I'd never heard of Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian immigrant who has just published her second book, They Must Be Stopped. It is a tocsin at the danger Muslim culture poses to liberalism, tolerance and democracy. Now, remember I didn't know this person existed until twenty minutes ago when I read an interview with her in last Sunday's Times Magazine. The magazine titles the Q. and A. "The Crusader" but right off the interviewer, Deborah Solomon, calls her subject a "radical Islamophobe." Hey, give the reader a chance to maker his own judgement. Well, this is the Times, and the Times has to protect its readers against their own take on serious matters.
Anyway, from the interview, Ms. Gabriel sounds like a serious commentator on serious matters. She has also had serious experience with Muslim forces in Lebanon where she lived through the long and bloody civil wars.
Ms. Solomon queries Gabriel about "moderate Islam" which the book's author calls irrelevant. The questioner asks the writer whether she is an agent of the U.S. government and whether the C.I.A. underwrites her work. To which she answers: "No. Are you kidding? In 2000, I voted for Al Gore."
Question: "You also lament the public foot baths that have been installed at the University of Michigan and elsewhere to accommodate Muslim students."
Answer: "I lived in the Middle East for the first 24 years of my live. Never once did I see any foot-washing basins in airports or public buildings. So why are they pushing them down the throats of Americans?"
The interview continues. The interviewee tells Solomon that both her "parents are buried in Israel, on Mount Zion, with Oskar Schindler.
Question: "Why did you bury them in Israel?"
Answer: "I wanted to honor my parents. After all, it is the Holy Land. And I wanted to ensure that both my children will know where my loyalty lies --with Israel, because Israel for me represents democracy, respect and human rights, something that no other country in the Arabic world offers."
If Gabriel is not a C.I.A. agent she's an agent of the Mossad.
Asked why she putted a glamorous photograph of herself on the cover of the book, Gabriel answers, "In Lebanon, we were raised to be glamorous, feminine and sensual. It's the only good thing we inherited from the French."