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Peter King’s “Muslim Hearings” are Political Theater to Target Muslims

Loonwatch was live blogging the controversial (anti)-Muslim Hearings being chaired by bigoted ex-IRA terrorist supporter Peter King. It was a circus. It devolved along partisan lines with Republicans predictably falling behind the rhetoric and narrative of Peter King. Democratic Congressmen/women issued strong rebukes: Rep. Sheila J. Lee, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Laura Richardson, Rep. Sanchez, and others delivered the message home that these Hearings were nothing more than political theater meant to castigate and intimidate a minority group and most importantly they were bereft of facts and therefore unbeneficial.

The leading witnesses for King were non-experts, Zuhdi Jasser, AbdiRizak Bihi and Melvin Bledsoe, all of these individuals were bereft of any credentials or expertise in the field of radicalization, terrorism or extremism. Zuhdi Jasser is considered an apologist for Neo-Cons and is viewed with suspicion amongst American Muslims for his close association with Islamophobes and war-mongerers. AbdiRizak was incomprehensible at times and much of what he and Bledsoe said were anecdotal and not factual evidence.

King began the hearings with what can only be classified as a bigoted comment, he said, “Moderate leadership must emerge from the Muslim community.” He said this to set up a straw man argument for what would become a recurring attack on CAIR, almost making it into a hearing about CAIR.

After getting its name wrong, calling it the “Committee of American Islamic Relations,” he and other Congressmen labeled CAIR a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood group. This is the usual trope brought forth by Right-wingers and anti-Muslims such as Robert Spencer and co., the best response came from Sheriff Lee Baca (one of the anti-Loons of 2010) when he said, ‘If CAIR is this terrorist group or has terrorist links then why hasn’t the FBI prosecuted them? Why haven’t they charged them? They wouldn’t be around if they were terrorist or terrorist sympathizers.’

Some highlights included:

Keith Ellison made three important points: 1.) Security is important to all American Muslims, 2.) Hearings threaten our security and 3.) We need increased engagement with Muslims.

Ellison also got quite emotional while mentioning the story of a Muslim first responder who died saving people but was the victim of a smear campaign by Islamophobes who attempted to link him to the 9/11 attacks.

Andre Carson brought up an excellent point about the fact that cooperation between law enforcement and communities such as the American Muslim community is endangered by the backdoor actions and methodologies of  organizations such as the FBI when they send agent provocateurs into Muslim mosques. Such actions cause distrust and engender fear that Muslims’ civil rights and liberties are being violated. One really only has to look at the example in California of the criminal Craig Montielh who was later arrested and confessed that he was sent by the FBI on a fishing expedition to entrap Muslims.

There were also other quite interesting WTF moments: Such as when Peter King mentioned Kim Kardashian and CAIR in the same sentence. Or when non-expert witness Melvin Bledsoe told Rep. Al Green “you don’t know what these hearings are about.” There was also the earlier moment when Peter King denied making the comment that “there are too many mosques in America.” A blatant falsity.

We will have more in depth coverage but it is safe to say that American Muslims are in for a rocky Islamophobic time with these hearings.

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  • Peep The Game
  • NassirH

    Jack:

    If I remember correctly, Daniel Pipes also supported funding the Mujahadin- Khalq, which is ironic because it’s an “Islamic Socialist” terrorist group. You would think right-wingers would be ranting about incessantly, but apparently not.

  • Jack

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/03/10/peter_king_on_wikileaks_terrorism/index.html

    Not only Peter King (supporter of the IRA), but other Republican Senators have supported terrorist groups in the past.

    “An Iranian militant group known as the Mujahadin-e Khalq, or MEK, has also enjoyed the support of several prominent U.S. political figures despite the group’s designation as a terrorist organization.”

    “The United States should not just be on your side,” Guiliani said at a pro-MEK event in December, the Washington Post reported. “It should be enthusiastically on your side. You want the same things we want.”

    Oh, the hypocrisy!

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  • Crow

    Rocey lore, I meant to say your a bigot and most biggots I have had to deal with are also racists and anti-semites so add that onto the description of yourself and other fans of kings hearing. Glad I could clear that up for you scumbag.

  • Awesome

    The issue of “radicalization” is redundant and a total farce. There are laws that are binding on everyone. Individuals who violate these laws are criminals. The people that deal with criminals are the police. The end.

  • Nur Alia

    I am 64 years old.

