ACT! For America and the Power of the Gavel

Last week I attended my first annual ACT! for America National Conference in DC. I had only recently joined my local chapter and found the conference to be a real eye opener on just how effective a lobbying organization it is. For instance, they have been very instrumental in helping the states in their battles to pass American Laws for American Courts (ALAC).

ACT! for America is the nation’s largest and fastest growing grassroots organization dedicated to national security issues and, specifically, to a defense against political Islam. Since its inception in 2007, ACT! has grown from a small organized resistance group to a unified force of almost 200,000 members and 700 local chapters nationwide with a growing presence internationally. Brigitte’s goal is for ACT! to grow to become as large and powerful as the NRA.  As AFA Executive Director, Guy Rodgers, likes to say, “it’s all about the Power of the Gavel”.

For those of you who are not familiar with Brigitte Gabriel here is the biography published at the Intelligence Summit website:

Speaking as a native Arab and a professional journalist, Brigitte Gabriel offers a first hand account of her personal experiences in the opening salvos of Islamic Jihad towards the Western world in the Middle East. Ms. Gabriel grew up in South Lebanon as the only child of a retired Christian governing administrator of the region and a successful businessman. Her Arabic society, culture and media taught her that Israel and Jews were the devil. As she turned 10, war broke out pitting the combined forces of militant Moslems and Palestinians against the Christian Lebanese.

In the Lebanese civil war, Ms. Gabriel found herself in the first attack, beyond the Arab/Israel conflict, of Islamic Jihad against non-Moslems and the West. A barrage of Moslem rockets exploded in her house leaving her wounded and buried under the rubble. Her family lost everything and was forced to live the next seven years in an underground bomb shelter with little food, water or electricity.

In 1982 Ms. Gabriel’s mother became seriously wounded, Israel was the only place to go for medical attention. For her mother, the trip to a hospital in Israel was a life-saving experience. For Brigitte it was a life changing experience. She saw the Israelis demonstrate respect, humanity, compassion and generosity that she didn’t know existed beyond her immediate family. She realized she was fed nothing but a fabricated lie by her government about the Jews and the Israeli people. She had to return to Lebanon to take care of her elderly parents but vowed that one day she would return to Israel. Brigitte kept that promise and more. She returned to Israel two years later and started working in Jerusalem as a journalist.

A Journalist in Israel & America

Rising quickly to the position of news anchor for “World News” an evening Arabic news broadcast for Middle East Television seen throughout Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Cyprus and Lebanon, she covered the Israeli security zone in Lebanon and the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank. Her work is of international scope having brought her in contact with world figures such as Margaret Thatcher, George H. Bush, Queen Nour El Hussein, Itzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

After marrying an American war correspondent in Jerusalem, Ms. Gabriel relocated to the United States and started a television production and advertising company. Her clients include ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, Discovery, TLC, History Channel, “Oprah Winfrey Show,” “20/20,” “World News Tonight” and “Good Morning America” to name a few.

An Urgent Warning to the West

Following the September 11th attack Ms. Gabriel founded American Congress for Truth, a non-profit organization dedicated to inform, inspire and motivate Americans to take action against terrorism and the threat radical Islamic fundamentalists pose to America, Israel and Western civilization. Her inside information is enlightening for unsuspecting Western-thinking audiences. Her lectures inspire and empower audiences into taking action in order to protect America and support Israel. She has appeared on news and information TV and radio shows and has given hundreds of lectures nationally and internationally. Her views are seen as a pertinent warning to the West. She speaks Arabic, French, English and Hebrew.

Brigitte is also the author of two New York Times Best Sellers, BECAUSE THEY HATE: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America. And THEY MUST BE STOPPED: Why we must defeat radical Islam and how we can do it.

As explained on the FAQ page at ACT’s website, there are actually two organizations created to perform the two tasks of 1.Educaton and 2. Lobbying:

ACT! for America Education (formerly known as American Congress for Truth), the first organization Brigitte Gabriel founded and a “sister” organization to ACT! for America, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its primary mission is conducting research and providing educational and informational materials to the public. Contributions to ACT! for America Education are tax-deductible. Under tax law, ACT! for America Education can only devote an “insubstantial” amount of time and revenue to activities such as lobbying. Therefore, it was deemed necessary that ACT! for America, a 501(c)(4) be founded in order to accomplish the goal of having a grassroots citizen organization that would engage in activities such as lobbying and issues advocacy.

Realizing the need for a full-time presence on Capitol Hill,  Brigitte hired Lisa Piraneo in 2009 as a full-time lobbyist. Lisa’s official title is “Director  of Government Relations.” Lisa has over 15 years of experience on Capitol Hill,  including stints in four congressional offices and nearly seven years of  experience as a lobbyist for a national organization. She has also worked for a  Homeland Security consulting firm. Ms. Piraneo works with members of Congress and their staffs,  educating them on issues ACT! is concerned about and seeking their support for  “High Priority Legislation”.

