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Islam Representative King and the "Prislam" Hearing

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, Jun 17, 2011.

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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Rep. King and the “Prislam” Hearing

    by Sheila Musaji

    Prior to todays Threat of Muslim American Radicalization in American Prisons hearing, over 50 civil rights, faith based, Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Sikh and civic organizations, led by Muslim Advocates, came together and sent a clear message to the Committee on Homeland Security: singling out a group of Americans based on religious faith is divisive and wrong, and a distraction to real threats to our national security. These Organizations signed a letter opposing the King Hearing targeting American Muslims.

    Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee told The Hill that “A briefing maybe; but I’m not certain about having a hearing. A briefing would be good for background purposes, but I’m not chair. I’m not certain if the testimony will reflect any nexus to terrorism in prisons. I’m convinced that there are very bad people in prisons, but in terms of an organized effort, with either domestic or international affiliations, beyond the Aryan Brotherhood and a few more … I don’t see a Muslim or an Islamic conflict in the prison system.” Meredith Shiner of Politico reports Rep. Thompson as also saying “I think it is safe to conclude that the risk of terrorism originating from Muslim converts in U.S. prisons is small. Limiting this committee’s oversight of radicalization to one religion ignores threats posed by extremists of all stripes,” Thompson said, adding that his staff consulted representatives from the Bureau of Prisons and state prison representatives across the country.

    The JTA reported that

    Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) spoke out against the second in a series of hearings on radicalization in the Muslim-American community convened by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. This hearing is focused on “The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons.”

    Additionally, Rep. Michael Honda wrote an article Muslim hearings recall my life in internment camp. As an American Muslim I am grateful to Rep. Honda for standing for what is right. The entire article is worth reading, but here are a few segments.

    Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid of the Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York also responded to testimony made at the hearing, and submitted a statement on behalf of the Majlis to the members of Rep. King’s committee. This rebuttal statement is lengthy, but well worth reading in full as it rebuts the testimony of Patrick Dunleavy in detail. Here is the opening

    In a statement released after King’s hearing today, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:

    Stephen Prothero in an article Congressional hearings on Islam betray American values]said said

    Sound and Fury, but Few Facts, at Rep. King’s ‘Prislam’ Hearing by George Zornick discusses a few of the examples given at today’s hearing

    It is not only American Muslims who have a problem with the singling out of one religious minority as the focus of these hearings. However, Rep. King has called the objections to his singular focus examples of “mindless hysteria”.

    This past month, we have seen examples of genuine mindless hysteria and paranoia which is where all of this Muslim bashing leads. Eleana Benador thinks that the marriage of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin is an example of a Muslim agenda to marry off attractive Muslim women to politicians. David Yerushalmi and Mordechai Kedar of the Mapping Sharia Project published a new report on American Mosques and violence which lists such characteristics as which wrist a man wears his watch, and keeping straight prayer lines (so people don’t bump into each other) as being examples of Sharia compliant behaviors. We have seen GOP Presidential candidates at the New Hampshire debate publically suggest that there should be a loyalty test for American Muslims and that all Muslims should be suspect until they prove their loyalty and they deserve higher scrutiny, like Communists or Nazis. And of course, the infamous Can a Good Muslim Be a Good American? email is going around again, along with all the other What everyone “knows” claims about Islam and Muslims.

    I wrote an article some time ago The GOP Anti-Muslim Limbo: How Low Can They Go? I sincerely hope that they have reached bottom.

    Peter King can claim that this is not an attack on the entire Muslim community, as he seemed to do in this statement ”“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.” But, I for one have a hard time believing him. This seems to me to be an attack on Islam and Muslims.

    All of this is becoming more frightening every day.


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