March 10, 2011
As the editors of National Review Online have rightly noted:
"The scandal is not that House Committee on Homeland Security chairman Peter King (R., N.Y.) will tomorrow hold hearings on 'The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response'; the scandal is that they have been so long in coming."
Ilario Pantano could not agree more:
Homegrown terror is an overwhelmingly Islamic phenomenon. And yet a search of the Homeland Security hearings in the 111th (Congress) yields not one mention of Islamism or jihad. So the cries of religious persecution from groups like CAIR and their allies on the left badly miss the point: it isn’t that we have cast a discriminatory eye toward Islam, but that excessive concern with the pieties of multicultural relativism has prevented us from being sufficiently critical of Islamism. A problem cannot be dealt with that is not first faced foursquarely, and, to appropriate a phrase, we have for too long been a nation of cowards when it comes to addressing jihadist radicalism between our shores. Representative King’s hearings make an honest first effort to do that.
More on the National Review Online article about today's hearing
The Department of Homeland Security was created in direct response to an act of Islamic terror, an act perpetrated by radical Muslims who lived and worked, planned and plotted inside the United States. Post-9/11, the threat of homegrown jihad is as great or greater.
Among the witnesses expected to appear at the hearing is Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, head of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, whom we expect to provide an overview of the threat of not only violent but also cultural jihad being waged by Islamists inside the United States.
Witnesses Melvin Bledsoe and Abdirizak Bihi will share their firsthand knowledge of this threat. Bihi’s nephew, Burhan Hassan, was radicalized in a Minneapolis mosque and in 2008, at the age of 17, disappeared to Somalia, where he died, apparently fighting for the Islamist group al-Shaheeb. Mr. Bledsoe’s son, Carlos, converted to Islam in college after traveling to Yemen and went by the name Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad when he shot two army recruiters in Little Rock in 2009, killing one. We expect both men’s testimony to be both heart-rending and sobering.
There will of course be some dead weight among the witnesses: We doubt that Reps. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) and John Dingell (D., Mich.) will add much to the proceedings, besides defending their many peaceful Muslim constituents from an attack no one is contemplating. And we wish King had called the likes of Steve Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and an indispensable voice on Islamism in America. But it is our understanding that this will be only the first of several hearings on the subject. So there may, at long last, be time to address this long-neglected topic.