Well I unofficially promised to lay low on my comments. However, after listening to the entire hearing and the press conference I wanted to make a few observations.
Overall, it wasn’t that bad. The premise, I still feel wrongly single’s out American Muslims and validates if only in appearance that American Muslims are unique to radicalism and terrorism. As Rep. Green pointed out “it doesn’t look right”. The facts are more acts of domestic terror have occurred by other groups and 7 out of 10 of those that were committed by Muslims were successfully foiled due to the American Muslim communities’ direct involvement in helping law enforcement. Furthermore, as it was rightfully pointed out by Rep. Green, the KKK is a Christian terrorist organization and has been so for over 100 years, yet there has not been one hearing.
There were also many lies presented, Rep. King stated in the press conference after the hearing “Not one national Muslim leader has condemned terror” – paraphrased. This is so inaccurate and false. There is not one national Islamic organization that has not condemned terrorism almost after every action that has occurred in the past starting with 9/11.
The panel “experts”: The best witness on the panel was Sherriff Baca from CA. As pointed out by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, that if this were supposed an actual debate about terrorism and radicalism, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other professional experts in the field should have been witnesses. Instead, we have Dr. Jasser who spent the breath of his testimony promoting himself and his group, while tearing down other Muslims and groups, the other two witnesses, I don’t really have a problem with as they kept it clear that their agenda was to tell their story which was relevant in my opinion.
The one thing that pissed me off to no end is that Dr. Jasser and Republican members of the panel continually blasted CAIR and accused them as being part of the problem, providing, no empirical facts. At times and even after the hearing during the press conference, CAIR was a chief target and at times it appears that this hearing was really an indictment of CAIR and any other American Muslim group that was not approved by the star witness Dr. Jasser.
In the final analysis, I believe that Rep. King and his support group didn’t prove or provide evidence to support the premise of the hearing. I believe that rational Americans will see that what was proved was that American Muslims DO love and support this nation and that the “problem” that was hyped is more of a political stunt than reality.
By having Dr. Jasser speak as an expert and representative of Muslims, the agenda becomes clear. At several times he suggested that there is some kind of problem in Islam and that it needs to be “reformed”. YET, a billion Muslims practice and understand Islam as it is and the overwhelming majority commit no acts of violence. Dr. Jasser the darling of Rep. King and Republicans, while often making good points, practically co-signed every allegation against Muslims that many who opposed this hearing were concerned about.
If we want to have constructive dialogue, then we should invite more facts, statistics, and a diverse breath of witnesses that represent every side of the argument.