We will have more to say about the hearings that Representative Peter King is holding on the radicalization of American Muslims, as we have time to read the transcripts. For now, I want to quote a portion of King’s opening statement, which I thought did an excellent job of framing the hearings:
This committee cannot live in denial, which is what some of us would do when they suggest that this hearing dilute its focus by investigating threats unrelated to Al Qaida.
The Department of Homeland Security and this committee were formed in response to the Al Qaida attacks of September 11. There is no equivalency of threat between Al Qaida and neo-Nazis, environmental extremists or other isolated madmen. Only Al Qaida, and its Islamist affiliates in this country are part of an international threat to our nation.
Indeed, by the Justice Department’s own record, not one terror-related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, militias or anti-war groups.
I have repeatedly said that the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans are outstanding Americans and make enormous contributions to our country. But there are realities we can’t ignore. For instance, the Pew poll, which said that 15 percent of Muslim American men between the age of 18 and 29 could support suicide bombings. This is the segment of the community Al Qaida is attempting to recruit.
To combat this threat, moderate leadership must emerge from the Muslim community. As the majority and minority staff of the Senate Homeland Security Committee concluded in its report which ironically enough was entitled “Violent Islamist Extremism and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat,” this report concluded “Muslim community leaders and religious leaders must play a more visible role in discrediting and providing alternatives to violent Islamist ideology,” end of quote.
This means that responsible Muslim American leaders must reject discredited groups such as CAIR, the Committee on American — the Committee on Islamic American Relations (sic). CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorist financing case involving the Holy Land Foundation.
In the lead-up to this hearing, I found it shocking and sad that the mainstream media accepted CAIR’s accusations as if it were a legitimate organization.
King seems to me to have just about exactly the right angle on his committee’s mission.