Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America
By Brigitte Gabriel
St. Martin’s Press, New York, Copyright 2006
Available at all major books stores (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Walden, Schuster, etc.)
Non-fiction. From the author's own life she pens a very personal journey of her time in Lebanon with her family during the 70’s and their fight for survival during the war with radical Muslims and the PLO. She shares her painful memories from Lebanon to Israel and eventually America. The author recaps her early years and then gives perspective to the war on radical Islam claiming much of the world, including the U.S. She gives historical evidence to the rise of radical Islam, the West’s lack of understanding and what must be done for much of the world to survive. Fast and easy reading.
About the author:
Brigitte Gabriel was an anchor for World News in the Middle East. She is a journalist and news producer. She has a web site and action group at: www.americancongressfortruth.com. She made her way to America and after the 9/11/01 attacks began a crusade for the West. She is dedicated to understanding and combating terrorism at home and abroad. She appears on t.v., cable news, and radio. She lectures around the world. A complete biography can be found at her web site and also in the Wikipedia.
About the book:
The first 123 pages of Gabriel’s book is a look back at the authors early years in which she grew up as an only child to older parents in Marjayoun, Lebanon. She paints a vivid description of a beautiful land sandwiched between mountains, bodies of water and rolling hills of green. A land full of bounty – both in the people and in the earth. And diversity galore – in religion, language, culture, food and more. A place where neighbors still embraced neighbors regardless of their differences.
In late 1974 when Gabriel turned 10 years old her peaceful, loving and comfortable life as she had known it ended forever when Lebanese Muslims and Palestinians declared jihad early the following year. She notes that what had begun as a political war spiraled immediately into a religious war between Muslims and Christians.
She stresses that no one understood the depth of the Muslims mistrust, dislike, animosity and eventual hatred toward those known as non-radical Muslims or better yet, infidels.
What ensues is a re-cap of the personal events that surrounded seven years of living in a war zone and being trapped between Israel and Muslim/PLO controlled Lebanon. Gabriel, her family and those friends left were caught in the middle. Arab Christians were living a real life nightmare in the middle of a rising local, national and eventual world wide crisis. She paints in dramatic detail what it’s like to have snipers shooting at you going for water each day, seeing family, friends and military foes blown up by bombs and shell fragments, seeing children maimed by mines, surviving with little food, water or living basics during every season of the year. Gabriel confirmed that fear was the only constant during this time in her life.
Gabriel ends the first portion of the book discussing her meeting of an Israeli person for the first time and the kindness they showed her and her family. She goes over her development as she progressed from a child to a young woman working to keep her family alive and her eventual rise to journalist and news anchor across the border. Her personal story ends with her marriage and move to America after her parents passed away. She was able to begin a new life in a new land.
Unfortunately, the radical extremists did not stay in Lebanon alone.
The last ½ of her book goes in depth the history of radical Islam’s growth and movement as the rest of the world looked away. She recaps how the flames of jihad raged all over – from Sudan, Nigeria, and other parts of Africa, Indonesia, South Asia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, America and Europe. She showed how the terrorists set up shops in mosques, madras’s and everywhere in between. They spanned across the globe, and for a dozen or more years tested the waters of destruction by bombing embassies, naval ships, peace headquarters and military bases. Finally, on 9/11/01 they found America in the bull’s eye zone and exerted their terrorism on the American people with devastating consequences. Gabriel realized her beloved Lebanon had been the true ground zero for the beginnings of what radical Islam and Muslim extremists wanted the rest of the world to be – free of everyone but the most radical of all Islamic followers. Everyone else is an infidel and must pay the price.
Gabriel was moved to write her book, start her nonprofit organization and spread her knowledge as a terrorism expert to help keep America aware and safe after that tragic day happened.
She spends a fair amount of time discussing Mohammad, content in the Koran, and how Muslims practice their religion. She shows the glaring differences between how the radical Muslim interprets things versus how the west interprets things (such as life, death, lying, telling the truth, treatment of men, women and children and so on). She shows the vast chasm that exists between the east and the west when it comes to social, economic and religious values as well. These differences are no simple matter – they are life and death now.
Gabriel provides research and evidence of how the radicals and their terrorist organizations have begun using the greatness of the United States against its own people. Utilizing our own rule of law, bills of rights, constitution, schools and universities, print and news media and our own kindness to take advantage of our way of life and plot our destruction. What we once viewed from the comfort of our TV’s and living rooms and felt was ‘someone else’s problem’ has now become our problem.
In the final chapter, she discusses a list of recommendations to protect our country. What we can do as individuals, communities and a nation to seek out those who wish to destroy us and those who impede our fight on terrorism. She notes we can win the war against radical Islam and keep our rights, freedoms and life in America but, we must be involved.
I found this book to be a very powerful story of one woman – one survivors - struggle against radical Islam.
