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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 Community”.

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 up.”

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 the name.”

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 demonizes Muslims.

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. 



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