July 27, 2011 Today, Rep. Peter King held the third hearing on home-grown radicalism in the United States, this time the focus was on Somali-American Muslims.
Since Rep. King first called for a series of ten hearings focused solely on Muslim radicalization, much controversey has arisen. Following last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Norway, carried out by Anders Breivik, a “blonde-haired and blue-eyed” right-wing Christian – critics were hoping King would call off the remaining hearings.
Rep. King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee did not bow what he called protests from the “political correct community” because the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab has recruited at least 40 Muslim Americans and therefore may turn its attention to American targets, both foreign and domestic.
“Certain elements of the politically correct media, most egregiously the vacuous ideologues at the New York Times, are shamelessly attempting to exploit the horrific tragedy in Norway to cause me to refocus these hearings away from Muslim-American radicalization,” King said. “If they had even a semblance of intellectually honesty, the Times and others would know and admit that there is no equivalency in the threat to our homeland from a deranged gunman and the international terror community apparatus of al Qaeda and its affiliates who are recruiting people in this country and have murdered thousands of Americans.”
On March 10, Rep. King held the first controversial hearing titled “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response” In June, the House Homeland Security Committee held a second hearing “The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons.” The second hearing, over-shadowed by the scandal surrounding Congressman Anthony Weiner, produced less controversey.
Opponents of the House Homeland Security Committee’s hearings compare Rep. King efforts to those of Senator Joseph McCarthy to expose communists in the United States in the 1950s. Some American Muslims and civil rights advocates have criticized the hearings for singling out one religion, inferring that all Muslims are terrorists or vice-versa.
America’s law enforcement communities remain hesitant to call terrorist attempts and attacks by white supremists groups terrorism. Internationally, the initial reaction to last Friday’s terrorist attack by Anders Breivik suggests that the United States is not the only ones.