Pete King - Third Round Of Muslim Radicalization Hearings Scheduled July 27
July 20, 2011
July 19, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Peter King [R-NY] has announced a third in a series of Congressional hearings into the process whereby domestic Muslims become radicalized. It has been scheduled to commence at 9:30 a.m. on July 27.
This session intends to probe the Somali, al-Qaeda linked terror group al-Shabaab's already successful efforts to recruit American Muslims to wage jihad in the war-torn country.
In explaining the need for such a hearing Mr. King stated, "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."
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Over 50 Organizations Sign Letter Opposing King Hearing Targeting American Muslims
by Muslim Advocates
The letter notes that not a single witness at the hearing, entitled "The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons," is from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Instead, the testimony of three of the witnesses focuses on isolated, anecdotal instances of violent extremism by former or current inmates who are Muslim, painting an unfair picture without context of the threat of recidivism and violent extremism by all former or current inmates, regardless of faith or ideological background.
Please click here to read the entire letter with the list of signatories.
Additionally, Muslim Advocates submitted written testimony to the Committee on Homeland Security to urge them to refrain from holding further hearings that single out a group of Americans based on their religious faith, and instead focus on serious examinations of the real threats to our national security.
Full text of letter:
The Honorable Peter King
Dear Chairman King:
The undersigned groups write to express our serious concern regarding the Committee on Homeland Security's upcoming hearing entitled, "The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons." We are concerned that this inquiry will foster continuing misimpressions about and hate and prejudice toward the American Muslim community. We note that there is no credible evidence or expert research that Muslim prisoners pose a unique or particular threat.
According to the witness list, there will be no officials called from the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") or the U.S. Department of Justice for this hearing. We strongly urge you to reconsider this omission. A representative from the Department or the BOP would be in the best position to testify about current conditions and potential threats in the prison system from a system-wide perspective. There are also academic and other experts who have conducted system-wide studies. We are concerned that instead the invited witnesses will focus on isolated instances of violent extremism by former or current inmates who are Muslim, without the proper context of the threat of recidivism and violent extremism by all former or current inmates, regardless of faith background.
Indeed, there are a number of problems in the U.S. prison system that are legitimate subjects of congressional inquiry, such as disparities in sentences for people of color, overcrowding and dangerous conditions of confinement, and the lack of sufficient rehabilitation and reentry programs to reduce prisoner recidivism. Instead of focusing on these issues, solutions to which will only strengthen our criminal justice system and ensure public safety, the upcoming hearing is divisive and distracts from both our country's national security concerns and challenges faced by our prison systems.
We urge the committee to rethink its decision to hold another hearing singling out a group of Americans based on their religious faith, and instead focus on serious examinations of the real threats to our national security.
Alliance for Justice