    I live in a nation that was occupied officially until 1957, but the remnents of the occupiers stayed with us, including thier fighting wars on our land for 3 more years. For a part of my young life…I thought war was normal. After a little rest from the evil of war, we witnessed a massacure that took two years of 500 thousand (a conservative estimate) based on ideology, by a leader supported by western powers.

    I was told of the rhetoric by my parents and grandparents of how we were the ‘savages’ that Europeans came to tame. They brought thier culture, thier ideology, and Christianity with them, in order to ‘assimilate’ us into ‘decent human beings’.

    Sometimes those promoting the European assimilation doctrine were people like me. They were simply ‘apologists’ for the assimilation policy, and were ‘anomolys’ in the community.

    Watching the hearings, and looking at the witnesses, especially Mr Jasser, he seems like an apologist for the rhetoric of Mr King. It amased me of how much he promoted himself and Mr King’s intentions more than he added any content to the dialouge. He asked for ‘help’ in inserting democracy into the Islamic discoruse, because his belief is…that Islam doesnt support democracy…you know, freedom to choose, to forge ones own destiny, and to protect the rights of everyone, whether the majority or not.

    He promoted himself, his ideology, and his political entity, and asked for help to impliment it, and denounced the already well established organizations and entities that already exist. He claimed that ‘my family built alot of Masjids…” I dont understand what that means, unless he ment that they bought brick…

    However…what struck me was when the woman legislator asked him ‘Are you Muslim?”…he went on to say “I pray..etc” rather than a simple yes. I guess what he doesnt understand is that being Muslim is more than praying…it is following the will of Allah with your mouth, hands and feet. So…alienating Muslims from each other (or promoting fitnah) and promoting yourself is being a Muslim Mr Jasser?

    Mr Bidhi is simply repeating the rhetoric that Black and Arabs have traded about each other in Africa. Black Africans have a tendancy to play victim for any reason, when they live along side Arabs. What you saw in the hearings is a re play of this rhetoric…in the context of Islam. Whatever sympathy they can get, in whatever context they use it. They have people like Geller and Spencer implying that all Blacks in Africa are Christian, and all Arabs are Muslim, and ignoring the undertones of racial division that is really the current of the conflict.

    I am telling the truth…sometimes it is hard to read honesty, but the only way to change things is to be FRANK and HONEST…and sometimes mincing words is worse.

    Mr Bloodsoe is simply blaiming Islam for the failure of him, and his family to see the signs of thier changing son. He gave alot of ancedotes, but claims that if he knew then what he knows now, he could have changed it, however as a parent he failed to ask questions, and for help. It is not Islam’s fault that he didnt do what every concerned parent does when thier child is going wayward.

    Then too, Mr Bloodsoe’s son was an ADULT. Had the senior Bloodsoe instilled in his son the ability to reason, act logically and reasonable, he would have denounced evil outright on his own. Somehow apologists like Spencer and Geller, and Mr King dont see that part.

    The law enforcement agent was the most credible of all of the witnesses. He came with facts that seemed to be lacking from the others. He came to say that he agreed to come before the hearing with a different intention than Mr King. He was alone among the witnesses, and you can tell.

    My favorite part was Mr Tompson’s speech. He added his own experience to his view of the hearings in Mississipi during the time of the civil rights struggle. He understands clearly why targeting a specific group of people and labeling them ‘evil’ is wrong. He understands that the broader implications is to feed the belief by the extremist that the US is at war with Islam, not terrorism, because they even attack and vilify Muslim Americans.

    I also liked the line “you cant clean the kitchen with dirty water’…and Mr Tompson shut Mr Jasser up was funny.

  • TheDemiprist

    “Islam is not a race” is the equivalent of saying
    Anti-Semitism is OK since “Jews are not a race!”

    I’ll have to disagree with you on that one. Muslims and Jews are adherents to their respective religions, but the religion itself isn’t an ethnic group-an Arab that converts to Islam-his adherence doesn’t change his skin pigmentation at all because of it (does being “Islamic” or “Jewish” make a person radiate a special racial color? I’ve never witnessed or seen documentation of that kind of phenomena. What is the “marker” used to determine that religion is in fact a “race” when there’s no obvious physical changes seen that would qualify as maybe a different species altogether?). There are white Muslims and Ethiopian Jews, but neither Islam or Judaism are an independent ethnic group that one suddenly changes into another “race”. Is being bigoted towards Muslims or Jews childish? yes. Just because religious adherence isn’t “race”, does that give people the freedom to be bigots toward the adherents? of course not. Just because a religion isn’t a “race”, that doesn’t mean hatred of the religious adherents (whether it’s Islamophobia or antisemitism) is okay.