Lisa Piraneo and National Field Director, Kelly Cook, also work with ACT! chapter leaders and members on such  tasks as providing education on how to effectively persuade our elected  representatives as well as coordinating grassroots contacts with members of  Congress. Lisa and Kelly also conduct Citizens in Action Training Conferences. The next one is in Northern Virginia at the Dulles Marriott on Saturday, August 18. There will be a Friday night session for prospective Chapter Leaders. You can register here.

As membership grows, so will the clout of ACT! Congress is taking note. Locate a chapter near you and sign up for their newsletters to stay up to date with concrete actions you can take to help protect our nation from the threat posed by political Islam.

What the? Now facts erased from schoolbooks

by Drew Zahn at WND:

Who perpetrated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – a group of men merely fighting “for a cause,” or a band of radical Muslims bent on violent jihad?

According to a new, comprehensive study of 6th-12th grade textbooks used by schools across the country, America’s children are being taught a very different answer to that question than many alive to witness 9/11 remember.

The non-profit organization ACT! for America Education studied 38 textbooks from popular publishers like McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin, for example, to determine whether American schoolchildren are being taught the truth about Islam and its role in 9/11.

The report, titled “Education or Indoctrination? The Treatment of Islam in 6th through 12th Grade American Textbooks,” compares what it found in the textbooks with 275 historical sources, listing 375 footnoted citations, to conclude that America’s textbooks are laced with “historical revisionism.”

“This report shines a bright light on a pattern of errors, omissions and bias in the textbooks reviewed,” explained ACT! for America Education founder Brigitte Gabriel in an email. “To give you just one example of the errors our research uncovered, in discussing the 9/11 attacks, the textbooks typically fail to mention the perpetrators were Muslims or that they acted in the cause of Islamic jihad. In one book the terrorists are portrayed as people fighting for a cause.

“In just a few years after Sept. 11,” she continues, “the history of what happened on that tragic day was rewritten in our school textbooks. Omitting this vital information, that jihad was the motivation for the attacks, makes it difficult, if not impossible, for today’s young teens, who don’t remember 9/11, to really understand what happened that day – and why.”

According to the executive summary of the report, “The full report reveals a pattern of historical revisionism, omissions and bias in the presentation of all aspects devoted to Islam in these textbooks. These aspects include its theology and doctrines, its role as a world religion, its ongoing struggle with Western tradition and its intrinsic anti-Semitism.”

The summary continues, “Textbook errors identified in the report range from egregiously false historical statements to significant omissions and subtle half-truths. Some are blatant and obvious, others are subtle and deceptive. The errors in these textbooks are not grammatical or typographical. They are substantive, significant and often repetitive.”

For example, the report notes the textbook “World History: Patterns of Interaction,” published by McDougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin in 2007, glosses over the violent birth of Islam and paints its founder, Muhammad, in a glowing light.

“In Medina, Muhammad displayed impressive leadership skills,” the textbook asserts. “He fashioned an agreement that joined his own people with the Arabs and Jews of Medina as a single community. These groups accepted Muhammad as a political leader. As a religious leader, he drew many more converts, who found his message appealing.”

But did Muhammad win converts among and build a peace accord with the Jews? The study’s founders cite several sources and recorded histories in asserting this description is a bald-faced lie.

“This language is a gross falsification of the relationship between Muhammad and the Jews of Medina,” the report states. “Muhammad … expelled two of the Jewish tribes from Medina and destroyed the third, beheading the men and selling the women and children into slavery. This important and essential historical fact of the Medinan period is commonly omitted in the textbooks reviewed, and it is impossible for students to accurately understand the rise of Islam without it.”

The report also questioned the textbooks’ descriptions of jihad.

“An Islamic term that is often misunderstood is jihad,” asserts Houghton Mifflin’s 2003 textbook “Across the Centuries.” “The term means ‘to struggle,’ to do one’s best to resist temptation and overcome evil. Under certain conditions, the struggle to overcome evil may require action. The Qur’an and Sunna allow self-defense and participation in military conflict, but restrict it to the right to defend against aggression and persecution.”

“The term jihad is, indeed, ‘often misunderstood,’” the report replies, “primarily because faulty definitions like this are prevalent in academia and the media.

“First, this passage redundantly and incorrectly asserts that jihad warfare is solely defensive in nature,” the report continues. “According to the Qur’an , the mandate of jihad includes aggressive warfare for the explicit purpose of making Islam supreme over the entire world. For instance, Surah 9:5 commands Muslims to ‘fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, And seize them, beleaguer them, And lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)’ (parenthetical in original). Surah 9:29 commands Muslims to make war upon ‘People of the Book [Christians and Jews], Until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, And feel themselves subdued.’”

The report’s executive summary concludes, “It is clear that the textbooks examined throughout this report contain extensive amounts of material that is seriously historically flawed and often unmistakably biased.”

Read the rest…