of Congress participated in a press event denouncing ACT’s hate in advance of the organization’s June 10 rallies. The elected officials participating in the press conference included Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) and Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI).

The following quotes are taken from that press conference:

  • “This Saturday, an anti-Islam hate group that goes by the name of ACT for America is hosting anti-Muslim rallies in cities across the country. This thinly-veiled gathering of dangerous, hateful and misinformed extremists is nothing more than a set-up to intimidate Muslim and other communities across the United States.” - Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

  • “We need to be doing more in this country to be bringing people together, and not dividing them, and that’s what these [ACT] marches are an attempt to do: to divide.” He also added, “We’ve been dealing with this issue for many years now, certainly post-9/11, but to now use the red herring of Sharia law—that’s what this is, we are not now nor are we in the future at threat of Sharia law—but they [ACT] use this as a red herring to stimulate hate towards the Muslim population here in the United States.” - Rep. Joe Crowley (D- NY), Chairman, House Democratic Caucus

  • “...and this organization, ACT for America, which is having a march in the city of Chicago… this is an organization known for its hate speech.” She added, “We reject these [ACT] marches for hate. We will not allow these hateful, divisive groups like those organizing this weekend to intimidate our Muslim brothers and sisters, or to intimidate us from standing tall for justice.” - Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

  • “This latest attempt on Saturday to organize and divide us with fear and hatred: it’s unacceptable. It must be denounced, and we have to stand up as Americans against what they [ACT] are trying to do.” - Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI)

  • “So all these [ACT] marches going on, whatever the excuse is, it’s all about bigotry… Those [ACT] people are not Americans, they’re not living up to American values, and we’re here to protect everyone, and make sure everyone gets to live the American dream.” - Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)

ACT Advisory Board Member Gen. Michael Flynn Was Fired by President Trump for Lying, Flynn Believes Islam Is “Like A Cancer”

In December 2016, Gabriel sent an email to ACT supporters saying “We have provided substantial information on National Security to the Trump campaign.” Gabriel added that ACT board of advisors member General Michael Flynn “will continue” doing so.

Flynn has asserted “Islam is a political ideology. It definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion.” He later added “It’s like cancer.” Flynn served as President Trump’s National Security Advisor for eighteen days before he was fired for lying about his contacts with Russia to Vice President Pence.

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