Homeland Security

Using common sense in Muslim radicalization

The House Committee on Homeland Security’s Thursday hearing has a specific, pin-point focus: to examine the threat and extent of radicalization within the American Muslim community. The hearing was an attempt to identify the causes of this radicalization and, by extension, ways which we can, as a country and a people, work to prevent this radicalization from developing at all. It does not calumniate the American Muslim community, slander the Quran, encourage racial profiling, or do any of the other hysterics propagated by its critics. The hearing was clinical and focused.

Radicalization within the American Muslim community is a major threat to American national security. I wish it were not so, but that is the unfortunate reality of our situation. Al Qaeda has developed a continuing and evolving strategy to radicalize American citizens and permanent residents and recruit them to carry out attacks against American families within the United States. 

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Threat of homegrown terrorists real and growing

Yesterday, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing titled “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response.” While the media seems to have a strong opinion on this subject, I applaud Chairman King for holding this hearing.
 
I have known Peter King since my very first day in Congress.  He is a passionate defender of life and liberty. He is frank, candid and asks the tough questions to help keep our nation safe.
 
Serving on the Homeland Security Committee since 2005, one of the questions I am constantly asked back in East Alabama is “where the next terrorist attack will be?” I have to respond to my constituents with the hard truth that it’s not a matter of if the attack will occur, but when it will happen.

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Practicing guilt by association

When Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, one of their first acts was to read the Constitution aloud. I thought that was a valuable and important exercise to remind all Members of the words in our nation’s guiding document. On January 6, my friend and colleague Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) took the floor and said: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

That reading of the First Amendment sits in striking contrast to the hearing House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY) conducted yesterday. The title of the hearing was the “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response,” but what’s truly radical is using Committee time and resources to profile and demonize an entire community of people based on their faith.

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Converting our citizens against the non-believers

“The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response”

Committee on Homeland Security - US House of Representatives

March 10, 2011

Thank you very much for allowing me to come here and tell the country what happened to my son. This hearing today is extremely important to begin the discussion about the issue of Islamic radicalization in America and my hope is that this Committee can somehow address this issue in a meaningful, productive way.

First, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the family of Private William Long, and to the wounded soldier, Quinton Ezeagwula. I would like to talk about those complicit in Private Long’s murder – the Islamic radicals who programmed and trained my son Carlos to kill.

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Redefining the moderate Muslim

Testimony M. Zuhdi Jasser, MD

MARCH 10, 2011

"The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and the Community’s Response”

Thank you Chairman King, Ranking member Thompson, Distinguished members of the committee, for seeking my testimony on what I feel is the most important threat to American security in the 21st century, Islamist Radicalization.

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Muslim communities vulnerable to radicalization

Testimony of Abdirizak Bihi before the Committee on Homeland Security hearing “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response” on March 10, 2011.

Many Somali American families fled from a burning civil war to the refugee camps in neighboring Kenya where killings, gang rape, starvation and civilian mass murdering was common. They waited in those camps for years and years to be rescued by the international community. Many of them, including my sister and her son, Burhan Hassan, were fortunate to have made it safely to the shores of the United States of America.

These lucky families were very good at adapting to life in the U.S. They have found not only peace and safety, but many other valuable opportunities such as employment and free first class education for their children. They also found the ability to build their own communities and start their own businesses, such as Somali malls, community organizations, as well as their own mosques to freely practice their faith.

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Rep. King's hearings: Lessons forgotten

Today, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) convenes a Congressional hearing on ‘radicalization’ within the American Muslim community. It is crucial for Americans of all races and religions to ensure that our country does not repeat the mistakes of our past.

This past February marked the 69th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 which led to the internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans. As Asian Americans – one of us directly affected by the internment, and the other a civil rights advocate addressing the post-September 11 backlash over the past decade – Rep. King’s hearing is a stark reminder of a sad chapter in our country’s history.

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Radicalization hearing singles out entire Muslim faith

When the House of Representatives convened the 112th Congress, members of both parties participated in a historic reading of the United States’ Constitution on the floor of the House chamber. Lawmakers joined together that day to honor the core tenets upon which our democracy stands and to remind ourselves and the nation of the rights given to us by our forefathers. 

Only two months later, the Majority of this Congress seems to have already forgotten one of the first and most fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights-- the First Amendment right of all Americans to exercise freedom of religion.

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Rep. King is wasting opportunity

At a time when millions of Americans are out of work, struggling to keep their homes, and facing mounting pressure from Republican cuts to local services, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) believes he’s doing the country a favor by holding a hearing today on whether American Muslims are terrorist sympathizers.

That’s his privilege as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. But by his own admission, this is not exactly the issue of the moment.

The most pressing question before Congress right now is how to fund government operations for the rest of the year. Rep. King believes his own party has failed in that regard. Here’s what he said last Sunday on CNN: “I think that a number of the cuts Republicans have made in the continuing resolution are wrong. They cut port security by two-thirds, they cut transit security by two-thirds. We cannot afford those cuts. They are too dangerous. And one attack on a subway train or one attack in one port will cost us more money going into the future years than any amount, any small amount they’re saving.”

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The need for investigation of Muslim radicalization

Today, the Homeland Security Committee began hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims and the impact on national security. This is unquestionably a sensitive topic with far reaching implications. That said, the alarming upward trend in homegrown jihad-related terrorism attempts clearly shows the need for an investigation.

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