Anti-Islam Activist Explains Peter King’s “Muslim Messenger” Strategy
Adam Serwer wrote yesterday about the King hearing’s strange three-panel setup, surmising it was a strategic move by the Chairman:
With [Congressman Keith] Ellison on a panel by himself, there won’t be any Muslim voices on the third panel to rebut what either Jasser or Bihi will have to say. This way King gets exactly what I wrote he wanted in the first place, an opportunity to “air controversial views through minority spokespeople” in an attempt to make right wing views on Islam appear legitimate instead of paranoid or driven by anti-Muslim animus.
This theory is supported by King’s decision to call Muslim witnesses such as Zuhdi Jasser rather than non-Muslim Islamophobes like Steve Emerson — an announcement that did not sit well with Emerson.
But another King ally, Brigitte Gabriel, founder of anti-Islam group ACT! for America and subject of a New York Timesprofile this week doesn’t seem to mind. Gabriel hosted King as the first guest on her new cable television show and presented him with ACT! for America’s National Security Patriot Award last year.
In a revealing interview with Lee Fang of Think Progress, Gabriel appears to confirm Serwer’s instincts:
FANG: Are you going to be asked to be a witness to any of these hearings?
GABRIEL: No I am not. Congressman King is going to present, is going to have only Muslims who are warning about this issue. Here is why. [...] If he brings someone like me on, all the liberal media and all the Muslim organizations are going to attack him because they’re going to call me an Islamophobe. But if he brings a Muslim, a still practicing Muslim who is going to talk about the Muslim Brotherhood project, what is the liberal media going to do? How are they going to attack him? Instead of attacking the message, the light is going to be shining on the message because they cannot attack the Muslim messenger. While if he brings people like me, or Steve Emerson, or Bob Spencer or all the other people, the attack is going to be on us, the light will be on us, and no one will pay attention to the message.