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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 03/10/2011

The Peter King hearings on radical Islam (live blog)

By Felicia Sonmez

The House Homeland Security Committee convened Thursday for much-anticipated hearings on radical Islam. The hearings, called by chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.), featured a series of witnesses addressing the topic. We covered the hearing live; click on the links below for updates from the scene, and click here for more discussion on our "On Faith" blog.

2:15 p.m. Update -- "We don't have the hard conversations"

2:00 p.m. Update -- "You have not suffered a cross-burning"

1:00 p.m. Update - "If the FBI has any charges against CAIR, let the FBI bring them"

12:15 p.m. Update -- " It's like trying to treat cancer without saying the word"

11:45 a.m. Update - "Where are the uncooperative Muslims?"

11:15 a.m. Update - "Something is wrong with the Muslim leadership in Nashville"

10:45 a.m. Update - Keith Ellison sobs while delivering testimony

10:15 a.m. Update - Opening statements

9:45 a.m. Update -- The hearing begins

9:30 a.m. Update -- "Pluralism or Perish"

9 a.m. Update -- "The most absurd moment in American history"

More stories from PostPolitics

2:15 p.m. Update -- "We don't have the hard conversations"

Among those in the room was Asra Nomani, a Muslim feminist activist and former Wall Street Journal reporter. As people streamed out of the room, Nomani said she "liked the hearing."

"We don't have the hard conversations in the Muslim-American community" and are too tolerant of radical ideas and actions, she said. She called herself "as liberal as you can get" and said she was disappointed that the Democrats on the committee were so critical of the hearing's mere premise.

"We need to change so we can get rid of these ideologies," she said.

--Michelle Boorstein

2 p.m. Update -- "You have not suffered a cross-burning"

Four hours into the hearing, the third panel of speakers began. The speakers included three lawmakers: Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), one of two Muslims currently serving in Congress; Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.); and Rep. Al Green (D-Texas).

Carson asked Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca for any suggestions he might have on how the committee "might better structure procedures to protect civil rights while maintaining effectiveness" in dealing with Islamic extremism. Baca responded that he believed in "bias-free policing" and "public-trust policing," adding, "I don't believe you can judge one Muslim for the acts of another."

A few moments later, Green spoke, getting to the heart of many of the Democratic objections to the hearing.

Wielding a copy of the Constitution, Green read from the First Amendment, which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

"It is the first of the first," Green said. "The first. And I want you to know not only do I love America, I love the American people. ... And because I love the American people, I want to say in clear and precise terms: I have no problem with discussing terrorist organizations which are rooted in religion, which is why I want to discuss the KKK."

Green went on to note that the KKK "requires that its members profess a belief in Jesus Christ. The KKK says that the Christian faith is the white man's religion. The KKK says that Jews are people of the Antichrist. The KKK wants to preserve the true gospel, the gospel of the white man's religion."

Green's point, he said, was that "it is not enough for things to be right; they must also look right."

"Why not include the KKK in this discussion today?" he asked, raising his voice. "Why not have a broader topic that does not focus on one religion? It doesn't look right ... when we focus on one religion to the exclusion of others. That's the point being made."

Green was countered by one of the witnesses, Melvin Bledsoe, whose son converted to Islam and became a radical in Yemen.

"Today we are not talking at this hearing about KKK," Bledsoe said. "We're talking about extremist Islam, radicalization of American citizens. And I hope you get that day that you can be back in this hearing room. That's my hope."

Green also sparred with Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), who took issue with the notion of including the KKK in Thursday's hearing.

"You have not suffered a cross-burning," Green said to Marino as Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the committee chairman, banged his gavel several times, demanding order.

Later in the hearing, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a freshman, defended proponents of the hearing against criticism that they are attacking Islam.

"I'm not aware of anyone on this side of the political spectrum who is attacking Islam," Duncan said, noting that their efforts were focused on "Islamism." He added that he was "outraged" by the Obama administration's "continued failure to single out who our enemy is" and warned of the danger of Sharia law.

A few speakers later, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) spoke. A longtime Democratic lawmaker who represents a district with a large Muslim population, Pascrell noted that growing up, he "ate more Arabic food than Italian food." He called Islam "a beautiful religion," noting that "this hearing was not on Islam" but rather on the threat of radicalization and extremism.

"The extreme, many times, is in the eyes of the beholder," he continued. "When we don't understand the people, we are bound, all of us, to mischaracterize and to stereotype. I don't think I heard anything from any of the panelists ... trying to lead to a conclusion that we should start stereotyping more, or that we should start profiling."

Pascrell added that he was "convinced that this hearing would result in good, because when reasonable people would conclude that the greatest majority of Muslims, like every other community in this country, are patriots."

He also cautioned against painting all members of the Muslim faith with a broad brush.

"Some pretty bad people came out of some mosques," Pascrell said. "And some pretty bad people came out of Catholic churches, et cetera, et cetera. But we've got to do everything we can to avoid a wide brush, because it gets us nowhere."

Pascrell also defended the Obama administration, arguing that it was "foolish" to think that one administration "wants to protect us any less than another administration."

After Pascrell finished speaking, King spoke for one of the few times on Thursday. "Even after five minutes of that, Mr. Pascrell, I still love you," he said.

Shortly before 2 p.m., the hearing had wrapped up, more than four hours after it had begun.

--Felicia Sonmez

This story has been corrected to reflect that Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), not Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), addressed the committee. We regret the error.

1 p.m. Update - "If the FBI has any charges against CAIR, let the FBI bring them"

As the hearing stretched into its third hour, one of the few outbursts from the room came as Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) criticized the event as "grossly incomplete."

"We are seeing a very skewed discussion. While I think these anecdotes are interesting, I don't believe these are experts," Speier said. A low wave of boos and hisses came from the room. Speier slammed the hearing for its lack of any law enforcement officials or representatives from the FBI or the Homeland Security Department -- except for Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy Baca, called by the ranking Democrats.

She said that in addition to investigating Islamic radicalism, the committee might as well be investigating the Army of God, a Christian terrorist organization. She also drew a parallel between the witnesses on the panel and her own experience as a practicing Roman Catholic.

"I'm no more prepared to speak about the pedophilia in the Catholic church because I am a practicing Roman Catholic," Speier said. "And I think we do need to have experts come here to speak on homegrown terrorism in this country."

"I'm not sure who else you'd like to solve this problem, but I think it's only Muslims that can do it," responded Zuhdi Jasser, the Muslim doctor who runs a small nonprofit group. Jasser emphasized the importance of the "intellectual lay community" in bringing about change throughout history, including in reforming the Church of England.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) also criticized the hearing as "theater" and the congressional equivalent of "reality TV." She said she was "appalled" by the idea that "we have not gotten to a substantive conversation about how we define terrorism, how we define the whole idea of radicalization."

Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), a freshman, said that unlike Speier, he believed that those on the panel were experts and commended them for their "courage" and "conviction."

