Updates from Muslim radicalization hearings
March 10th, 2011
09:40 AM ET
12 years ago

Updates from Muslim radicalization hearings


12:03 pm ET: A congressional hearing Thursday on the alleged radicalization of Muslim Americans is "discriminatory" and "an abuse of power" because of its narrow scope, Rep. Laura Richardson, D-California, said in harsh criticism of committee Chairman Peter King, R-New New York.

Richardson questioned why other House committees weren't holding hearings on threats to American children involving other religions, a veiled but obvious reference to the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

11:49 am ET: A congressional hearing on alleged radicalization of Muslim Americans and a lack of cooperation by the Muslim community is "an outrage" because there is no factual basis for its need, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said Thursday.

11:00 am ET: The father of an American youth who converted from Baptist to Islam at age 19 and later shot two U.S. army troops outside an Arkansas recruiting station asked a congressional committee for help Thursday in dealing with Muslim radicalization in the country.

Melvin Bledsoe, whose son Carlos changed his name to Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, blamed Islamic extremists who he said radicalized Carlos at a Tennessee mosque.

"We are losing American babies. Our children are in danger. We must stand up and do something about the problem," Bledsoe said, adding: "I'd like to see something change that no other family in this great country of ours has to go through what our family is facing today."

10:48 am ET: The radicalization of Muslim Americans is a "significant" problem that only the Muslim community can resolve, instead of claiming victimization when concerns are raised, the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy told a congressional hearing Thursday.

"We can close our eyes and pretend it doesn't exist," said Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, who is Muslim. "You're not going to solve the problem and the problem is increasing exponentially."

Jasser called radicalization "a moral corruption within a certain segment" that is using the Islamic religion to spread its message. Countering such efforts would require teaching Muslim Americans about American principles of liberty and "separation of mosque and state," he said.

10:36 am ET: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a prominent Muslim advocacy group, is "counter-productive and it is hurting the Muslim American community," Republican Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia told a congressional hearing Thursday.

He accused the group of "a campaign to intimidate and silence anyone who raises concerns about Muslim radicalization."

Wolf said the controversial hearing on the alleged radicalization of Muslim Americans was important and necessary, adding: "We cannot afford to be silent. We cannot disregard the issue of radicalization in our country."

10:09 am ET: Muslim House member Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, on Thursday sharply criticized a House hearing on the alleged radicalization of Muslim Americans, saying that blaming the entire Muslim community for the evil and violence of individuals is "the very heart of stereotyping and scapegoating."

10:03 am ET: A congressional hearing on the alleged radicalization of Muslim Americans runs the risk of taking too narrow a view of the scope of terrorism threats against the United States, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, said Thursday.

9:56 am ET: Recruiting young American Muslims is part of al Qaeda's strategy to continue attacking the United States, Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said Thursday.

9:52 am ET: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a prominent Muslim American advocacy group, should be rejected, Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said Thursday.

9:47 am ET: Holding hearings on the alleged radicalization of Muslim Americans is neither "radical or unAmerican," Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said Thursday in opening a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the issue.

Filed under: Peter King
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    We now have over 700 white hate groups, so I wonder when Peter will start those hearings.

    March 10, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Arun

    Why doesn't this idiot look at Christian terrorist groups!! I believe Timothy McVie was a Christian and by the way, didn't blow up a builing. Stereotypeing people is pathetic and the Republican's love doing it. I guess it's ok for malitia's to say and do anti government things, but how dare do non-christians do this. What a bunch of jokers!!

    March 10, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. thomas

    Joe" McCarthy = Rep. Peter King

    March 10, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Beverly

    The people with the most power (rich Republicans) are destroying America. If religion is going to be argued then radical Christains should be included. The Muslims are no more radical than the radical Christian. In fact, the religious Right is taking America back to oppression, and the media is largely to blame.

    March 10, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. ja

    with voter apathy, we are getting what we voted for, extremism in policticans

    March 10, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Emerson

    Has King thought of subpoenaing Bin Laden, kind of like when they send letters to criminals telling them to come and claim a valuable prize and then arresting them? Hey Pete, it worth a try.

    March 10, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Alan Cummings

    The first step should be the welcoming of Muslims to the American Religious Population. The Catholic Church should reach out.
    the various religious organizations should extend the hand of welcome. It is clear that Obama could not head up such a movement, because he would be attacked by the Republicans as a "secret Muslim." The government should adopt one of the Muslim Holidays and make it part of our calendar....invite people of all religions to celebrate.

