Archive for American Muslim Radicalization

July 27: Peter King to Hold Third Hearing on “American Muslim Radicalization”

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by loonwatch

There goes IRA terror linked Peter King again. We will be live tweeting the shenanigans once again on our Twitter page.

Rep. Peter King Announces Third Islamic Radicalization Hearing Will Happen Next Week

(Huffington Post)

Peter King, the controversial Republican congressman from New York who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, announced Tuesday that he will hold a third hearing on radicalization among Muslim-Americans next week.

While King’s first hearing in March focused on Islamic radicalization in general and his secondfocused on radicalization in prisons, the July 27 hearing will be about al Shabaab, a Somalia-based terrorist organization that has made headlines for recruiting Somali-Americans in the Midwest.

In a press release released on Tuesday, King said:

“At this hearing, the third in a series, we will examine Somalia-based terrorist organization al-Shabaab’s ongoing recruitment, radicalization, and training of young Muslim-Americans and al-Shabaab’s linking up with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).“In Minnesota, Ohio, and other states, dozens of young Muslim males have been recruited, radicalized, and then taken from their communities for overseas terrorist training by al-Shabaab. In a number of cases, the men – including both Somali-Americans and other converts — have ended up carrying out suicide bombings or have otherwise been killed, often without their families even knowing where their sons have gone. There has not been sufficient cooperation from mosque leaders. In at least one instance, a Minnesota imam told the desperate family of a missing young man not to cooperate with the FBI.

“There are growing concerns that al-Shabaab in Somalia is linking up with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen to better train these radicalized young men in order to attack Americans around the world, or potentially shift their focus to attacking our homeland.

“This coordinated and ongoing recruitment and radicalization of young Muslim men in the U.S. is a serious and growing threat to our homeland security and simply cannot be ignored.”

King has been criticized by Islamic organizations for his prior hearings, which many Muslim groupshave said too broadly target their communities. Muslims groups have also criticized prior hearings for largely lacking Muslim witnesses. A witness list for next week’s hearing has not been released.

Peter King and “Prislam”: Round 2 of Muslim American Radicalization Hearings

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2011 by loonwatch

Rep. Peter King held his second round of Homeland Security subcommittee hearings on the radicalization of Muslim Americans. This time the focus was on radicalization in our prison system and the threat it poses to the USA, some witnesses and Congressmen termed the concept “prislam,” a silly neologism that gives me headaches just hearing. Here’s hoping the word doesn’t take off.

It must be repeated from the very beginning that King is tarnished by his past Islamophobic and anti-Muslim comments. A point which has been made by countless journalists as well as by fellow Congressmen/women during the first hearing. He hasn’t apologized for, or retracted, any of those comments, which makes the present populist exercise he is involved in even more deplorable.

King also lacks all credibility considering he supported IRA terrorists for over a decade. Only in the magical realism world of Washington politics would someone who supported terrorists be the chairman of a committee discussing homegrown terrorism and radicalization, unless King is now going to argue that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter?”

Now that we’ve established the serious problems with King chairing such a committee, lets get to today’s hearing. The hearing was less of a circus than the first one in March, mainly due to the absence of such clowns and non-experts as Zuhdi JasserMelvin Bledsoe, and co., but that doesn’t mean that it was any better.

Aside from the contribution made by Prof. Brent Useem much of the testimony was unsubstantial. Prof. Useem essentially summed it all up when he said, “Prisons are infertile ground for the growth of radicalization.” He had a mountain of evidence to back this quote up, which he submitted to the committee.

The most eloquent, touching and thoughtful questions and comments came from Rep.Hansen Clarke, Rep. Jackson Lee and Rep. Richardson, who did excellent jobs in questioning the premise of the hearings, highlighting its discriminatory nature and also providing perspective when it comes to violence and radicalization at large in our prison system.

Here are some choice cuts:

Rep.Hansen Clarke:

“You know what pisses me off? It’s not about Islam. It’s about the prison system,” …”It’s about the prison culture. We’ve got to change it.”

Rep. Jackson Lee:

“If we look to the informational, we should include an analysis of how Christian militants are intending to undermine the laws of this nation.”

“My political correctness is based on this document, ‘the Constitution’”.

Rep. Laura Richardson:

“I disagree with the scope of this committee, I deem that these hearings are discriminatory.”

Patrick Dunleavy:

“In the Attica and Sing-Sing prison riots, Muslims helped decrease violence and stem deaths.”

The WTF comment of the day from Michael Downing:

“Gangs as urban terrorists, the distinction is that they don’t target innocent civilians”

Peter King attempted to defend these hearings and the scapegoating that him and his colleagues are parlaying by saying,

“I have repeatedly said the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans are outstanding Americans”…“Yet, the first radicalization hearing which this committee held in March of this year was met with much mindless hysteria — led by radical groups such as the Council of Islamic Relations and their allies in the liberal media personified by the New York Times.”

He thereby effectively made it about CAIR once again, which actually stands for Council on American Islamic Relations not Council of Islamic Relations. By doing so he dodged addressing the core criticisms leveled at him and the premise of these hearings, by not only CAIR, but a wide range of groups.

Such a hearing, aside from stigmatizing a whole group of people is also a waste of time, resources and energy,

Last year, the bipartisan Congressional Research Service determined that only a single example of homegrown terrorism stemmed from an individual who was radicalized in prison. CRS concluded that prisons, “while seen by some as potential hotbeds of radicalization, have not played a large role in producing homegrown terrorists.”

So whats all the fuss about?

Peter King wants to sharpen his hawkish GOP credentials, pander to the anti-Muslim base of his party and present an image of being tough on terror, while also continuing the scapegoating and fear-mongering of Muslim Americans.

These hearings only reinforce the point that Muslim Americans have been making the past few years, they are being unfairly targeted and feel besieged as a community. Rep. Mike Honda, a Japanese-American sympathizes, drawing on his own experience of having been interned by the USA during World War II,

Make no mistake. Growing up in internment camp Amache in Colorado was no joy ride — just look at the pictures. We were treated like cattle in those camps…We look back, as a nation, and we know this was wrong. We look back and know that this was a result of “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.” We look back and know that an entire ethnicity was said to be, and ultimately considered, the enemy. We know that internment happened because few in Washington were brave enough to say “no.”

We know all this, and yet our country is now, within my lifetime, repeating the same mistakes from our past. The interned 4-year-old in me is crying out for a course correction so that we do not do to others what we did unjustly to countless Japanese-Americans.

This time, instead of creating an ethnic enemy, Rep. King is creating a religious enemy. Because of prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of Republican leadership, King is targeting the entire Muslim-American community. Similar to my experience, they are become increasingly marginalized and isolated by our policies.

Mike Honda’s words are like a clarion call to our political elites to recognize the dangerous path this nation is headed toward. Lets hope it won’t take another internment camp scenario for our leaders to wake up.