When neighbors turn on neighbors and begin massive killing pogroms, you can’t help but, stand up and take notice of how quickly human nature becomes dark and cruel. Had the author not included a large portion of her own personal experiences I’m not sure I would have “gotten the message” as deeply as I did. We can all research and evaluate data, listen to political pundits state their views on world events and then form our own clinical views but, an issue takes on added dimensions when you inject a shot of realism like Ms. Gabriel’s own personal journey into the equation.
I have read a few books so far that deal with the world crisis on radical Islam and Muslim extremists. Each of those others books have been very detailed and informative and shed further light on this developing world wide disaster in our midst.
This book, Because They Hate, stands out because it brings to life how real this war on radical Islam really is. It’s not just data and numbers and quotes and opinions.
It’s the real loss of a person’s childhood, the loss of their home, their friends, their way of life, their freedoms and their nation. And how that terror has followed her halfway across the globe.
Ms. Gabriel’s loss is clearly multiplied by thousands and thousands of others who have shared the same disastrous results of this growing threat – just in different locations. Their voices have not been able to be heard. Fortunately, Ms. Gabriel has created a platform through her own diligence and perseverance so, she can speak out on their behalf and her own. These voices of dissent will be silenced no longer (even in the face of murder to some who spoke out already and death threats to others still alive).
I know from some reviews I have read on this book that some readers disagree with her opinion and feel that she spews hate for the Middle East and Muslims as a whole. It is understandable that her personal experience of not being helped by fellow Muslims but, brutalized and hurt by them would cloud the issue somewhat. Fortunately, she is an intelligent woman and makes clear that she supports peace loving Muslims. On the other hand, she is realistic that too many of these peace loving Muslims are NOT speaking out against the hijacking of their religion and these same quiet practitioners of the faith are moving to the radical wing and they must be confronted and stopped. She knows first hand what is being taught in Muslim schools and how the Middle East is being fed a daily diet from birth to death of mistrust, dislike and hatred and the results from this are no longer isolated. They are being felt and seen everywhere. The results of this educational and religious program of hate is not perpetrated by Ms. Gabriel. She is simply the messenger pointing out what is happening.
I’m not so sure with the information I have been researching that such darkness, lack of respect for human life and destruction is open to a fireside chat. When you read books like this one and many others out there, you will be clear that we are in big trouble because we took our eye off the ball for too long and have not been willing to be as hard and tough as we need to be. Over the last twenty years, Americans have been trying to reason with the Middle East and be the nice guy while radical Islam and it’s Muslim extremists have used our ignorance, complacency and innate kindness to destroy us from the outside and even from within. As Gabriel notes so wisely in her book, “America possesses the most superior weapons of war but, it does not posses the resolve or the will to follow through till victory. America pulled out from Lebanon after it’s barracks were bombed…it pulled out the first time in Iraq during the Gulf War…and America continued to sleep through every attack on it’s bases overseas in too many sites to mention”. We might not have paid attention to this matter but, those who hate us surely have.
I know there are many in our country who feel this issue will go away with negotiations. Many who think it’s still a police act or crime rather than a serious act of terrorism. Those who don’t believe war is ever justified. Many who think we need the world behind us to do anything on this issue (if nations of the world were NOT with us after 9/11 and our invasion of Afghanistan to take down the Taliban and Al Qaeda, what would make them get on board? Those who are our true international friends were with us in Afghanistan and now Iraq. Those not with us yet probably won’t ever be. Wise Americans know we don’t need the world’s permission to keep our nation and people safe at home and abroad).
On the other side, for those people who have researched this issue at length and understand the problem at hand, this book will be an interesting avenue for additional thought. This book makes it clear that we have the ability to dismantle a new darkness in our midst. We smashed the iniquity of slavery, we destroyed the war machines of Fascism and we most recently cleansed the world of the scourge of Communism. All these were evils of intolerance, social differences and religious bigotry. We need to be strong and make sure this latest global terror - the jihadists of Islam - does not prevail either.
Ms. Gabriel’s story is an amazing one. Her devotion to the cause makes her a woman to watch and admire. She is an excellent example of someone who came to this country within the boundaries of our law, assimilated as a new American while keeping the greatness of her heritage and ethnicity a part of her life and has made a difference to her adopted nation in important ways.
In the end, I was moved by her story and her passion to bring this issue to light. I decided to support her organization by signing petitions, making a small donation and keeping abreast of national issues. I realize that even if I can’t be in the forefront making speeches, writing books and consulting with those who can make policy changes, I can support those who have the courage to do so.
I recommend this book highly. It is very inspiring and motivational. Add it to your collection to round out your titles on the radical Islamic crisis at hand. I give her book five out of five stars!
Signed, Bridget Dupont-Tingley, Editor L.A.W.