At one point, Jasser was asked what he hoped the hearing might accomplish. "I hope we see this as the beginning of a dialogue," Jasser said. "We have to realize that there are many Islams out there." He added that he hoped the gathering was a "pivot point" to "not allow just the revivalists to get the microphone but the reformists."

Melvin Bledsoe, whose son converted to Islam and became a radical in Yemen, said that he believed lawmakers on the panel were driven by "political fear, perhaps not getting re-elected or something."

"This is real," he said. "If you don't ignore that we have a problem, then you're inviting the problem to come again."

The crowd seemed to gain energy -- 3 1/2 hours into the hearing -- when the subject turned to the legitimacy of groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Cravaack repeated allegations constant in the conservative blogosphere that the advocacy group is governed by terrorist organizations collaborating with outlawed groups like Hamas.

"Basically, you're dealing with a terrorist organization. They might be using you, sir, to implement their goals," Cravaack told Baca, who represents the largest sheriff's department in the country.

Baca, who has been outspoken in recent weeks about his strong collaboration with Muslim American organizations, triggered something like a group gasp when he said, "If the FBI has any charges against CAIR, let the FBI bring them. You have facts, and you have a crime. Deal with it. We don't play around with criminals in my world. If CAIR is a 'criminal organization,' prosecute them and bring them to trial."

CAIR was used as a lightning rod during the hearing, sort of a proxy for the often cited but unnamed "Muslim organizations" that King and several of his witnesses said were the problem and were encouraging innocent, patriotic Muslim Americans not to work with law enforcement.

Baca added that "you don't want to cause a conflict between me and the FBI. We work together better than perhaps this committee works together."

"That would be an understatement at this point," Cravaack replied, to laughter from the hearing room.

King chimed in a few moments later to note that he believed the committee usually worked well together.

--Felicia Sonmez and Michelle Boorstein

12:15 p.m. Update -- " It's like trying to treat cancer without saying the word"

As the hearing continued, more Democratic lawmakers took aim at the gathering itself for what they said was over-focusing on American Muslims.

"I believe the narrow focus of this hearing is discriminatory, and it is an abuse of power," said Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.).

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), meanwhile, asked for thoughts from the panelists on how to combat the use of the Internet and other technologies by terrorist organizations overseas.

Jasser responded that "we need your support to do that and we can do it with the right resources." He said that the U.S. strategy so far has been to try to break down Islamist propaganda. "That's wrong," he said. "Look at what happened in Egypt and Tunisia. That was simply through social networking."

Jasser also criticized the investigation into the Fort Hood attack and others for not specifically mentioning the words "Islam" or "jihad."

"It's like trying to treat cancer without saying the word," Jasser said, adding: "We've surrendered the constitution to the jihadists."

Two freshman lawmakers, Reps. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) and Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.), were among those asking questions at the hearing.

Richmond, who is African-American, said that it worried him that people who had never been victims of profiling "are quick to suggest that that is a legitimate crime-fighting tool when it's irresponsible and not the smartest way to fight crime."

He asked Jasser whether there might be people using the hearing to say, "This is evidence of America's war with Islam." Jasser said that that could be so, but reiterated his point that it's necessary to talk about Islam by name.

"If it's a theopolitical movement, how else do we counter it? ... How do we even fight that if we can't even discuss it because we're afraid of offending sensibilities?" he asked.

Jasser cited statistics that of the 220 terror arrests over the last several years, 180 suspects were Muslims. Richmond responded that "every terror plot is important. Every life that's lost is important. I would not consider it a waste of time to consider talking about extremists of any fashion."

Clarke, a freshman whose father was from Bangladesh and whose mother is African-American, touched on his own personal experience, growing emotional as he spoke.

"My father, who cared for me, who loved me, was a Muslim. ... Most importantly, what I remember was that his love for people was based in his faith in God. In order for us to make sure that 9/11 never, ever happens again, I urge all of us as members of Congress to make our decisions based on sound intelligence, not on profiling, not on stereotyping, which could lead and fuel more hatred and more bigotry," Clarke said.

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) also drew on personal experience in his questioning, noting that when he served in the Marine Corps, he was taught to "know your enemy, and I think that's extremely important." He added that the current enemy is "Islamisists" and emphasized that none of the lawmakers who supported the hearing are "Islamophobic;" rather, he said, they are focused on "a radicalization which is a tremendous, tremendous national security problem."

--Felicia Sonmez

11:45 a.m. Update - "Where are the uncooperative Muslims?"

For the first time in the hearing, the witnesses were allowed to engage in a question-and-answer session with members of the committee. Some tense exchanges ensued.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the panel's ranking member, said that there is a "school of thought that we ought to profile all Muslims in America." He then asked several of the witnesses whether they agreed with the notion of profiling.

"I don't agree with blind profiling; that's unconstitutional," Zuhdi Jasser said, before Thompson abruptly cut him off. Jasser is a prominent physician and Navy veteran from Scottsdale, Arizona

"I'm twenty-thousand times against the profiling of not only Muslims but any group," Bihi said in response to the same question.

Thompson then warned that by focusing specifically on Islamic radicalism, "you run the risk of profiling law-abiding citizens in this country who just happen to be Muslim."

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) spoke next, noting that he has been on panels investigating issues including the continued presence of Nazi war criminals in the U.S., the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans; the problem of youth gang violence; and the unsolved murders of African-Americans in the South. In each of those cases, Lungren said, the panel's work was focused specifically on each issue and did not broaden it past that, as some have advocated King's hearing should have done.

Lungren then asked Abdirizak Bihi whether imams in his community helped or hurt him when his nephew disappeared. Bihi is a Somali-American activist who works with youths in Minneapolis's large Somali community and whose nephew was killed in Somalia in 2009 after becoming a radical and joining a militant group there.

Bihi responded that Muslim leaders in his community strongly warned him not to go to law enforcement when his nephew vanished. Bihi said that the leaders told him the FBI and police "don't care about you" and that he could hurt Muslims' reputation and harm mosques if he went forward, and that if he did that, "you will have internal fire and hell."

"They threatened me, intimidated me, and not only me but whole families," Bihi said.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), whose Orange County district is home to a large Muslim-American population, was the next lawmakers to question the panelists. She pressed Jasser on how Muslim-Americans might be expected to respond to the FBI, noting that "if the FBI comes late at night knocking on your door, you tell them that you'd like to meet them at some other place at some other time with your attorney."

Jasser responded to Sanchez that "when that discussion that you just went through dominates the entire discourse ... it creates a narrative that it's anti-Muslim."

Lee Baca, the Los Angeles County sheriff, responded by noting the "core values" of the Los Angeles police force include having the "courage to stand against racism, sexism, homophobia and bigotry in all its forms." Citizens need to know that "no police officer, no sheriff ... will ever step outside of the American legal system in doing their job," he said.

"My first outreach to the community is to say, 'If you don't have an encounter with my deputies that is within those core values, then I need to know about this,'" Baca added.

At one point, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) took issue with Thompson's statement that there are some who have said there are "too many mosques" in the country, contending that no members of the panel have said that.

