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Top Democrat Slams GOP’s Islamophobia After Boston Bombing


By Zack Beauchamp on Apr 21, 2013 at 10:20 am (ThinkProgress)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) smacked down Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) attempt to link Boston bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to Islamic extremists based in the American Muslim community with no evidence, an allegation that emerged as part of a theme among House Republicans on Sunday morning.

The exchange between Feinstein and King took place on Fox News Sunday, when host Chris Wallace asked whether he agreed with the idea that “political correctness be damned, we have to do more effective surveillance inside the Muslim community.” King tried to link “Muslim communities” to the attack, a claim which Feinstein demolished:

KING: Listen, the threat is coming from within the Muslim community in these cases. In New York. that’s why Commissioner Kelly has 1,000 police officers out in the community. Unfortunately, he gets smeared by the New York Times and the Associated Press, but the fact is we’ve stopped 16 plots in New York because we know that al-Qaeda is shifting its tactics…If you know a certain threat is coming from a certain community, that’s where you have to look.

WALLACE: Senator Feinstein, your reaction to this?

FEINSTEIN: That’s exactly where they will look. I don’t think all of this is very helpful. I think the important thing is to get the facts. Let the investigation proceed. The FBI has very good interrogators. They know what they are doing. I believe that they will put a case together that will be very strong. With respect to whether we are doing enough in the Muslim community, I think we should take a look at that, but I don’t think we need to go and develop some real disdain and hatred on television about it.

Watch it:

As Feinstein implies, King’s speculation about the Muslim community playing some role in the Boston bombing is entirely unconnected to the available facts. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) has written that “I am not aware of any evidence so far that the Boston suspect is part of any organized group, let alone al Qaeda, the Taliban, or one of their affiliates.” Nor does there exist any evidence that Tamerlan or Dzhokhar were radicalized as a consequence of contact with person or persons in the American Muslim community.

While King suggested that stepped-up NYPD surveillance of Muslims should be a model for the nation, the program terrified the Muslim community while failing to produce a single actionable lead or investigation.

King was not the only House Republican to speculate without evidence about a connection between the Tsarnaevs and jihadists. On CNN’s State of the Union, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) speculated that Tamerlan was trained by al-Qaeda during a 2012 visit to Chechnya, once again lacking any direct evidence for the charge. Though Islamist terrorist groups are often quick to take responsibility for attacks, the Caucusus Emirate, the main Islamist terrorist group in the region, denied any connection to the bombers and said “we are not fighting against the United States of America.”

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  • eslaporte

    It’s also true that Conservatives/Republicans are largely anti-American and seem to think that religious freedom, freedom of speech, the right to vote and the rule of law are only for the select few. When we start determining who has “freedom” we no longer have freedom.

  • mindy1

    How cool 😀

  • Unfortunately people often don’t do that.

  • Reynardine

    The truth is, that if someone marries someone of their own sex, you are free to marry someone of the opposite sex; if someone has an abortion, you and your spouse are free not to; but if someone puts you into Guantanamo, you are not free, period.

  • Razainc_aka_BigBoss

    Another good article

    Toronto’s Muslim Community Led Police To Terror Suspects

  • eslaporte

    What we actually need is federal and state legislation that prohibits law enforcement agencies from using the NYPD “radicalization model” – as this model is actually the ideological foundations for the whole NYPD spying program.

    The “model” brand innocent and legally protected religious, political, social activities that Muslim American engage in their daily lives as “markers of radicalization.” If you are a Muslim that grows a beard, wears a headscarf, is active in associations, refrains from drinking alcohol and hold various political viewpoints – all legally protected activities – you can be branded as “in some stage of radicalization” by the arguments of this report.

    This is why the NYPD’s spying program was so extensive, why it included everything that was associated with Islam and Muslims especially where the “devout crowd” hung out (devout Muslims are in ‘some stage of radicalization’ according to the report) – why there was interest in political views of Muslims, why interested in college students, as well as everyday people. This what you get from policing schemes that take non-criminal behavior and try to draw some criminal activities from it.

    Also – take note that the Netherlands also uses innocent religious, political and social behavior to “detect radicalization” and very serious (and oppressive) policies are in practice.

    The reality is that the NYPD spying program and the “radicalization model” that provides ideological foundations need to be the subject of state and federal legislation to outlaw the use of innocent religious, social and political behavior as “radicalized” and “potential terrorist.” The truth is that the NYPD’s activities is a direct assault on the First Amendment and American values.

  • eslaporte

    The ghost of Pim Fortuyn again walks: The use of the buzzword “political correctness” when countering those who are rational and educated.

    Well – what is politically correct here is the exclusive focus of “Islamist terrorism” and forgetting about radical right radicalization and terrorism.
    It was politically correct security and law enforcement practice that allowed for Anders Breivik to get away with his terrorism.

    The political correctness is found in the notion: “not an Muslim, not a terrorist, has nothing to do with Islam, is not terrorism.”

  • Razainc_aka_BigBoss

    Keith Ellison On Boston Someone’s Religion Should Not Be ‘Cause For Alarm’

  • Razainc_aka_BigBoss

    Five Dead Including Suspect In Shooting At Apartment Complex South Of Seattle

  • A Logical Response

    As a Muslim Conservative, you’d expect Christian Conservatives that share the same values as you to be on your side. Yet, every Republican candidate has said something bigoted about Middle Easterns/Muslims except for Ron Paul. Us Muslims are forced to side with Liberals with which we agree very little with in regards of values and ideas. But I would very much rather side with pro-gay marriage activists and abortionists than side with people who agree with me on subjects but would like to see me in a concentration camp or in a gas chamber.

  • mindy1

    I agree, wait for ACTUAL intellegence to come out, follow the leads and see what happens.

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