Author and terrorism expert Brigitte Gabriel is accusing CNN of “completely editing” and misrepresenting her views during a prerecorded interview that aired on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources.”
Gabriel clashed with Linda Sarsour, director of the Arab American Association of New York, during the segment in question, battling over purported “fear-mongering” and Gabriel’s views on Islamic extremism.
Waging allegations of selective editing on her Facebook page Sunday, Gabriel said that some of her explanations during the discussion were axed in an effort to fit an agenda.
“It was discouraging that Reliable Sources, a CNN show about media bias, biasly edited this pre-taped interview between me and Linda Sarsour,” she wrote. “They edited the discussion down to fit their usual pro Islamist bias.”
She continued: “They couldn’t publicly let me dominate the debate, therefore the best parts were left on the cutting room floor, including irrelevant and hostile comments by Linda Sarsour — when my logical arguments were going against her.”
Gabriel then shared some of the sentiments she claims were cut out of the discussion, noting that she had highlighted there are currently 44 conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims raging across the globe. Sarsour, she said, was so angry that at one point she reportedly called Gabriel a “bigot,” forcing host Brian Stelter “to stop her.”
While Gabriel claimed CNN filmed for 30 minutes, the appearance ended up being 11 minutes long, though it is not uncommon for media outlets to tape and then pare down segments to fit programmatic needs.
In the final clip that aired Sunday, Gabriel is seen echoing recent comments she’s made about Islam, questioning where moderate Muslims are in addressing rampant extremism around the globe. The initial comments came in response to a Muslim student’s question at a Heritage Foundation forum about Benghazi.
“The moderate Muslims, they can organize. Where are their collective voices?,” she asked. “Where are the voices of the moderate Muslims speaking when girls kidnapped by Boko Haram disappear and we still do not know where they are?”
Sarsour responded that there are many moderate Muslims that speak out, but suggested that they aren’t always given media coverage.
“There are people out there that stood up on Boko Haram, on terrorism, on 9/11. There are national Muslim organizations who continue to day in and day out put out statements,” Sarsour said. “Is the media covering it? I don’t have control over the media to cover these stories.”
But she wasn’t done there. The activist seemingly took Gabriel’s comments personally, adding: “And I don’t have to prove to anyone that I am an American, born and praised in Brooklyn, New York, and that my parents chose to come to the United States.”
Watch the heated clash below:
The conversation continued, with Sarsour telling Gabriel that she needs to publicly admit that there are only small minorities of religious adherents who are radical and that most, in fact, are peaceful.
“I’m more worried about getting shot by a gun or a shooter in the U.S. than I am from a terrorist attack,” Sarsour said later in the segment, charging that the media play a role in perpetuating fears over Islamic terrorism.
The activist added: “Terrorism does not equal Islam. It does not equal Muslims. … If you want to combat terrorism, you need to work within the Muslim community.”
But despite noting that a minority of Muslims are engaged in terrorism, Gabriel pointed to recent events to specifically call out Islamic terrorism.
“What we’re talking about now — Islamic terrorism. When you’re watching the news this morning and you’re hearing about terrorists in Syria, in Jordan, in Lebanon, Boko Haram, in Sudan, in Nigeria … I can go down the list, every single incident when you’re watching the news — it’s not Buddhist terrorists, it’s not Christian terrorists,” she said. “Yes, there are some crazy people who commit terrorism, but right now the terrorism on mass scales, the bodies piled up, people being beheaded … that is barbarism on a mass scale and that’s unacceptable in civilized society.”
A voicemail and email left for a CNN representative to discuss Gabriel’s editing claims have not yet been returned to TheBlaze.