King quickly interjected, noting that he himself has said that there are too many mosques that don't cooperate with law enforcement, but that "I never said there were too many mosques in America." (King has been quoted as stating that there are "too many mosques" in the country, a statement that he has clarified as applying only to the number of mosques that do not cooperate with law enforcement.)

At another point, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) held up a Constitution. "I will tell you today that this breathing document is in pain," she said, before going on to ask the panelists how many of them are Muslim. Several raised their hands.

"Muslims are here cooperating," Lee proclaimed. "They are doing what this hearing is suggesting that they do not do. ... Where are the uncooperative Muslims?"

She added that the hearing takes the country down a dangerous path, down "the same route of an Arizona and other states." After a few contentious minutes, the hearing room erupted into laughter when Lee finally stopped interrupting King and his gavel.

"I yield back," she says, and was quiet.

--Felicia Sonmez and Michelle Boorstein

11:15 a.m. Update - "Something is wrong with the Muslim leadership in Nashville"

After the three lawmakers testified, with no question-and-answer session, the hearing moved on to the next panel of witnesses. They were Zuhdi Jasser, a prominent physician and Navy veteran from Scottsdale, Arizona, who founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy after the Sept. 11 terror attacks; Marvin Bledsoe, a Memphis man whose son converted to Islam, became a radical in Yemen and in 2009 fired shots at a Little Rock military recruiting center; Abdirizak Bihi, a Somali-American activist who works with youths in Minneapolis's large Somali community and whose nephew was killed in Somalia in 2009 after becoming a radical and joining a militant group there; and Lee Baca, the Los Angeles County sheriff who was called by Democrats and who has spoken out in recent weeks to criticize the hearing's premise that Muslims aren't cooperative with law enforcement.

The panel spoke as the hearing room remained packed with audience members; the room was very narrow, but very high, adorned with engraved light fixtures, mustard drapery and security people every few feet.

Baca cited statistics that since the Sept. 11 attacks, domestic and international terror plots by non-Muslims have happened twice as frequently as those by non-Muslims. He criticized the premise of the hearing as "counterproductive," charging that it "plays directly into the terrorists' propaganda that the West's war against terror is a war against Islam."

Both Bledsoe and Bihi blamed local Muslim leaders for the fates of their sons and nephews. Bledsoe said that the former imam of a Nashville mosque, Al Faroop Mosque, wrote the recommendation letter for his son to go to a school in Yemen that was a front for a terrorist training camp.

"Something is wrong with the Muslim leadership in Nashville," Bledsoe said. "What happened to Carlos at those Nashville mosques isn't normal."

"It seems to me that the American people are sitting around and doing nothing about Islamic extremism, as if Carlos' story and other stories told at these hearings aren't true," he continued. "There is a big elephant in the room, but our society continues not to see it."

King asked Jasser whether he saw the experiences of Bledsoe and Bihi as "isolated cases." Jasser responded that "the vast majority of mosques are places where all of our families go worship. ... Not only are they not a threat, but they would report anything they see." He cautioned, however, that there's "an ideology that exists in some mosques" that is worrisome, and that it is not confined to the idea of violent extremism.

"It is about that separatism -- that idea that the Islamic state precedence; Islamic law takes precedence over American law," Jasser said.

He added: "I think it's time ... to awaken the silent Muslim majority that exists there that loves this country, that should do some self-repair instead of turning a blind eye."

--Felicia Sonmez and Michelle Boorstein

10:45 a.m. Update -- Keith Ellison sobs while delivering testimony

After the opening statements by King and Thompson, the three participants in the first panel, Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.), spoke next. Ellison is the first Muslim-American elected to Congress and one of two Muslims currently serving; Dingell represents a district with a large Muslim population; and Wolf currently oversees the budget of the FBI and the Justice Department through his work on a House subcommittee.

Dingell noted his role as the Dean of the House, the longest-serving member of the lower chamber. He said that Muslims are "a community that demagogues continue to mischaracterize and misrepresent, to the detriment of all of us."

Dingell also said that he would keep a photo of Joseph McCarthy on his desk as a reminder and warning of what not to become. "This hearing must not be permitted to recall the evils of McCarthyism and the divisiveness and ill-will it created amongst our people," he said. He added that he wanted to make "unequivocally clear for the record: Islam is not a religion of division and intolerance, but a religion that values diversity and understanding."

Ellison spoke next, delivering testimony that was more animated and emotional than most of the other speakers thus far, speaking more informally and emotionally from the outset.

"I will make three points today," Ellison said. "First, violent extremism is a serious concern to all Americans, and is the legitimate business of this Committee. Second, this Committee's approach to violent extremism is contrary to American values, and threatens our security. Finally, we need increased understanding and engagement with Muslim American communities to keep America safe."

Ellison warned that "ascribing the evil acts of a few individuals to an entire community is wrong; it is ineffective; and it risks making our country less secure." He noted that American Muslims are "doctors, lawyers, teachers, business owners, factory workers, cab drivers, law enforcement officers, professors, firefighters, and members of the armed forces," adding that 29 Muslims died in the World Trade Center and three died onboard the hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001.

Toward the end of his testimony, Ellison grew visibly emotional when he described the story of Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old Muslim paramedic and police cadet from New York City.

Hamdani was one of the first responders who lost their lives in the September 11 terror attacks.

"Mr. Hamdani bravely sacrificed his life to try and help others on 9/11," Ellison said, his voice cracking. "After the tragedy some people tried to smear his character solely because of his Islamic faith. Some people spread false rumors and speculated that he was in league with the attackers only because he was Muslim. It was only when his remains were identified that these lies were fully exposed."

As Ellison spoke, people stood up from the packed rows to try to see him. It was a jarring moment in the staid, formal setting. King showed little emotion as the man sitting directly in front of him broke into sobs. King looked at the papers before him, to others in the room; it wasn't possible to gauge his own internal reaction.

The rows of cameras and videocameras snapped closer and faster as Ellison choked through his statement and then hustled out of the room.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Calif.), sitting three seats to King's left, asked for the chance for all committee members to speak, given the emotion of the topic, but King denied a change in structure and within seconds the next witness - Wolf - was at the table before the cameras.

--Felicia Sonmez and Michelle Boorstein

10:15 a.m. Update - Opening statements

House Homeland Security Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) gave their opening statements in a hearing room where videographers packed in every open inch, roaming, taping the faces of many women with headscarves.

King acknowledged the controversy surrounding the hearing from the get-go and assured the audience that he would not back down.

"Let me make it clear today that I remain convinced that these hearings must go forward, and they will," King said. "To back down would be a craven surrender to political correctness and an abdication of what I believe to be the main responsibility of this committee-- to protect America from a terrorist attack."