    I’m a white atheist, if I convert to Islam tomorrow, does that give me the ability to change my “race” just by adhering to a religion? Could I choose to be Black or Asian upon my conversion? of course not, I’ll always be white, it’s the “race” I was born into and being religious doesn’t change that “race” one bit. Religion and “race” are entirely separate from one another, but that doesn’t mean being bigotry towards religious adherents is okay either..of course not.

    I met a Romanian Jew once, and I asked him what he thought of Russian or Ethiopian Jews in Israel..the result was bigoted..like his “Jewishness” was somehow superior to theirs or something. That is it’s own variant of antisemitism that must be condemned, wouldn’t you think? I would. I think Supremacism in all communities shouldn’t be empowered.

  • Awesome

    Republicans are more in need of a Hearing than Muslims are.

  • ZS

    In the 1980s, senator Peter King said, “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it.”

    The following is a handy, but far from complete, list of “morally justified” (according to Peter King) terrorist atrocities perpetrated by the IRA, which claimed the lives not only of British military personnel, but also numerous civilians – men, women and children:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brighton_hotel_bombing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrington_bomb_attacks
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_pub_bombings
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guildford_pub_bombings
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deal_barracks_bombing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M62_Coach_Bombing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_Aldershot_Bombing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyde_Park_and_Regents_Park_bombings
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/17_December_1983_Harrods_bombing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downing_Street_mortar_attack
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Exchange#Bombing_of_the_exchange_building

  • loonyyyyy

  • Cynic

    I would recommend that people watch this episode of Riz Khan on Islamophobia. It’s almost as if Shaykh Hamza Yusuf reads LW regularly, as he addresses all of the grievances expressed on this site. He also discusses this hearing.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/rizkhan/2011/03/201139132518104910.html

  • RDS

    So, as expected, a farce and a waste of time?

    We need another speech about “A House Divided”

  • Ahmed

    Please show us link to CAIR and Hamas
    CAIR has condemned specific terrorist groups by name. On 3/11/2009, the fifth anniversary of the tragic Madrid attacks, CAIR issued a statement saying, “We unequivocally condemn all acts of terrorism, whether carried out by al-Qa’ida, the Real IRA, FARC, Hamas, ETA, or any other group designated by the U.S. Department of State as a ‘Foreign Terrorist Organization.’

    We cant ask CAIR to condemn every regional group with regional goals who happends to be muslim just as we dont ask all Jews to condemn the action of the Nazi IDF(Isreali Defence Force) or the Isreali settlers or we ask all Irish or Catholics to condemn the IRA

  • Awesome

    Uh, Crow, ISLAM IS NOT A RACE! Plus, the reason that CAIR opposes these hearings is because they’re a group of Hamas apologists.

    The reason CAIR opposes these hearings is the same reason why anyone else would; it’s unethical, unjust and a total farce. “Hamas” has nothing to with this nor CAIR.

  • Awesome

    It’s disgusting how much precious time, energy and money is being wasted on King’s nonsense. They must really be desperate for a distraction to go through with something this absurd.

    I wonder if LoonWatch even knows who Melvin Bledsoe is and how he is not an expert.

    – He has no credentials and no facts. Therefore, he is nothing but a charlatan and a hack, just like the others Islamophobes at this circus hearing, in addition to all the loon bloggers like Spencer, Geller and “the translated”.

  • Khushboo

    ^You don’t think Jasser scaring people by testifying at the hearing that there’s “an exponential increase in the radicalization of Muslims” isn’t “THAT BAD”? In the documentary “Third Jihad” soon after 9/11 tragedy when people were the most vulnerable, he was one of the first people to start the fear mongering by telling people that Muslim Brotherhood is planning to eliminate and destroy western civilization from within. You don’t think his words will cause ignorant people to take action against Muslims? He’s one of the most dangerous kinds of Muslims I know. He’ll act like he’s a good guy while stabbing his own fellow Muslim in the back. What’s dangerous is that people will most likely believe his lies because he’s a so-called “Muslim”. He could indirectly cause violence against peaceful Muslims.

  • Dan

    @Rocky Lore: And Geller’s group is nothing but full of Jewish Defense League apologists, what’s your point?

  • DefenderofIslam

    I dont think zhudi is THAT BAD what i mean is i havnt heard him tell out right lies about islam, he just dosnt realy try to support it

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