As recently pointed out on the blog Feet In Two Worlds:
“A number of activities taking place next week are setting the stage for a confrontation between the Muslim American community and those who have reservations about its presence in the U.S.
Congressman Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, has scheduled a congressional hearing on the “radicalization” of Muslim Americans on March 10.”
Um, say whaaaa?
The article continues:
“In response, Muslims and Arab Americans in New York and Washington D.C. will be demonstrating about what they see as an attack on their civil rights. Meanwhile, opponents of Park51 are rolling out a “documentary” nationwide about the proposed project to build an Islamic Cultural Center in lower Manhattan.
From the outset, many Muslims and Arab Americans have opposed Rep. King’s plan to hold hearings on, “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response.” Over 80 people of different faiths from his district on Long Island, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and interfaith leaders sent a letter to King urging him to cancel the hearings.
“These diverse faith leaders believe the singling out of the Muslim community undermines fundamental American values and is counterproductive to improving national security,” the letter said.”
And I can’t say that I blame them. When the IRA was going apeshit, bombing civilians, killing British soldiers and the such it was no secret that much of its funding came from Irish-Americans.
Did we hold special hearings on that communities ties to terrorism? Not even.
When the KKK bombed black churches across the south, terrorizing a large segment of our population did we paint all Baptists & Evangelicals as terrorist suspects?
Zaheer continues citing that:
“After Rep. King rebuffed their calls, Muslim and Arab American communities decided to raise their voices on the streets of New York, Washington D.C. and other cities across the country.
On Sunday March 6, a broad coalition of over 75 interfaith, nonprofit, governmental, and civil liberties groups are scheduled to rally “in support of equitable civil rights for all Americans” in New York’s Times Square.
The Muslim Peace Coalition has also announced a rally and march scheduled for April 9 at Union Square in New York. The slogan of this demonstration will be “Standing Up Against Islamophobia, War and Terrorism.”
According to the House Homeland Security Committee’s chairman the hearing is needed to explore terror threats posed by radical American Muslims.
“[Due to] The measures taken after 9/11, al Qaeda has realized the difficulty it faces in launching attacks against our homeland from overseas. Thus it has adjusted its tactics and is now attempting to radicalize and recruit from within our country. In the last two years alone more than 50 Americans have been charged with terror related crimes,” Rep. King said in a letter responding to Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Minority Member of the committee on Homeland Security.
In its email to members of the Muslim American community, the Muslim Peace Coalition wrote, “Democracy is not a spectator sport and Muslims are not a football to be thrown around. We are people with rights and responsibility to speak up.”
Regarding homegrown terrorism, the Muslim Peace Coalition asked Rep. King to hold a hearing on the Arizona shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. They also suggested he ask the FBI for statistics on the profiles of the two million first time gun owners in the USA. “Who are these people and why are they buying guns. What is their faith?” “
Once again, I have to say these are very valid requests/questions. They certainly fall under the standards King has himself set as an excuse for his “crusade”. To categorically dismiss them is nothing short of political malfeasance.
The blog very correctly argues that:
“The hearings will send the wrong message and alienate American Muslims instead of partnering with them, potentially putting their lives at risk by inciting fear and enmity against them,” the coalition stated in its statement about the Times Square rally. “Organizers of this rally believe one can be a loyal Muslim as well as a loyal American without conflict, and a great number of our fellow Americans support this view.”
Amidst the background of a growing controversy between the Muslim American community and the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, a new documentary produced by the leading opponents of the Park51 Islamic Cultural Center, often dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” is being shown around the country. At a recent screening in a church near the proposed site in downtown Manhattan, Pamela Geller, one of the producers of the documentary, vowed to continue her efforts to stop the project.
The documentary, which is titled “The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks,” is produced by Geller, co-founder of the Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America and Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Both are leading activists in the campaign against the Ground Zero Mosque.
