This morning, RepublicanCongressman Peter King of New York and the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee began their witch hunt. King, who is among the few Americans who have actively supported and condoned the violent acts of an organization that practiced terrorism, the IRA, has set himself up as a fighter in the war on terrorism, and is holding hearings, which many anti-terrorist experts believe will aid al-Qaeda, and hurt America's troops.
King's witch hunt into what he calls the radicalization of the American Muslim community is a political exercise, which reinforces anti-Muslim stereotypes, and adds to the bigotry and the suspicions alive and growing in the US. The hearings play into the hands of people who profit from divisions in this country, and frankly aid the terrorists, by enabling their recruitment of alienated youth.
Congressman Keith Ellison, D-Minn, addressed the King panel. He told the story of the Muslim 911 first responders.
From CNN -- Mr. Ellison choked up and teared up as he told of the sacrifices of Muslim Americans on 911, among them Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old paramedic and New York City police cadet, who died trying to save others in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. With the 911 hero, Hamdani's mother in the room, Congressman Ellison teared up as he explained that people "falsely speculated (Hamdani) was with the attackers, because he was Muslim." Mr Ellison said, "(Hamdani) life should not be identified as just a member of an ethic group or just a member of a religion, but as an American who gave everything for his fellow Americans."
As Mr.Ellison spoke of this 911 Muslim's sacrifice, I wondered if bigots like Congressman Peter King knew or had to be reminded that Muslim Americans died on 911 too? Did Congressman King know or did he really have to be reminded that among the first responders were American Muslim?
Mr.King sat there, not listening, as Congressman Ellison spoke. Mr King's bigotry is just shameful. The GOP's favorite past time, when they are not bashing Hispanics, gays and African-Americans, are bashing American Muslims -- scapegoating.
Congressman Ellison said "Muslims in the USA are "just like the rest of us."
Yes, there are Muslim police officers, paramedics and even one is an outstanding member of Congress, Mr. Ellison.
Ellison cautioned that America must not assign the action of terrorists to the entire Muslim-American community. His message is that we are all Americans, and that there are problems in all communities, and that "all communities are responsible for combating extremism." And blaming the entire Muslim community for the evil of individuals, he said, is "the very heart of stereotyping and scapegoating." See the video.