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Guest Column

CNN's 'Reliable Sources' not so reliable
By Brigitte Gabriel
Jun 26, 2014 - 1:20:02 AM

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Since 1984, I've been covering the Middle East, terrorism, and the intersection with America's foreign policy.

Over the course of my career, I have spent countless hours in television studios under glaring lights and in front of cameras, both as a professional news anchor for World News at Middle East Television and as the President of ACT! for America warning Americans about the threat from Jihad.

I'm not "just" a survivor. I went to work to understand the world around me. I am proud of my Lebanese roots, but as a Christian targeted for my faith, and a woman, subjugation was a virtual guarantee. I immigrated to the United States. That's where freedom is. It's in our founding documents; it's in our blood.

I always welcome the opportunity to appear on television to discuss what I consider to be the most important topic facing America today: the threat to our national security posed by Jihadists around the globe.

I was pleased to accept an invitation to appear on CNN's Reliable Sources, on Sunday morning to discuss the issue of so-called "Islamophobia."

Unfortunately, what transpired in the production and editing process at CNN was one of the most egregious examples of biased journalism that I have ever come across.

Some background is in order here.

First of all, the whole issue of "Islamophobia" is a bogus one. The term was created from whole cloth by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in an effort to suppress free speech and stifle justifiable criticism of Islamic regimes.

Headquartered in Saudi Arabia, the 57-member nation OIC is the largest international organization in the world outside of the United Nations. The OIC is absolutely dominated by its host nation, Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by one of the most barbaric Shariah regimes on the planet.

The term "Islamophobia" first appeared in Western media in the 1980s when it was used to lay proverbial siege to British author and Muslim apostate Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses, which was viewed by many Muslims as insulting the Prophet Muhammed. (Readers may recall that the leader of OIC member nation Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie.)

Essentially, the OIC works to outlaw any and all criticism of Islamic leaders, customs, legal codes and regimes. The OIC considers virtually any negative portrayal (whether genuine, professed or supposed) of Islam to be "Islamophobia."

So, the entire Reliable Sources segment was to be framed around a term that is essentially a product of Islamist propaganda. Note that despite the fact that host Brian Stelter parrots OIC propaganda on "Islamophobia" right from the opening of the show, he fraudulently portrays his program as "objective" between the Right and the Left, the Red and the Blue.

As I learned all-too well, Reliable Sources is anything BUT unbiased.

The original taping of the segment was about 30 minutes long, but just over 13 minutes made it on air. The editing was sloppy and disjointed, leaving out important parts of the dialogue.

Brian Stelter started right in by mocking Fox News' Sean Hannity for his reference to worldwide Jihad. Later he said that the terrorist threat was "not there." How can Stelter possibly deny that Jihad is in fact a global threat? Just look at this list of Jihadist terrorist organizations that have launched attacks around the world in just the past month:

My appearance on Reliable Sources was opposite Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York.

Again, some background is in order here. Sarsour has a lengthy history of denying the threat from terrorism and attacking the NYPD and FBI for their counterterror efforts, just as she did on Reliable Sources on Sunday. Some of her denials can only be categorized in the "crackpot" classification.

For instance, when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arrested for trying to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009 and subsequently convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2012, Sarsour claimed that the plot was not the work of Al Qaeda, but was a CIA plot.

Sarsour has cited the cases of Fahad Hashmi, Aafia Siddiqui and Siraj Matin as proof of US government abuses of Muslim civil rights by the FBI and NYPD. Hashmi pleaded guilty to providing material support for Al Qaeda. Siddiqui was found guilty of the attempted murder of a US Army captain and sentenced to 86 years in prison. Matin pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years for plotting to explode bombs in the New York subway system.

During the part of the segment that actually made it on the air, Sarsour ridiculously equated isolated incidents of violence involving non-Muslims with Jihad. Sarsour even had the gall to cite the Boston Marathon bombings as an example of media "Islamophobia," ignoring the fact that the perpetrators were in fact Islamic jihadists.

The reality is that the numbers don't lie. The overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks in the world today are in fact acts of Islamic jihad. That is an inconvenient truth that Ms. Sarsour evidently wants the rest of America to live with. But don't depend on CNN and its producers to tell the truth about that.

Brigitte Gabriel
ACT for America
P.O. Box 12765
Pensacola, FL 32591

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