A fervid Islamophobe was welcomed into the White House with open arms on Tuesday.
Brigitte Gabriel, founder of the anti-Muslim group ACT for America, visited the White House along with a colleague of hers to “participate in a brief meeting with a member of our legislative staff.”
According to a White House official, “the purpose [of the meeting] was to make general introductions, which is pretty typical with any new administration,” Raw Story reports.
Perhaps such meetings with grassroots organizations would be viewed as standard if Gabriel’s organization wasn’t essentially a hate group.
ACT for America’s website touts itself as being a “grassroots national security organization,” however the Southern Poverty Law Group identifies it as “the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America.”
Gabriel — who is Lebanese-American — founded the group back in 2007, and now it (unfortunately) boasts about 500,000 members among 1,000 chapters across the country.
She is known for her strong pro-Israel stance, which is why her interest in making friends in President Donald Trump’s administration comes as no surprise.
Trump and his team have made their loyalty to Israel abundantly clear with Trump’s appeasement of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his recent visit and by soliciting the potential help of an Israeli security company to build his border wall between the United States and Mexico.
On the day of Gabriel’s visit, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said that ACT for America was “one of the main sources of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation.”
CAIR’s assessment seems to be correct by looking at the responses Gabriel received on Twitter after asking her followers what topics she should discuss during her White House visit.
Brigitte, will you ask how we can get islam ed out our schools & universities? @ACTBrigitte— #Hillary4Prison2016 (@thejenn999) March 21, 2017
@ACTBrigitte Identifying muslim brothehood in govt positions also declaring them terrorist group— ladynada (@heartdaughter) March 21, 2017
It’s no secret that Trump himself is an Islamophobe, so the bar is set quite low as far as presidential expectations go. However, the president of the United States should be denouncing the rhetoric that groups like ACT for America spread instead of offering them a platform to normalize their bigotry.
There is a serious issue at hand when hate influences policy, especially at the executive level.