He went on:

"This Committee cannot live in denial which is what some would have us do when they suggest that this hearing dilute its focus by investigating threats unrelated to al-Qaeda. The Department of Homeland Security and this committee were formed in response to the al-Qaeda attacks of 9/11. There is no equivalency of threat between al-Qaeda and neo-Nazis, environmental extremists or other isolated madmen. Only al-Qaeda and its Islamist affiliates in this country are part of an international threat to our nation. Indeed by the Justice Department's own record not one terror related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, militias or anti-war groups."

King closed by saying that as the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches, "we cannot allow the memories of that tragic day to fade away. We must remember that in the days immediately following the attack, we are all united in our dedication to fight back against Al Qaeda and its ideology."

Thompson spoke next, starting off by reiterating his "belief that a hearing on the linkage between extreme ideology and violent action should be a broad-based examination."

"As members of Congress, our words transcend this hearing room. We must be vigilant that our words and our actions do not inflame," he said. "Acknowledgment of an obligation to be responsible does not equal political correctness."

Thompson cautioned that as the country is waging two wars, "our words and actions cannot be used to endanger our soldiers."

"I have heard concerns that today's hearings will stoke a climate of fear and distrust in the Muslim community," he continued. "It may also increase fear and distrust of the Muslim community. For law enforcement officials, outreach and cooperation may become more difficult."

-- Felicia Sonmez

9:45 a.m. Update -- The hearing begins

With about 90 seats in the beige-walled, chandeliered hearing room -- small for a hearing of this size -- space was very tight. Imams packed up next to rabbis next to human rights lawyers who bused in overnight from New York City. A long skinny table up against the wall was jammed with reporters.

Security was tight in the hallways, where more than 100 people had started gathering at 7 a.m. for a spot.

An advance copy of Rep. Peter King's opening statement said opposition to his hearings has ranged from "measured and thoughtful" to "paroxysms of rage and hysteria."

"Despite what passes for conventional wisdom in certain circles, there is nothing radical or un-American in holding these hearings," the statement read. "This Committee cannot live in denial which is what some would have us do when they suggest that this hearing dilute its focus," the statement read. "Only al-Qaida and its Islamist affiliates in this country are part of an international threat to our nation."

He said the family members he will call are "brave men who have endured suffering no father or uncle should ever have to go through. Their courage and spirit will put a human face on the horror which Islamist radicalization has inflicted and will continue to inflict on good families, especially those in the Muslim community."

-- Michelle Boorstein

9:30 a.m. Update -- "Pluralism or Perish"

In a steady, light rain, two protesters stood outside the Cannon House Office Building. Virginia Spatz, a Chicago native who has lived in the D.C. area for 25 years, held a sign that said "Pluralism or Perish."

"I don't want this hearing to go on without some kind of visible protest," Spatz said. "All religious people should be horrified that one religion is being singled out like this."

Next to her, Galen Muhammad of Forestville, said that he'd heard leaders in Muslim religious services tell congregations that anyone with radical ideas should leave and spend their life on a desert island, where they can't hurt anyone. The message was that so many Muslims had emigrated to America for freedom: "Don't mess it up for us," Muhammad said.

"I don't know who the criminals in the Muslim community are," said Muhammad, who is Muslim. "Because they're not going to come to law-abiding Muslims and tell us they're going to commit a crime."

-- David A. Fahrenthold

9 a.m. Update -- "The most absurd moment in American history"

By 8:30 a.m., a line of about 100 people had already formed on the third floor of the marble-floored Cannon House Office Building. Police officers were everywhere.

The first three people in line were women from New York, including Aisha Ghani, 30, a Muslim Ph.D. student in national security at Stanford who took the overnight bus from New York to "bear witness to what must be the most absurd moment in American history."

"Even if this is under the guise of something reasonable, there is no question this is about Islam," she said. American Muslims do not pose a threat, and the King hearings, she said, are about justifying and making "normative" Islamophobia.

With her was Amna Akbar, 32, a Muslim human rights lawyer based at New York University. She called the hearing "political theater" meant to distract from the failed war on terror.

Akbar also questioned how real the actual rise is in homegrown jihadis.

"Ten years after 9/11, there isn't much to show for the war on terrorism, so the FBI is constructing and writing the plot by entrapping people so that they can point to something to justify wars abroad," she said.

-- Michelle Boorstein

Conversation about the hearing on Twitter:

More coverage from PostPolitics:

- Interactive: Highlights from the King hearing
- How should we talk about Islam in America?
- Fact Checker: King's misleading claim on radical imams
- Full coverage from the Post's On Faith
- The King hearings: The witness list
- King's past views on IRA draw ire
- King takes to CNN show to defend hearings
- Japanese Americans: Radical Islam hearings 'sinister'
- Cantor defends King hearings on radical Islam
- Crowds rally in NYC on the weekend before the King hearings
- White House praises Muslims ahead of hearings

By Felicia Sonmez  | March 10, 2011; 3:00 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: CAIR comes under fire during Peter King hearings on radical Islam
Next: It's the economy (and the deficit, and the gas prices), stupid


The fascist Tea Party is destroying this country that I love.


Posted by: thomasmc1957 | March 10, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Muslims chop of people's hands, feet, tongues, genitals, and many times - their heads. . . . .
They set American citizens bodies on fire, and laugh as they burn. . . . .
They throw acid in the faces of little girls, if they try to attend school. . . . . .
They stone women to death who have been raped, because they believe rape is the woman's fault
They fly planes into buildings filled with innocent civilians.
They murder their own children.
They bomb Christian churches.
They blow up airplanes filled with innocent people
They murder people for drawing cartoons
They celebrated in the streets by the millions on 9-11.
They riot in the streets.
They rape female reporters
They commit 5000 honor killings every year.

Muslims have committed 16,000 terrorist acts since 9-11.

When Muslims commit these acts of violence, the first thing liberals do - is change the subject, and attack everyone but the Muslims who perpetrated the violence.

Posted by: Naota | March 10, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I believe in those old adages coined by Aesop:

1. Birds of a feather flock together.
2. Tell me who your friends are and I'll
tell you who you are.
3. Where there is smoke, there is fire.

It was not a group of blond, blue-eyed, elderly, Swedish ladies who did in the WTC. It was a group of Muslims. The world's biggest Oxymoron--"Moderate Muslims". The world's biggest redundancy-"Radical Muslims." Our "tolerance" is sowing the seeds of our own destruction.

How can we tolerate people who fervently believe in Sharia Law which mandates be-headings, cutting off of hands, stoning of women, and the murder of your own children if they eve "look" at a Westerner.

Actually, the greatest danger to America is not Islam; it is the ACLU, whose acronym is Anti Christian Lovers Unite.

Posted by: fregameeate | March 10, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The fascist Tea Party is destroying this country that I love.


Ditto!!! And we need to get rid of our spineless President - Someone needs to step-up in 2012.

Posted by: question-guy | March 10, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Why not the hearings if the extremists ALWAYS commit acts of violence in the name of their religion? Heck, if pedophile priests and wackos like T. McVeigh yells "God is great!" while raping children or blowing up buildings, I'd want a hearing on Christianity too.

Posted by: Chuckled | March 10, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

said the Irish terrorist.