    March 10, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    I watched Rep. Ellison's emotional opening statement . . . and Peter King's stone cold response. To be truthful, I don't think America can survive the divisiveness which has become this New Republican Party. If this division and anger amongst everyday middle class citizens directed at each other that is now happening in Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, New York - and hundreds of thousands of communities throughout America - is the new norm in America, I want no part of it. How proud I am to say that I NO LONGER consider myself a Republican. And haven't for many, many years now. Most surprising in all of this mess GOPers are creating is just how far they will go, how many lies they will perpetrate, and to what purpose? What a shameful, ignorant, group GOPers have become.

    March 10, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Charlie from the North

    I just know that from some dark corner of hades, Senator Joe McCarthy is looking up and smiling. "Are you now or have you ever been a Muslim?"

    March 10, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. steven harnack

    Republicans have never met a phobia that they couldn't exploit.

    March 10, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Bill

    Perhaps he should hold hearings next on evagelical christians and their radical views towards abortion and gay marraige. I am sure that would go over real well.

    March 10, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. annie s

    Peter King and every other conservative Republican are beyond the pale. Bigotry, hatred and fear – the way to make sure you keep Americans voting for these Neanderthals.

    March 10, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Jim

    Wow. I guess the statement that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it is perfectly correct. These guys are looking for a scapegoat for Bush's failure to capture bin Laden. They tried to blame the Dems, but couldn't, so now they are blaming all Muslims for the actions of a few. Maybe we should blame all Christians for being members of the KKK, or all Germans for being Nazi's while we are at it. This is just pure grandstanding by a man whose name no one knew until he got the chair of the committee he sits on.

    March 10, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. dcmisty

    McCarthyism at it's best. For those too young to remember the McCarthy communism hearings of the 50's, hold on to your seats you're about to get the 2011 version! This is a sad day in the United States. Obviously nothing was learned from the witch hunts of 1950's!

    March 10, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. ART

    What a waste of time this is,especially comming from King who litterally swore solidarity to the IRA.This man has no shame.

    March 10, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. jules sand-perkins

    Islam is, as are all religions, far more harmful than beneficial to society.
    Often, a religion is used to unify a group of ignorant citizens to further a selfish goal of a religious and/or political leader.
    A fully evolved society would not prohibit religion, but that society would be free of religion because of the education and intelligence of its citizens.

    March 10, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. John Dockum

    So the only testimony so far has been about a Christian kid that was radicalized?

    March 10, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. CNN The Masters of Spin

    Typical Liberal, Socialistic, America Destroying, Apologetic & National Weaking Administration........
    1. Muslim Radicalization......True White House Response: Absent
    2. Our Nation is Broke, Economical Melt Down.... White House Response: Absent
    3. States Under Seige By Unions White House Response: Absent


    March 10, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. AEK

    Next witness, Pope Lucius III, followed by Ferdinad and Isabella, and of course Joseph McCarthy. Uncalled witness, IRA founder Michael Collins...hummmmm, curious!

    March 10, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. jeff

    Why isnt King holding a hearing on the radicalization of the GOP by the Christian church's of America and Fox news?

    March 10, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Name David

    It's funny How we only think of Muslims as radicals that want to inflict harm to the United States, and don't seem to remember the history of the Catholic religion. I as a non practicing Catholic know the history of the Catholic religion that pillaged,plundered and murdered all in the sake of obtaining riches through out the word. So let put real face on terrorism.

    March 10, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. Avi Shlomo

    Would Mr King hold a meeting about radicalization of Jews so they become spies against this country? or far better would he hold a hearing about Gang activities that has infilcted more pain and killing on inner city that the fear of muslims? I just do not want the avearge mulsim to go thru what my family suffered in Europe in the past century.

    March 10, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. sosupernova

    I would say this committee is doing its best to radicalize American Muslims. Pointing fingers, accusing, and suggesting that Muslim Americans are converting to Islamic radicalized ideas in droves, is the best tool for making people feel they are different and forcing them into an "out" crowd where they can find acceptance.

    March 10, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. AEK

    Murdered in an act of Islamic terrorism in the United States since 9/11, about forty. Murdered American citizens in an act of gun violence, hundreds of thousands. And we can't even get a hearing on gun clip capacity in Congress? What the hell is going on?

    March 10, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. Get A Grip

    Rep. Allen West needs to be on hand for this one. He understands these so called peaceful muslim inside and out. We can watch and listen to muslims call for the murder of every Jew and the destruction of Israel, yet we are to believe they are just a bunch of fun loving peaceful people.... Thank you Rep. King. It's about time this nation faces the threats from this radical "religion"'

    March 10, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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