(born April 9
) is an American
attorney, a political commentator, and a blogger
against the religion of Islam on her website www.debbieschlussel.com. Her columns are often controversial, specifically toward reducing the presence of muslims in the United States, "I do not want to help them in any way, nor...do I want to help them multiply".
Early life and political career
Schlussel was born in 1969 to a family of Polish Jewish
descent. Her maternal grandparents were Holocaust
survivors Her father H.L. Schlussel was also the son of immigrants. An ophthalmologist who also served in the army, he has been a major influence on the development of his daughter's anti-islamic viewpoint. She became active in politics at an early age, joining the National Teen Age Republicans
and being named the 1987 Outstanding Teen Age Republican. She was a Jack Kemp delegate at the 1988 Republican National Convention
and has worked on numerous political campaigns.
Schlussel received her BA from the University of Michigan and later earned a JD and MBA from the University of Wisconsin. While at the University of Michigan, she once appeared on an episode of The Morton Downey, Jr Show that was filmed in Detroit, MI. In 1990, Schlussel ran for the Republican nomination for the 4th District (Oakland County) of the Michigan House of Representatives. She was defeated by Barbara Dobb by a single vote from around 8500 cast. Schlussel has since claimed that voter fraud led to her defeat, making allegations of impropriety against the family of her opponent and the judge who ruled on the issue.
In 1998, she stood for nomination to the same district (now renamed the 39th) against Marc Shulman. Schlussel has continued to attack Shulman, in particular when he received the Republican nomination for the Michigan Supreme Court and was defeated.
Professional life and views
Schlussel's columns have been published in the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The Jerusalem Post, amongst others. She was host of "The Debbie Schlussel Show" between 2002 and 2003 and makes regular television and radio appearances.
The main focus of Schlussel's journalism is exposing what she considers to be the evil religion of Islam, and Islamic society. In 1998, she reported undercover from the Islamic Center of America for The Detroit News. According to her account, invited speaker Louis Farrakhan made an incendiary and anti-American speech at the mosque and was greeted by 'frenzied applause and wild cheering'.
Schlussel achieved some notoriety because of an editorial in the Wall Street Journal accusing Morgan Spurlock (who produced the documentary series "30 Days" and film Super Size Me) of unbalanced and faulty methods in achieving the results for the television show, mirroring many criticisms that some people have of his movie. Spurlock did not respond to the article.
Controversy and criticism
Schlussel is often at the center of controversy from a variety of areas, partly because she bashes Islam and partly because of her rhetorical style.
- Schlussel often discusses Muslims in her political columns. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee considers her work "racist hate speech" and has a section on her in its 2002 Hate Crime report.
- During and following the captivity of American journalist Jill Carroll, Schlussel attacked Carroll, alleging that Carroll hated Israel and America, and implying that she sympathized with her captors. When objection was raised, she attacked her critics as well, deriding them as "blind worshippers of Jill Carroll" in need of "LASIK."
- Schlussel's claim that WNBA player Anna DeForge is a bad role model because she is a lesbian drew criticism from player Kayte Christensen in an Arizona Republic column.
- Schlussel has been cited by progressive media watchdog Media Matters seven times regarding accusations of Schlussel spreading misinformation. Schlussel has responded by calling Media Matters "nazi-collaborators.
Schlussel has reported receiving death threats during her career, and frequently posts them to her website. In January 2007, Robert Mustaq John pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to sending a threatening e-mail message with the caption "Kill all Kikes
" and photos of the murder of Daniel Pearl
. Another man, Wasil Burki, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. In 2008 Mohamad Fouad "Mike" Abdallah pled guilty to violating 18 U.S.C. § 3553, "Interference with Federally Protected Activities," in connection with two emails he sent to Schlussel threatening to rape and murder her.
Schlussel has accused Lola Elzein, an officer of the Arab American Political Action Committee, of sending emails threatening to rape and murder members of Schlussel's family. According to Schlussel, the emails were traced back to Elzein's America Online email account. The accusation against Elzein was reported and commented on by Robert Spencer and other bloggers. The accusation was repeated in FrontPage Magazine and in a letter to U.S. Congressman Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-MI 11th), which was published on Capitol Advantage's Congress.org website. Elzein has never been indicted and has not publicly responded to Schlussel's assertions.