Posted by: calif-joe | March 10, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

All we need to know about fair and balanced reporting, and professionalism, of the leftest Mainstream Media and the Washington Post is to look at the photo of Peter King that they carefully selected to run at the top of this report on the Post's online front page.
- - - -
Border Enforcement + Immigration Moratorium = Job, Crime and Eco Sanity.

Posted by: tma_sierrahills | March 10, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I believe in those old adages coined by Aesop:

1. Birds of a feather flock together.
2. Tell me who your friends are and I'll
tell you who you are.
3. Where there is smoke, there is fire.


Who were Timothy James McVeigh's birds? Today's Tea Party, Skinheads, the Klan and IRA Members, that who!

Posted by: question-guy | March 10, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Muslims demand the same freedoms in our country they deny to other in muslim countries. Try and build a church in Arabia and see what happens. The religion of the child raping prophet is a cancer on humanity.

Posted by: carlbatey | March 10, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

This fat slob has always made me sick. Makes me wonder what kind of people live in his district that vote for him. Finally, Eric Holder came out and disputed what King has been saying about the Muslim community not co-operating. Most of the tips we have gotten about activities in the U.S. have come from Muslims.

Posted by: wrw01011 | March 10, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Too bad the "Team B" from the Ford administration turned out to be wrong on almost everything....This is easily looked up, BTW.

Posted by: TomR3 | March 10, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Muslims demand the same freedoms in our country they deny to other in muslim countries. Try and build a church in Arabia and see what happens. The religion of the child raping prophet is a cancer on humanity.

Posted by: carlbatey | March 10, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

No, there's nothing unAmerican in government hearings and actions targeted at particular groups. If you don't believe it, just as the sons and daughters of the Japenese interred in WWII or those targeted as Communists by Joe McCarthy. Or Blacks targeted and refused voting rights or the right to use restrooms or ride anywhere except the back seats in public transportation.

Rep. King is part of a long venerable history of targeting groups for discrimination.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | March 10, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

America's true enemy are the christo-fascists within. They are the ones destroying Constitutional government. They are the ones killing our sons and daughters with useless wars.

If we hand the country over to the bigoted right-wing nut jobs, we'll only have ourselves to blame. Because once they get hold of it they won't let go without a civil war.

Posted by: karlmarx2 | March 10, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Dear Muslims: all immigrant people's have brought their cultures to their new homes. BUT THEY ADDED AND CREATED NEW WAYS!
PLEASE: DON"T BE STUCK IN 1529 Current Era.
INVITATION 4 U TO immigrate is NOT An invitation to CONQUER---JUST SHARE!!!
If We settle in "ISAMIC STATES"--Will we Be Able To live ONLY by OUR RULES and No Jizya? WILL Sharia (or its versions) rule us?
When Muslims are minorities, they want EQUALITY and ALL FREEDOMS for themselves --in new countries. When they R MAJORITY--The want an Islamic State--istan! And the new MINORITIES are BOOTED!
Come here and JOIN us to build a better nation--more than just mosques and ISLAMIC CHAUVINISM!!

Posted by: nsologar | March 10, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The only terrorist supporter at this hearing is the Chairman, Peter King, a confessed IRA fundraiser.

Posted by: Bud0 | March 10, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

In Europe we had a similar problem with a certain religious minority which was undermining the Fatherland. We developed very effective methods for dealing with them. You Republicans should learn from our experience.

Posted by: reltih | March 10, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

King must have had a very wretched childhood. I doubt seriously he ever went to the playgrounds and hanged out with the other normal kids. He is a very bitter old man.

Posted by: truth1 | March 10, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

But what if the planes where not the reason the towers fell?

Wouldn't your manufactured campaign of hatred to generate a war, feel silly then.

Thousands died on 9/11.

So many Muslims died in the Iraq war we don't even have a good estimate of the number of dead.

A hundred thousand, six hundred thousand, over a million, killed in a war based on a false premise, costing taxpayers 4 trillion dollars, which mostly benefited oil companies.

Certainly not those of us who drive cars and are paying ever increasing costs for gasoline while there are wars in the oil field nations.

If you want to wage a war, wage it against those who kill, the drug cartels, the lunatic extremists, those who don't care about people or their lives.

They are the enemy.

If you cause a war, based on false premises, and kill hundreds of thousands of people....who is the enemy.

Posted by: brng | March 10, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Peter King claims to be an expert on terrorism but his limited attention to muslims demonstrate that he wouldn't know who Timothy McVeigh was or what he did. For King, terrorism comes in only one religion and that is not IRA catholicism.

Posted by: mikesba | March 10, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Pakistan is behind the entire Af - Pak mess andthe lost lives of US soldiers. Hence its nukes must be captured completely before any tragedy causes the global clash of civilizations.

The almost sovereign Paki Army , ISI and the Government have presided over :

1) Genocide of 4 Millions over 64 years ( Minoriies including Hindus) - 3 million in 1971 in East Pakistan ( now Bangladesh) and 1 million in 1947 partition of India
2) AQ Khan distributing nukes to N Korea and Iran,
3) ISI funded the 9/11, and shielded Osama Mullah Omar
4) Mumbai , London and a dozen other places bombed & attacked for several decades.
5) Launched and failed in 4 wars - and still trying to wage wars with entire world in easy instalments.

Finally if it comes to that Pak may have to be finally nuked to hell’s fires. For those that say " what the difference between us and Taliban" – recall that Taliban has declared that martyrdom and going to heaven is the only goal of Islamic life. It is now time that such social work by Kafirs could be freely initiated even without any duress from Taliban.

On a related note just google ' THIGHING' to understand life clearly under shariat law.

Posted by: jaguar20091 | March 10, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I hate organized religion and believe that organized religions today are hate groups at worst, and social groups for like--minded (read: BIGOTED) individuals at best. Most organized religion today has very little to do with God.

A frank discussion on how fundamentalism has overtaken our country NEEDS to happen in Congress. But it shouldn't start and end with Islam. What about the "Christian" churches who blatantly defy their 501(c)3 agreement by supporting conservative political candidates and campaign against pro-gay legislation? What about the fact that my tax money is given to Israel, and they turn around and use it to commit genocide against Palestinians? What about "churches" who incite violence against OB/GYN's who perform abortions?

I don't think that all churches are bad, but their are many that are. ANY religious entity that incites violence, hate, and encourages its members to take up arms in defense of fundamentalist causes is a terrorist group, whether it has a cross, star of david, or a crescent over their door! I don't see Islam as more dangerous to this country than the Mormons or the Catholics!

It's time to start enforcing the separation of church and state in this country. And it's PAST TIME to start revoking tax exempt status from any religious organization that is politically active or incites violence and hate. Putting a dent in their wallet would do a great deal to curb the stranglehold that fundamentalists have on this country!

Take a look at Fred Phelps and try to convince yourself that a peaceful, observant Muslim woman in a head scarf is more frightening that!

