Anti-Muslim Author Packed Laguna Woods Performing Arts Center

Gabriel speaks past her crowd’s bedtime. YouTube screenshot

Brigitte Gabriel, founder of the Act! for America anti-Muslim hate group, embarked on a months-long speaking tour in March that, of course, had a stop in Orange County along the way. On the road promoting her newest screed Rise: In Defense of Judeo-Christian Values and Freedom, Gabriel spoke to the coffin-dodging crowd assembled at the Laguna Woods Performing Arts Center on July 18. And by the way the featured speaker told it, she just couldn’t wait to come to OC.

“I was looking forward this whole week to get here,” Gabriel told the audience.

Carol Blanchard, the Laguna Woods Republican Club president, had the honors of kicking off the night organized with the help of Act! for America chapters in Laguna Woods and Mission Viejo.

The otherwise free event was closed to media. Attendants had to reserve seats in advance and show valid identification before entering the 814-seat theater. Obviously spooked by consuming too much right-wing media, event organizers listed do’s and don’ts, including no face covering (was that for antifa or out of Islamophobia?).

Everything seemed to run smoothly enough allowing Gabriel to power through a 40-minute speech thrilling the white-haired crowd on a Thursday night. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the hate group leader’s latest tome is a cautionary tale against changing demographics in these United States. “All cultures are not equal,” she writes. “In the West we celebrate life. In the Islamic world they celebrate death.”

As Gabriel is known to do, she spoke on those themes to the Laguna Woods crowd by recounting with her upbringing in Lebanon during the civil war, including a targeted bombing against her Christian family where she was injured. Beirut was the “Paris of the Middle East” until Palestinian refugees arrived. “We took them in,” she said. “That’s when they started the massacres.”

There was no mention of the Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982 that followed the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, of course. That’s when a Christian Lebanese militia wantonly killed scores of Palestinian refugees.

Two years later, Gabriel moved to Israel before immigrating to the United States in 1989. When the September 11 terrorist attacks happened, Gabriel’s life purpose shifted again. “In 2001, the greatest threat to America was radical Islamic terrorism,” she said. “Antifa did not exist. Black Lives Matter did not exist. MS-13 gang members were not roaming the streets the way they are roaming around.” (quick aside: not only did Gabriel casually lump a bunch of groups in with Al-Qaeda, but MS-13 was very much around before 2001 only the South OC crowd would never know that!).

A few years later, Act for America! was founded, a group Gabriel claims helped pass 103 bills at the state and federal level.

Gabriel gabbed on invoking the Squad–four progressive Democrat congresswomen–to loud boos in the crowd. “As a lady with brown skin, I have never felt in 30 years that my skin color was even an issue,” she said. “I was never discriminated against.”

The Laguna Woods crowd lapped it all up. But the biggest response of the night came when Gabriel reached her frenzied crescendo.

“For those who don’t like America, for those who complain about America, for those who are ungrateful to America, for those who loathe America, apologize for America, are embarrassed of America,” said Gabriel, “we’ll give you a one-way ticket to get the hell out here and back to whatever country you came from!”

The audience erupted in applause. “Woooo!” Gabriel shrieked after chuckling. “I’m talking to the right people.”

“U-S-A! U-S-A!” they chanted in response.

Gabriel ended with all the non-excitement making pitches for membership and money brings. For as much as she tried to be provocative, the speech was tame in comparison to the Islamophobia that ran wild during a Nonie Darwish book event three years ago organized by Act! for America in Laguna Woods. The Weekly infiltrated that talk and covered the mini-rebellion that broke out in the clubhouse.

Sure, Laguna Woods Act! for America netted an appearance from the founding mother, but if they want to keep the local hate crown left behind by Barbara Coe’s infamous California Coalition for Immigration Reform, they’ll have to try to be a little less BO-RING next time!

Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!

