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Radicalization in the American Muslim Community March
10, 2011 hearing
On March 10, 2011 the House Homeland Security
Committee held a hearing on “Radicalization in the American Muslim
Among witnesses who testified were two Muslims whose
children/family members were recruited to carry out terror plots.
Abdirizak Bihi, a Somali Muslim whose nephew was
recruited by the terrorist group Al Shabab, said of the meeting, “Today
was a victory for those looking for the right and the liberty to speak
Fellow panelist Melvin Bledsoe shared the story of his
son who was radicalized. In 2009, Bledsoe’s son Carlos launched a
Jihadist attack on a Little Rock Army Recruiting Center in Arkansas.
Another panelist, Zuhdi Jasser, a self-described
devout Muslim whose occupation is a medical doctor said that refusing to
focus on radical Islam is “like trying to treat cancer without saying
Several House members did not see the hearing the same
way as the panelists. A congresswoman from California referred to just
heard testimonies as “interesting anecdotes and not expert statements”,
while a congresswoman from Texas said that the meeting would be
ineffective because it is tainted by the title, which she believes
Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King, however, praised
the hearing as “extremely productive” and said it “broke down a wall of
political correctness.” The New York representative also said he would
hold another hearing in a couple of months. The topic of that hearing,
he predicted, would be the radicalization of Muslim inmates.
On March 29 Senate will hold a hearing on Muslim civil
rights. Senator Dick Durbin, who will chair the hearing, did not mention
King's hearing in a statement announcing his plans. Sen. Durbin said
Senate hearing would be held in response to recent incidents targeting
Muslims. A press release from Durbin's office cited "restrictions on
mosque construction," as an example of rising anti-Muslim sentiment.