Posted by: CAC2 | March 10, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I could say the same thing about Catholicism and the destruction they have brought our economy. They are a government working inside our government headed by a dictatorial national leader whois also a absolute religious leader. This is more power than anyone else on Earth. Their belief is that Jesus Christ came to create division which is highly unlikely. While the Executive branch government holds a conference on childhood bullies, you show an example of adulthood bullying by the Congressional branch. Catholicism calls it dichotomy. Congress calls it what? The dictionary calls it oxymoron. Quit wasting our tax dollars before you get us all killed in a war you will hide from. We are not living in the Middle Ages anymore.

Posted by: momvera | March 10, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Representative Peter King is an embarrassment to all Christians and to people of Irish descent in America....our religion teaches us to "Judge not lest you be judged and to condemn not lest you be condemned" but Peter seems to have been holding his hands over his ears while the priests were teaching this part of Jesus message. We are all brothers and the Jews, Muslims and Christians all pray to the same God of Abraham. Wake up Peter before it is too late.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | March 10, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"movie":"", "id":"oplayer-video-swf", "width":"454", height:"270", "vars":{ "title":"Live Video Coverage: Click to Play", "flvStreamingServer":"rtmp://", "stillURL":"", "flvURL":"postflash3@524", "autoStart":"false", "clickThru":"", "playAds":"true", "adZone":"" }, "params":{ "allowFullScreen":"true" } }

Posted by: clitteigh | March 10, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"adding that 29 Muslims died in the World Trade Center and three died onboard the hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001."

I'd like to be the 1001'st person to point out that more than 3 Muslims died above the hijacked planes.

The issue is not that all Muslims are terrorists or terrorist-sympathizers or that no Muslims were victims. Stop fishing for red herrings.

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | March 10, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Oy, the nasty little right-wing liars, pretenders, and Chicken Little trolls are out and about in force this morning doing their muck work. No shame for them, I guess.

Posted by: washpost16 | March 10, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"When Muslims commit these acts of violence, the first thing liberals do - is change the subject, and attack everyone but the Muslims who perpetrated the violence.

Posted by: Naota "

Your ability and eagerness to generalize is astounding and makes you a true threat to all who are not like you. Perhaps we should kill all conservatives as a matter of public safety?

Get to the point.
Even if what you say is true, what would you have changed?

And what if it is not true?

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | March 10, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

What a WIMP!

Posted by: priveye | March 10, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

For Shame!

Have you no sense of decency? Have you no honor?

A sad day that will live in infamy.

Posted by: info23 | March 10, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

If one looks deeper into Marvin Bledsoe's past we'll find troubling aspects to his life that permitted his son to be converted to terrorism. Could be child abuse. alcoholism, strict authoritarianism from being Bpatist. The Muslims did not destroy this guys son. Marvin Bledsoe did that all by himself.

Posted by: Maddogg | March 10, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Its interesting the John Dingell should testify. What would you expect, he panders to the largerst Arab poplulation in the US and would do/say anything in order to be reelected.

Posted by: ariver31112 | March 10, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Something to consider:

The Fellowship of the Ring: Bush's inner circle that attacked Iraq, Afghanistan and America on 9/11
The Two Towers: Have fallen
The Return of the King: McCarthyism xenophobic trials now in progress ala Peter King

Tolkien's prophesies are now complete. You might want to hold on to your seats as I suspect things are about to get a lot more interesting around here...

Posted by: Byrd3 | March 10, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yes. Let us understand the Muslims who believe that this is HONORABLE or even acceptable..........

A Muslim teenage girl murdered in an "honour killing" was the victim of a clash of cultures, police said today.
Strict Kurdish Muslim Abdalla Yones cut the throat of his 16-year-old daughter Heshu because he believed she had become too westernised.
He was jailed for life today after admitting the murder of A-level student Heshu, who had planned to run away from home after starting a relationship with an 18-year-old Lebanese Christian boy.
Police said she appeared to have been the victim of serious domestic violence before the murder.
And they revealed a letter which Heshu wrote to her parents, apparently just days before she planned to run away.
It read: "Bye Dad, sorry I was so much trouble. "Me and you will probably never understand each other, but I'm sorry I wasn't what you wanted, but there's some things you can't change.
"Hey, for an older man you have a good strong punch and kick.
"I hope you enjoyed testing your strength on me, it was fun being on the receiving end. Well done."
Yones, 48, a political refugee who had fled the brutality of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq 10 years ago, was the first person to plead guilty to murder in a so-called honour killing case.
Police believe there were 12 such killings in Britain last year, including six in London, and have vowed to investigate other members of the community who may have colluded to help cover up the death.
Yones tried to kill himself immediately after the murder by cutting his own throat and then throwing himself from a third floor balcony at the family home in Acton, west London, on October 12 last year.
He initially claimed members of al Qaida had broken into his home, killed his daughter and attacked him before throwing him over the balcony.


Posted by: tjmlrc | March 10, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The NRA and Republicans sponsored 900,000 terrorist shootings of Americans since 9-11.

Need a real terrorist call 1-800-NRA-GUNS.

Posted by: Maddogg | March 10, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

When was the last time a congressional hearing led to a conclusion that clarified anything? Or provided a sound solution?
Plus the whole "American exceptionalism" theme so beloved by conservatives disallows any discussion about whether American foreign policy might exacerbate extremism. How can you have a conversation about causes of terrorism with such a lop-sided menu?

Posted by: jmk833 | March 10, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

When was the last time a congressional hearing led to a conclusion that clarified anything? Or provided a sound solution?
Plus the whole "American exceptionalism" theme so beloved by conservatives disallows any discussion about whether American foreign policy might exacerbate extremism. How can you have a conversation about causes of terrorism with such a lop-sided menu?

Posted by: jmk833 | March 10, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Marvin Bledsoe destroyed his son all by himself.

Posted by: Maddogg | March 10, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Ellison the Drama Queen. How long did he practice in front of the mirror.

Perfect for the OpraChopra masses. Works every time. Remember Obama with the little girl in heaven jumping in the puddles.

We are living in the last days of the Republic!

Posted by: beecheery | March 10, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Hatred and derision based solely on one's religious beliefs is pathetic. Anyone who thinks all Muslims are terrorists has probably never met a Muslim. Extremists come in all religious flavors.

Posted by: HappyArmyWife | March 10, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

When will the Politically Correct learn that the world's most obvious Oxymoron is "MODERATE MUSLIM?

How can ANY people be moderate when their core beliefs are" Be-headings; stoning of Pregnant Women; cutting off of hands/fingers/ murder of one's own children who GASP!--look at a Westerner.

America's Tombstone will carry the epitaph"

"Here lies the Politically Correct."

Posted by: fregameeate | March 10, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It's nice to know that our government is awash in so much $$$$$ that we can afford to placate the bigots in Congress especially when we have the Dept of Homeland Security whose job it is to investigate radicalism of any sort

Posted by: hootie1fan | March 10, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Just to help set the record straight, I'd appreciate it if ANYONE in WAPO's vast audience could provide a citation to a comment or statement by Peter King or any Republican which condemns all Muslims for the acts of the Islamic Terrorists.