Two groups, Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) underwrote the film. At the screening of the film in February, more than 100 people were in the audience, including some family members of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
The film not only discussed the 9/11 attacks, it also criticized Islam itself, as a faith. The producers, Ms. Geller and Mr. Spencer, disparaged Islam and its teachings while discussing Park51 and their efforts to stop the project.
The documentary’s publicity poster shows an image of the World Trade Center at the moment it was hit by the second airplane on September 11, 2001. The film irrationally warns that the Ground Zero Mosque is second wave of Islamic terrorism.
All those who were already against the Ground Zero Mosque reiterated their commitment after watching the documentary to continue efforts to stop the project.
At a time when the Muslim American community is confronted with challenges, most of them related to their faith one way or the other, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life is projecting that the Muslim population in the U.S. will more than double over the next two decades. Pew’s recent study showed the population rising from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030, in large part due to immigration and higher-than-average fertility among Muslims.
“The Muslim share of the U.S. population (adults and children) is projected to grow from 0.8% in 2010 to 1.7% in 2030, making Muslims roughly as numerous as Jews or Episcopalians are in the United States today,” the report said. “
Do we really want to alienate a population so large based solely on their faith?
At a time when we need them to feel like they are part of the social fabric of the United States we are going to turn our backs on them and tell them “we don’t trust ANY of you”?
We NEED them to help us combat the very threat we are in essence claiming they themselves pose, but you can’t tell that to this clown.
He desperately wants law enforcement personnel to testify in front his House Homeland Security committee on the supposed lack of help that American Muslims are giving to law enforcement in terrorism investigations.
Unfortunately for him, he’s been unable to find any law enforcement personnel actually willing to testify to that purported lack of cooperation, and the data indicates that Muslim Americans have actually been a crucial resource in the fight against terror.
During one of his recent appearances on the talking-heads-circuit on CNN’s State of the Union, host Candy Crowley cited a study from the prestigious Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, which found that nearly one half (48 of 120) of thwarted post-9/11 terrorism cases involving Muslim-Americans came out of tips from the Muslim-American community, and asked if this data didn’t rebut his point. King said that it didn’t, citing “one example” in which he said the community did not help law enforcement and saying he could “give others.”
CROWLEY: There was a Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security report backed by some prestigious universities which found that since 9/11, of the cases that we know about that law enforcement is telling us about, that were thwarted, there were 120 thwarted, 48 of those — about a third — came out of tips from the Muslim-American community. So doesn’t that tell you there is cooperation there?
KING: No. I’m aware of a number of cases in New York where the community has not been cooperative. We have, for instance, Vinas who was captured in Afghanistan. He went to two mosques in Suffolk County in Long Island, said he wanted to engage in jihad. They said we don’t do it, but never told the police. And then he went off to Afghanistan. So there’s just one example. I can give others.
This preference for anecdotal evidence promises to be a hallmark of King’s upcoming hearing. Rather than calling law enforcement or counter-terrorism experts for testimony, King will be hosting two “American Muslims with family members who became radicalized” and a self-proclaimed “nationally recognized expert in the contest of ideas against Political Islam and American Islamist organizations.”
And make no mistake, we have seen this type of thing before. Remember in the days and weeks leading up to Arizona’s vote on the controversial racial profiling law where all we heard about was the “decapitated torso found in the desert” and the “rancher gunned down on his own property by an illegal alien”?
They resonated in our minds. And within days AFTER the vote had passed were proven to be complete lies (no decapitated had been found) or half-truths (the sheriff investigating the rancher’s murder quickly changed his focus to an American suspect but didn’t “bother to mention it to anyone for fear of politicizing the incident…as if it hadn’t already been co-opted by Brewer and her buddies).
Just as is the case here, the anecdotal half-truths and outright lies seemed to trump what the facts were saying, something I pointed out in May of last year.
This is a dark and dangerous road Congressmen King is trying to lead us down and it’s one that will take us nowhere good.