Three years ago, former Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Pete King, a Republican congressman from New York, announced the first in a series of controversial hearings he planned to hold about combating homegrown terror and radicalization in Muslim-American communities. King’s decision didn’t come out of the blue, but after U.S. Army Pvt. William Long was murdered in revenge by Abdulhakim Muhammad outside of a recruitment center in Arkansas. Muhammad was known as Carlos Bledsoe before converting to Islam and being influenced by radicals.
Minutes after King’s announcement, emotional outrage and hysteria erupted, quickly turning a serious issue into a circus on Capitol Hill and in the media. This behavior continued each time a new hearing was held.
Leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s “largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization,” with close ties to the terrorist group Hamas, took to radio and television airwaves to express their disdain. They declared the hearings a forum for Islamaphobia sponsored by members of Congress and said King was engaged in a witch hunt based on religious bigotry.
When the day of the first hearing came, tensions were high. I remember walking into the committee room and immediately noticing extra security, a lot of it. Political correctness was credited throughout testimony, including by founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, for the expansion of radicalism America.
Years later, while groups like CAIR and their liberal friends in Congress and the White House have been beating society into submission over not discussing Islamic radicalization in our communities, terrorists have continued their plotting and recruiting. Today the United States still faces a serious homegrown Islamic terrorist threat — with a new level of brutality.
On June 25, 2014, a man named Ali Muhammad Brown murdered 19-year-old New Jersey teenager Brendan Tevlin. Tevlin was shot eight times after Brown singled him out while he was alone at an intersection. Just a few weeks before killing Tevlin, Brown murdered three other men across the country in Seattle. Two of them were gay.
Brown was on the run for nearly a month before being apprehended, and local communities were led to believe he was a standard criminal. It wasn’t until months later we found out Tevlin’s murder wasn’t “likely motivated by robbery, drugs or crime” as investigators initially reported and that Brown wasn’t a typical fugitive. Brown carried out these acts as a self-described terrorist and as revenge for the killing of Muslims overseas.
Predictably, the “mainstream media” has failed to report extensively on the true, heinous details.
On a broader national level, a severe threat facing America is one of homegrown Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror. At least 100 Americans have joined ISIS and a majority of them still have their U.S. passports. Last week the Senate voted down legislation introduced by Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (R) that would have made it easier to revoke citizenship, and therefore passports, of Americans known to be fighting with ISIS overseas. According to Democratic Rep. Tim BishopTimothy (Tim) Howard BishopOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 Dem candidate 'struck by the parallels' between Trump's rise and Hitler's Dems separated by 29 votes in NY House primary MORE (N.Y.), 40 ISIS fighters have already returned to the United States. They are being tracked by the FBI, Bishop says.
The FBI might be tracking ISIS fighters who have returned to the U.S., but, unfortunately, groups like CAIR encourage Muslim-Americans to shut the FBI out of their communities and their mosques. Sure, CAIR has condemned ISIS (it would be nice if they’d do the same with Hamas), but that means nothing if they’re not willing to be part of a real solution to combat domestic terrorism.
“CAIR strongly urges American imams and other community leaders to continue to speak out against American Muslims traveling abroad to join extremist groups and sectarian militias. While ISIS uses romanticized imagery in its propaganda materials, its human rights abuses on the ground are well-documented,” the group stated earlier this year.
A condemnation isn’t enough, and actions speak louder than words. CAIR and its members are hardly doing everything they can to prevent radicalization in American communities in order to stop violence here at home. Instead, their focus has been on how to advise President Obama to cleanse out the Islam in ISIS and on accusing Americans of Islamophobia should they dare express concern.
To his credit, Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderArkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats Oregon legislature on the brink as Democrats push gerrymandered maps Christie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group MORE recently launched a program through the Department of Justice to combat radical Islamic recruitment in cities across the country, but it won’t yield useful results if people are too scared of the politically correct Islamic police coming after them for daring to report suspicious activity.
Islamic radicalization and domestic terror are real and imminent threats. Addressing terror through politically correct lenses will only get more people killed. It’s time to seriously revisit this issue without false, baseless accusations and squashing of debate.
Pavlich is the news editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.