Rep. Ellison's tears are nothing more than his attempt to discredit the purpose of the hearings.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | March 10, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Look at the great acts of terrorism and other crimes committed against Americans on our own soil and what common thread do you find? Muslims or others of dark skin - NO, wacko-liberals – NO, atheists –NO What you will find these horrific acts have in common, drum roll please, MEN. Let’s get Congress to investigate the problems that men cause in this country. (please make note of sarcasm)

Posted by: hootie1fan | March 10, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

what the heck is a muslim america? is that like a gay american?

are we now going to label ourselves in multiple ways?

can i be a caucasian-christian-greek-albanian-middleclass-european-heterosexual-middleaged-employed-male american?

Posted by: perryrants | March 10, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Muslims demand the same freedoms in our country they deny to other in muslim countries. Try and build a church in Arabia and see what happens."


Muslim-Americans demand the same freedoms in the country of us all, the United States of America, that are afforded to Americans regardless of religion or creed. What happens in other countries is irrelevant to the upholding of OUR rights in OUR country.

Posted by: drjoann | March 10, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The "Main Theme" should be--"Radical Muslim", is an "Oxymoron."

Posted by: fregameeate | March 10, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hate gets a lot of press. If you don't believe it, just look at these hearings.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | March 10, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Why not the hearings if the extremists ALWAYS commit acts of violence in the name of their religion? Heck, if pedophile priests and wackos like T. McVeigh yells "God is great!" while raping children or blowing up buildings, I'd want a hearing on Christianity too.

Posted by: Chuckled | March 10, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse
First of all, Congress did hold hearings in 1995 on the threat posed by right-wing miltias as a consequence of the Oklahoma City bombing. These hearings were mainly unopposed, despite the fact that the militias members were almost exclusively white and a majority confessed Christians.

Second, I agree that the Roman Catholic Church should be investigated by Congress for the pedophilia scandal. If Congress can hold hearings on steroid use in baseball, they can certainly do the same for such a prolific organization as the Roman Catholic Church.

Third, I would like to test your inference that people should fear fundamentalist Christian adherents as much as they do Muslim extremists. You should go to a very public place in DC, let's say at Union Station or near the White House and exclaim "God Is Great! Praise be the name of Jesus" for one hour and let's see how many people even turn their heads to acknowledge your existence.

Afterwards, go back the next day to the same spot and instead holler "Allahu Akbar" and let's see if you even make it to 10 minutes, let alone an hour.

Posted by: braunt | March 10, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"The shooter just happened to be Muslim."

- Rep. Ellison (D-Mecca) & all leftists

Posted by: screwjob26 | March 10, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Calif.) held up a Constitution. "I will tell you today that this breathing document is in pain," ..the fact this "lady" is in the congress makes that institution a joke...the document is in pain, really, I imagine it was like getting kicked in the nuts when your boy an that witch pelosi jammed healthcare through with 0 Repub votes..

Posted by: mjandrews8 | March 10, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Rep King is setting himself up as the new McCarthy. This committee hearing is despicable and there are other agencies in the government that actually protect this country from anti-American forces. King just wants his moment of fame - it is a moment of Infamy. Disgraceful mockery of our rights and the rights of the majority of all Muslims. What a waste of time.

Posted by: susan6sw | March 10, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

If the King hearings find a witch, will they have a bonfire outside the hearing room?

Posted by: roboturkey | March 10, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh my God! Can't Congress get anything right. Stop focusing on Muslims and Islam. Focus on the real threat. Clandestine groups of Mid-West, White, Blue-eyed, Swedish Women adept at disguise. That's the real terror threat. Stop bothering all the Moderate Muslims--all 6 of them!

Posted by: fregameeate | March 10, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Congressman King, keep up the good work! The bozos calling you everything but a human being in these comments are incredibly dumb to turn their back on trying to identify threats to their own existence. If there is such a thing as kharma, perhaps the next bomb victim will be one of these bleeding heart idiots or one of their loved ones. Then let's see just how shameful it is. I am not impressed with the muslim congressman who shed tears for some who died on 9/11. What about the thousands of innocents who perished because of the radicals? Where were his tears for them? Al Queda recruits worldwide. Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have captured American citizens who joined them and trained with them. Americans need to know if these killers are being recruited in our own country.

Posted by: panamajack | March 10, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"How can we tolerate people who fervently believe in Sharia Law which mandates be-headings, cutting off of hands, stoning of women, and the murder of your own children if they eve "look" at a Westerner."

Here's a tip: not every Muslim believes that. Just like not every Christian believes homosexuals should be killed.

Posted by: presto668 | March 10, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Someone should investigate King for his support of the IRA and its shootings and bombings.

Someone should investigate Eric cantor for his support of Jewish terrorists.

Someone should investigate Newt to determine if he is running a brothel or is just a romantic.

Someone should investigate Sarah to determine if she stole more than travel money.

Finally - someone should investigate the conservative Supreme Court members to determine if they also have wives, children or other relatives working for companies/lobby organizations with business before the court. We know Clarence does and is guilty of betraying his trust - at the very least.

Posted by: Freethotlib | March 10, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Stop with the drama fool.

I want to know, when you are hooked up to a lie detector, the last time you referred to an American, who wasn't muslim, as an infidel.

I'm not impressed with your tears and I've got another tidbit for you.

Jesus is our savior. And he doesn't promote killing anyone. Got it?

Posted by: tjmlrc | March 10, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Democrats who swear they will never profile do. Any argument on any topic and it's a "teabagger" who is at fault. The big bad boogeyman of politics is always "teabaggers". Profiling-R-Us Democrats fail to acknowledge the reflection in the mirror and then they wonder why we just shrug and walk away.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | March 10, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Just Who IS radicalizing All These Muslims?

One hears a lot of bunk about this Joe or that
bunch of Joes radicalizing your guy--and I can
hardly believe my ears! If we follow this train of
thought to its logical conclusion then we must
say that poor Osama bin Laden was the victim
of radicalization by some bad guy or other and
we should pity him or something. Maybe try to
bring him unto the path of "true Islam." Bosh!

The un-politically correct fact is that all these
radicalized Muslims ALL were and ALL are being
radicalized by one source and only one source
--and that is Islam itself (and more specifically
still: the Koran, which in no uncertain terms
commands Muslims to "instill terror in the hearts
of non-Muslims," as in the infamous verse):

[8:12] I will cast terror into the hearts of those
who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads
and strike off every fingertip of them.

This is an indisputable call for the murder of non-
Muslims. [Yes, other religions call for the murder
of disbelievers. The problem is that no Christians
or Jews are going around butchering people strictly
as "a religious duty" the way Muslims are doing,
and have been doing for nearly 15 centuries now.]
Why don't they stop? Because ALL Muslims are
taught since childhood that the Koran is the Word
of God, and to disobey even a single one of its
commands must be instantly punished by death
(a sentence which has, in fact, been carried out
a number of well documented times in our day).
This is NOT some theoretical exercise but a most
deadly practical one:

... One document (from al-Qaida training manuals
discovered in Afghanistan) began with an explanation
of the instructor's goals: "God Almighty has ordered
us to terrorize his enemies," it reads. "In compliance
with God's order and his Prophet's order..."

