No one would suggest African-American Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., lacks standing to discuss racial bias. As a black man raised in majority white America, he may well have suffered racial prejudice. If so, commendably it failed to hold him back from a successful political career – one made possible by a white New Jersey voter majority.
Booker has not hesitated to use the racial bias issue to attack nominees for U.S. government positions. Despite a conduct code not to impugn fellow senators, Booker unabashedly testified against Sen. Jeff Sessions during his attorney general confirmation hearing.
Sessions was not the only nominee to suffer a tongue-lashing by the racial bias activist. In January, Michael B. Brennan was nominated to a federal appeals court. Booker went after him when Brennan would not acknowledge that racial bias was rampant within the judicial system.
One does not know whether Booker’s racial bias advocacy stems from personal experiences – clearly give him the bona fides to speak about it – or whether he simply is playing honest broker for people of color.
But respecting Booker’s expertise on this issue is a two-way street. Such respect should be forthcoming from him as well for the personal experiences and knowledge of experts on other issues for which he lacks their expertise.
That respect was missing during Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo’s April 12 Senate confirmation hearing. Booker looked for an opening to set Pompeo up for a particular line of questioning. He saw that opening when Pompeo suggested “silence in the face of injustice lends strength to that injustice.” Agreeing with this assertion, Booker then attacked Pompeo’s long association with alleged Islamophobes, one of whom is Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT for America – an organization focusing on our national security and terrorism. Booker asked Pompeo if he had ever used his “position” to denounce her extremist views – views Booker suggested were “hateful” and “bigoted.”
Booker’s justification for accusing Gabriel of such speech apparently stems from his reliance upon the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as an “independent” arbiter of hate. The left-leaning SPLC has listed ACT for America as such a group. But it is interesting Booker accepts it as a credible judge. In 2014, SPLC inexplicably dropped Louis Farrakan’s Nation of Islam (NOI) – a group SPLC earlier had criticized for “its theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT rhetoric of its leaders … (earning) the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate” – from its list, despite NOI never repudiating that theology.
Gabriel has endeavored to rationally explain her concerns about Islam and how it uses a religious cloak to impose a political ideology – an accurate assessment of Islam to anyone who has studied it. Yet Booker insists such beliefs are Islamophobic. It is doubtful he knows why Gabriel has the credentials to make such observations. While Booker believes he should enjoy an inalienable right to speak out knowledgeably about racial bias, he is unwilling to extend a similar courtesy to Gabriel to speak out about Islam.
Born in Lebanon, Gabriel bore witness to the transition her country made from a Christian majority nation to a Muslim majority one. As tolerant Christians were forced to give way to intolerant Muslims or be killed, she suffered the consequences, having to live for almost a decade in a jail cell-sized bunker due to “Islamic” terrorism. Today, her country is an Iranian proxy state.
Gabriel’s personal experiences unquestionably entitle her to speak out knowledgeably about what Islam has in store for non-Muslims – and to have her views respected by those lacking similar experiences.
What if Gabriel had claimed that under Islam it is not forbidden for a father to feel lust for his own daughter if she is older than 9? Or what if Gabriel had claimed Allah allows men to beat their wives, not to torture them or hurt them but only to “relax”? Would Booker and the SPLC condemn her for such statements as well? In fact, these statements were not made by Gabriel but by high-level Islamic scholars. Such ideology clearly should be open to criticism.
By what authority, then, does Booker suggest Gabriel’s speech is hateful and bigoted? Has Booker even bothered to read the Quran to understand why Gabriel expresses concerns about Islam’s world vision?
Because SPLC claims Gabriel is guilty of hate speech and because Booker is willing to accept that far-left group’s determination of same, he hypocritically told Pompeo that in occupying a government position of authority, it was his obligation to speak out against hateful speech.
Booker’s hypocrisy was evident in February 2014 for failing to use his own senatorial “position” to criticize President Barack Obama’s White House meeting with leaders of a notorious hate group – unlisted by SPLC. This group – the Muslim Brotherhood – has made its hatred for Jews and other non-believers clear. It also has declared war against the U.S. – not once but twice: first, in 2010 (Obama responded the next year by recognizing the group in Egypt) and, second, following President Donald Trump’s announcement last year the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Nor should we ignore the Brotherhood’s formulating a secret strategy in the early 1990s for undermining the U.S. Constitution – a strategy only discovered by accident in 2004 but still being implemented today.
Ironically, that strategy calls for Brotherhood front groups to lull Americans into a false sense of security about Islam, until too late to stop its progression. That is why one such front group – the Council on American and Islamic Relations (CAIR), which questionably claims to be the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization – thanked Booker for his indictment of Gabriel and other critics of Islam. (CAIR also remains an unindicted co-conspirator in one of the largest terrorist finance trials in U.S. history.)
Sen. Booker’s questioning of Pompeo reflects what is wrong with America today. Our politicians are so caught up in one-upsmanship, they ignore real national security threats at our peril. Booker should not chastise Gabriel, he should praise her.