March 11 2011
King Of The Hill
On the same day that we learned that 9 officers face disciplinary action for failing to flag disturbing behavioral signs from Major Nidal Hasan, accused Fort Hood shooter, hysterical Democrats on Capitol Hill made it clear yesterday that they don't want to listen either.
Indeed, Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the House, shed tears, while Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee delivered one of her trademark rants during Rep. Peter King's hearing on the potentially deadly problem of radicalization in the Muslim community.
Not to be outdone, Rep. Al Green went in for sarcasm:
Because I love the American people, I want to say in clear concise terms, I have no problem discussing terrorism organizations that are rooted in religion. Which is why I want to discuss the KKK. ... Why not talk about the KKK today?
Rep. Green had a point. However, as Alana Goodman, ace Commentary blogger, noted, he was a little behind the times:
Why not talk about the KKK? Well, for one thing, Green is about 140 years too later with that suggestion - it was congressional hearings on the Klan's terrorism that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1871.
In another item on the hearing, Goodman wrote:
Maybe if Jackson Lee had actually listened to the testimony, she would have realized that witnesses were careful to make it clear that the problem is a tiny fraction of the Muslim community that enables radicalism, not the broad Muslim community as a whole.
Fortunately Melvin Bledsoe, whose young son converted to Islam and left the U.S. to engage in jihad, was there to steer Jackson Lee straight: "We're not talking about all Muslims," he informed her. "We're talking about Muslim radicalization. I have family members who are Muslim."
Bledsoe gets it. The other witnesses - including Muslim Americans - get it. So how come the Democrats still can't grasp the concept that an investigation into radical political Islam has nothing to do with targeting the vast majority of the Muslim community?
Why are Democrats so unhinged by King's investigation? This is something I don't get. Nobody seeks to stigmatize any group of people, and it was clear yesterday that most people were being scrupulously careful not to paint with broad brush strokes. But we behave like the officers who ignored Major Nidal's warning signals at peril to our society (including Muslim members of that society).
Oh, and about Keith Ellison's big boo hoo: an item on The Corner challenges the veracity of Ellison's tale of prejudice. Ellison said that after September 11, Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a Pakistani-born Muslim American who went to lower Manhattan to help rescue people, was smeared because of his religion. Was Ellison's story correct?
No. It is actually pretty close to the opposite of the truth. In fact, six weeks after the September 11 attacks - before Hamdani's remains were identified, which Ellison implies to be the turning point of public perception - Congress signed the PATRIOT Act into law with this line included: "Many Arab Americans and Muslim Americans have acted heroically during the attacks on the United States, including Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New Yorker of Pakistani descent, who is believed to have gone to the World Trade Center to offer rescue assistance and is now missing." That is, Hamdani was actually singled out for particular high honors among the thousands of victims of the September 11 attacks.
There's little evidence of the "rumors" of which Ellison speaks, either. Poke around yourself. Go to Google and search for Mohammed Salman Hamdani's name, using various time frames from before today's hearings (say, in the week after the September 11 attack). You'll discover two discordant sets of returns: none for sites and news reports accusing Hamdani of being a terrorist, and many thousands of pages honoring him as a hero while claiming that he was "widely accused" of being a terrorist.
Web pages that do source the claim that Hamndani was "widely accused" of being a terrorist typically trace back to a single report from the New York Post, dated Oct. 12, 2001, and titled "Missing - or Hiding? Mystery of NYPD Cadet from Pakistan." The piece has been taken offline, but its content is preserved elsewhere.
Do read the whole story-you'll see Ellison's prejudice story is thin gruel indeed.