Type of Organization: Lobbying, Politics, Grassroots
ACT for America is a national political organization that positions itself as the nation’s largest grassroots national security organization. The organization claims 750,000 members, making it the largest anti-Muslim group in the country. Founded in response to 9/11 as the American Congress for Truth, the group engages in political lobbying to pass anti-Muslim/anti-Sharia laws, aligns themselves with right-wing politicians and anti-Muslim leaders, and organizes anti-Muslim demonstrations and protests. ACT for America primarily draws on the support of conservative Christian evangelicals, hard-line defenders of Israel, and far-right Republicans.
Each year, ACT for America holds a “National Conference and Legislative Briefing” in Washington D.C. Past speakers have included prominent Republican politicians. In 2010, Representative Peter King, who has suggested that there are “too many mosques” in America and led Congressional hearings on the “radicalization of Muslims,” was awarded ACT’s “Patriot Award.” Other speakers have included Senator Ted Cruz and retired Lt. General Mike Flynn.
ACT has been involved in multiple campaigns to pass anti-Sharia laws. Most notably, in 2010, ACT invested $60,000 in 600,000 robocalls, part of a statewide radio campaign in support of an Oklahoma constitutional amendment to ban Sharia from state courts (an amendment which passed, but was found unconstitutional by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals).
In 2017, ACT organized a series of protests in 20 cities across the United States, an event they termed, “The March against Sharia.” Emails between the national coordinator of the march, Scott Presler, and avowed white supremacist Billy Roper indicate involvement between the two. Presler reportedly told Roper that he was “approved and ready to go,” although ACT ultimately disavowed Roper’s calls for protesters to attend the marches armed.
Despite her anti-Muslim rhetoric, Founder Brigitte Grabriel has been invited to address the United Nations, the Pentagon, members of the United States Congress, and numerous other facets of the United States foreign policy and national security apparatus, in addition to being a prominent guest on cable news networks including CNN and Fox News.
Gabriel has made countless anti-Muslim comments during public engagements. In 2007, Gabriel stated that a “practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.” In 2011, on CNN, she claimed that radical Muslims have infiltrated American through “the C.I.A., at the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department.” In 2014, at the Heritage Foundation forum, she claimed that “between 15 and 25 percent” of all Muslims in the world are extremists.
Since the election of President Trump, Gabriel has been invited to a meeting at the White House and was photographed with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago, where she took part in a national security briefing.