15 Replies to “Anti-Muslim Author Packed Laguna Woods Performing Arts Center”

  1. As an American Christian who has lived in the Muslim world for over 20 years, and worked alongside wonderful Muslim moderates who desire peace just as much as anyone else, I am horrified by the large number of lies, stereotyping, fear-mongering and hate speech on Act!’s website. If this event reflected even half of what Act! stands for, it is a toxin Orange County does not need. Thanks for this article warning us that what is clothed as patriotism may have a darker agenda.
    While I can personally feel sympathy for Ms. Gabriel’s pain from her past in Lebanon, many Muslim refugees entering America have experienced similar pain. I pray that our nation becomes a place of healing for them. Activists accomplishing this would be better speakers for our community to hear.

      1. She’s not anti-Muslim – she’s anti-Sharia Law. She’s anti-sexist. She’s anti-racist. She’s anti-wife beating. She’s anti-honor killings. She’s anti-forced female circumcision. However, she’s all American no matter where she came from. she’s sick and tired of seeing Muslim women and children being mistreated by Muslim men based on an antiquated, barbaric code of conduct that is not supported by our Constitution, our Freedoms and liberty loving Americans. Maybe this “journalist” should actually listen to her and read her books before making such idiotic, biased claims.

    1. If they did, they wouldn’t be attacking and shooting rockets into Israel whenever they get a chance. Israel is only defending themselves. They are not the aggressors.

  2. I am very concerned that the hate -filled message spread by ACT for America has such a large following here in Laguna Woods. I find it hard to believe that this hatred spread and taught by such ill-informed and single minded individuals can be so intoxicating. Having taught Islam, the religion, the history and the culture, I know that most Americans that I have encountered here and abroad do not share such hatred.
    I do not deny Brigittes upbringing and the suffering she endured, but to say that the extremism in Islam is all of Islam is just plain false. To see the other side please come the Concerned Citizens Club’s lecture given by a Muslim scholar, Amir Hussein, in Clubhouse 7 on October 1st at 7:00 pm.. Here you will get a much more balanced view of Islam and immigration. All are welcome.

    1. There’s nothing hateful in what Bridgitt says. It’s all true but some people can’t handle the truth. She’s not anti-Muslim. She’s anti-Sharia Law practicing Muslims and those who would do terrorist acts against non-Muslims.

  3. I am extremely concerned that the hate-filled message of Act for America has stirred such an audience in Laguna Woods. Having taught Islam, its religion, its history and its culture all my professional life, I know for a fact that the spreading of hate and misinformation is distructive and contrary to all our values in America. Furthermore the majority of Americans and Muslims that I know harbor no such hate. Although I sympathize with Ms. Gabriel’s story, I object to her teaching that the extremism in Islam is true for all of Islam. In order to get a more balanced perspective, I invite you to come to a lecture sponsored by Concerned Citizens given by an Islamic scholar, Amir Hussein, on October 1 in Clubhouse 7 at 7:00 PM. All are invited.

  4. What would Jesus say? Would he defame his brothers and sisters. He anointed their feet with water. Shame on the ACT for America.

    1. Shame on those who practice terrorist acts and Sharia law in the United States and who try to claim that they have a religious right to do so. Bridgitt Gabriel actually knows what she’s talking about as she’s lived it raised in a Muslim country herself.

  5. It’s no surprise that Gabriel, not un-like Trump whom she adores, attributes those she disagrees with with her own faults, prejudice and hatred. She is a proven fraud and liar about her background, qualifications and knowledge. But because she is angry and loud and hates Those People, a certain American demographic with even less knowledge and more hatred eats up her carnival-barking spiel. God help save our country from such wickedness as her.

    1. Who do you adore – Communist Democrats, like Antifa, Obama, Pelosi, AOC, Ilhan Omar, Maxine Waters and a myriad of others who want to destroy America?

  6. I also notice that OC Weekly only prints the posts that agree with your fake news “journalists”. It’s too bad that you’re so lacking in self-esteem that you can’t faced the unbiased truth.

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