Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Rep. Peter King opens his anti-Muslim sideshow

By LAURIE KELLMAN
March 11, 2011

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, chairs a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 10, 2011, investigating homegrown terrorism in America. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is pressing forward with his public examination of Muslim extremism in America, pointing to his first, tense hearing on the subject as a step toward desensitizing a taboo topic and rooting out terrorists on U.S. soil.

“There’s an elephant in the room and nobody wants to talk about it. We talked about it today,” King said after the four-hour, emotion-filled session Thursday.

Just holding the conversation, he said, advanced the fight against al-Qaida’s efforts to recruit one-man terrorist cells from within American Muslim communities and to suppress any effort to report those activities to law enforcement officials. King next will turn to the issue of Muslim extremism in American prisons in hearings planned later this year.

“I remain convinced that these hearings must go forward — and they will,” King said as he opened Thursday’s session.

But the conversation — a government examination of one religion in the U.S. — is fraught with distrust and political pandering that reflect the nation’s ongoing struggle against terrorism nearly a decade after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The White House said America should not practice guilt by association.

“We also believe that Muslim Americans are very much part of the solution here and not the problem,” presidential spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday.

With photos of the burning World Trade Center and the Pentagon on display, Thursday’s hearing opened with a defiant King condemning criticism from some Democrats, Muslim groups and the media as hysteria and political correctness. He did not release any new statistics on how many Muslims were helping root out terrorists or how many refused, or invite federal law enforcement officials to testify on the nature and extent of the threat he was examining.

Instead, the hearing featured testimony from the families of two young men who blame the Islamic community for recruiting them to terrorism. On the other side, one of the two Muslims in Congress wept while discussing a Muslim firefighter who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Democrats said King should have focused the hearing on all groups that foster terrorism on American soil, including racists like the Ku Klux Klan and skinheads. To focus on just one group, Muslims, amounted to an abuse of power, discrimination and propaganda for al-Qaida, they said.

“Our words transcend this hearing room,” said Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the senior Democrat on the committee. “Acknowledgment of an obligation to be responsible does not equal political correctness.”

“This committee’s approach to this particular subject, I believe, is contrary to the best of American values and threatens our security — or could, potentially,” added Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to Congress.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, challenged the assertion that some American Muslims resist cooperating with the search for terrorists in the U.S. by pointing to two witnesses who practice Islam.

“Muslims are here, cooperating. They are doing what this hearing has suggested that they do not do,” she shouted. “Where are the uncooperative Muslims?

The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations recently put up a poster reading, “Build a wall of resistance. Don’t talk to the FBI.” The national group, CAIR, often has made itself the public face of the Muslim community when talking about fighting terrorism and has an extremely strained relationship with law enforcement. The Justice Department has linked CAIR to a terror financing case and the FBI will not work directly with its members.

The American Muslim community is diverse and widespread. No single organization speaks for everyone, and the religion itself does not have a leader, as Catholics have the pope.

When young men have embraced a radical, violent view of Islam in the United States, they sometimes have done so in secret, without the support of knowledge of local religious leaders or their families.

Melvin Bledsoe, whose son, Carlos, is charged with killing an Army private at a recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark., testified about his son’s conversion to Islam and isolation from his family. Bledsoe said he didn’t fully understand what was happening as his son became increasingly distant, stopped coming home for holidays and changed his name. He said the United States is not being aggressive enough about rooting out radical elements in the Islamic community.

Asked at the hearing what he wanted to gain by testifying, Bledsoe responded to the panel: “Call a terrorist what it is.”

“I think we should forget about our political affiliations and conditions,” he said.

Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said he hopes Congress develops the political will to deal with extremism.

That means “a patient and understanding and thoughtful communications process that doesn’t label anyone that discusses this as being Islamophobic or hateful,” Jasser said. “As a Muslim I am telling you: It is not offensive.”

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

Enhanced by Zemanta

7 Responses to Rep. Peter King opens his anti-Muslim sideshow

  1. Carl Nemo

    March 11, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Wow, just witness the angry, crazed, obsessed, evil look on this nutbags face.

    Visualize it’s 16th century Europe and this same type is wearing a black, hooded robe and functioning as “Grand Inquisitor” sending people to their deaths, confiscating their property while getting a hard-on watching people being tortured mercilessly, especailly the ‘women’…no? / : |

    What’s really scary is this obsessed nutcase is chairman of the “House Homeland Security” committee; ie., a key planner in making our lives miserable at airports, railstations, bus stations and eventually cameras on every streetcorner and within our homes too if he and his ilk have their way; all as a function of he and his henchmen’s vision of what an engineered New World Order friendly AmeriKa should be…ouch!

    Will the world ever be free of these type characters…seemingly not?! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Keith

    March 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    This nutcase is, without a doubt, the 21st Century version of Joseph McCarthy. Indeed, the only “homegrown terrorist” in the room during the hearing was the Congressman, himself.

    Eventually, his own outrageous “be very scared” assertions (and the forced paranoia that results from it) will prove to be his own undoing.

    In the meantime, a lot of good and decent (not to mention absolutely innocent) people are going to have their reputations (if not their lives) utterly ruined by the shenanigans of this clown and his horribly bigoted followers.

    Whatever happened to the “land of the free and the home of the brave”?

    • griff

      March 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      It’s become the land of the meek and home of the slave.

  3. griff

    March 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Maybe the frothing Christian zealots in this country can learn something from their brothers in Egypt.

    But I doubt it.

    Rejecting the artificial collectivist divisions being promoted by the regime (and subsidized by its unfathomably evil patron in Washington), Egyptians began to communicate and collaborate across religious lines in the interest of saving their country from the government ruling it.

    Last January, in defiance of the divide-and-conquer script being followed by the Regime, thousands of Muslims volunteered to attend Coptic Christmas worship services to act as “human shields” protecting their Christian neighbors. During the peaceful anti-government demonstrations in Tahrir Square, Copts returned the favor by forming a human chain protecting their Muslim neighbors during prayers. In seeking to bring down the police state ruling them, those brave and principled people practiced the most effective form of subversion: Loving their neighbors as themselves.

    • b mcclellan

      March 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      Don’t stop to chew, keep biting or be consumed

      Riddle me this,
      in which meadow is the cow grazing,
      that pours forth from willingly,
      the milk of human kindness ?

    • Carl Nemo

      March 12, 2011 at 12:28 am

      Great story Griff and that’s precisely what it will take in the ‘end’ when our now statist, ‘monster regime’ has everyone in its gunsights. No one is safe not even our own leadership from the deranged, faceless bureaucrats that interpret the endless laws passed by our now rudderless, corrupt Congress.

      I can imagine Obamacare a few years post implementation. A basic law in excess of 2700 pages will have ballooned into four times as many of ‘interpreted’ rules and regulations as a function of unelected people, many with the same skewed mindset of this ‘nut’, Peter King.

      Even the gods/a God can’t help our lot. It’s soon to be every man, woman, child and wharf rat scrambling to save themselves from our Orwellian, “New World Order” state run amuck as a function of the likes the King’s’ and a host of the aforementioned statist drones who are paid well to implement ‘the law’, crushing the last vestiges of freedom from our land.

      *****

      FREEDOM…! …William Wallace portrayed by Mel Gibson, film “Braveheart”

      *****

      Carl Nemo **==

      • griff

        March 12, 2011 at 12:37 am

        Freeeeeeddddddddooooooooommmmmmm…!!!