What Muslim can read this and doubt that his duty
is terrorism? I am truly amazed that there are so
FEW actual Islamic terrorists--Probably due to the
fact that most Muslims have never studied or even
once read the Koran: One thing is certain (and can
anybody doubt this?): EVERY Islamic terrorist is a
pious and dutiful student of the Koran (unlike
every Muslim who is NOT a terrorist).

And THAT is the most telling fact of all.

Will it be "discovered" by Rep. King's so prissy
and professional Congressional hearing? Ha!

There is no practical way for anyone to counter the
argument that a Muslim ought not to be a terrorist
outside of forcing him to admit that the Koran is
NOT the Word of God ... but the swindle of some
criminal boss who wanted his gang to be able to
murder for profit without the slightest hesitation.

These people are not being radicalized by their
local (or even their most distant) pals but by Islam
itself, by the Koran ...

S D Rodrian


Posted by: sdr1 | March 10, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"If there is such a thing as kharma, perhaps the next bomb victim will be one of these bleeding heart idiots or one of their loved ones. Then let's see just how shameful it is."

Remember that Peter King supported the IRA, which killed plenty of innocents over the years. So much for karma.

Posted by: presto668 | March 10, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats in this hearing are behaving like freaking buffoons.

Also, I apologize for being redundant.

Sobering thought of the day:
Sheila Jackson Lee, a woman not qualified to work in a concession stand, sits on the Homeland Security Committee.

Be a-scared. Be VERY a-scared.

Posted by: etpietro | March 10, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

This hearing reinforces the very reason the Muslim community in the United States does not trust the Government. How does this encourage American Muslims to report suspicions when our Government acts like Nazi's? Why bring attention to yourself? Hell, you just might end up in Gitmo if you help the FBI. Of course the Bigots in the GOP do not see that sitting on their fascist perches looking down on anyone who is not white, fat and stupid.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | March 10, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Calif.) held up a Constitution. "I will tell you today that this breathing document is in pain," she said, before going on to ask the panelists how many of them are Muslim. Several raised their hands."

Accurate reporting. Ms. Lee is from Texas, though we would appreciate it if she would move to California.

Posted by: staterighter | March 10, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse


How many passages can you find in the Bible that related to violence. Just because a book provides stories of violence, does not mean that a particular faith ascribes to the acts of violence.

Posted by: recj50 | March 10, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The Post's On Faith blog featured Asra Q. Nomani, the author of "Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam”

“When I heard that Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) was going to hold hearings on the issue of radicalization inside our American Muslim community, I thought: It's about time.”

“I arrived in this country in 1969, and after 42 years as an American-Muslim, I can say without a doubt: an ideology of extremism has crossed our borders, and radicalization is a real threat inside our communities in the U.S., often times unchallenged because members of our Muslim community are intimidated to speak out against it. “

She urges:
“Instead of circling the wagons with a public relations campaign of victimization, Muslims should rise to the occasion and honestly discuss what we all know: there is a very real interpretation of Islam inside our communities that threatens to convert our youth and others to extremism. It is expressed through publishing houses, imams, YouTube videos, websites and arm-chair ideologues. “

“We need to have ... open conversations about how extremist Islam gets into the heads of Muslims such as would-be Time Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan and so many others."

Posted by: pvilso24 | March 10, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Desertdiva1:"Interesting that Democrats who swear they will never profile do. Any argument on any topic and it's a "teabagger" who is at fault. The big bad boogeyman of politics is always "teabaggers". Profiling-R-Us Democrats fail to acknowledge the reflection in the mirror and then they wonder why we just shrug and walk away."

There is a difference between profiling people and just making fun of them.

Posted by: recj50 | March 10, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, no one has ever drowned in their own crocodile tears. Therefore, Mr. Ellison, Democrat Minnesota, should be just fine.

With the looming 10 year anniversary of the 9/11/2001 Islamist attacks on America, there should be only one question of our leadership: "What took you so long!" Religion that descends into barbarity has exhausted any right to the benefit of the doubt.

Thank you, Peter King.

Posted by: peterd | March 10, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to do some fact-checking. Sheila Jackson Lee is from TX. Congresswoman Barbara Lee is from California.

Posted by: 39aka94 | March 10, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

When Sandra Day O'Connor retired from the SCOTUS, she stated that most Americans could not name the three branches of government! No wonder there are comments on this site that attest to her predication; for with all of our techno toys, egocentricity, and modernity, our people have become some of the most politically illiterate voters on the face of the Earth. This is why it's so easy for the GOP to keep fooling WHITE PEOPLE! Because they know that many whites don't know their true history, but only a history that's been romantically prescribed that they cannot holistically process!

Statistics may be facts, but facts alone, can never tell the truth! And the truth that needs to be known is that no matter what one may think of Muslims, or any other group that we've been trained to be biased towards, THERE IS ONLY ONE SOUL IN THE UNIVERSE! Thus, whatever one does to others, one does to SELF! Thus, the whole of Man's true occupation is whether he can transcend the illusions of distinctions, and the paradoxes that flow from them by our misapplications of COSMIC LAW! This whole exercise to question the patriotism of any part of the American fabric, has one purpose, and one purpose only, TO DIVIDE THE VOTING POWER OF THE MIDDLE CLASS!

Anyone that cares about the trajectory of this nation should first understand that the GOP is the tip of the spear for devolving capitalism into a full blown pathology! This is globally cancerous; for it neglects the more deeper expressions of human potential for matarialism and the power it wields as an end in itself. So, for merely this that the universe, which has no beginning, nor end, a sphere without a circumference, at its best, exists?

Posted by: D-0f-G | March 10, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

As far as I know, no one has ever drowned in their own crocodile tears. Therefore, Mr. Ellison, Democrat Minnesota, should be just fine.


Ever seen Rep. Boehner (Speaker) turn on the tears. I swear he can let them flow at the drop of a hat!

As far a King goes, I have to wonder how many innocent peopled died at the hands of hs IRA friends.

Posted by: recj50 | March 10, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Maddog posted: The NRA and Republicans sponsored 900,000 terrorist shootings of Americans since 9-11.

Need a real terrorist call 1-800-NRA-GUNS.

Posted by: Maddogg | March 10, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The AMA and the American Freedom Foundation (Trial Lawyers association) sponsored over 1,900,000 terrorists deaths of American from medical malpractise since 9/11.

Need a real terrorist call a trial lawyer or a member of the "self-policing" AMA.

Posted by: staterighter | March 10, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

And the Oscar goes to....Rep Ellison

Posted by: arioch666 | March 10, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This is not against Islam, but an effort to uncover Islamic terror cells. Muslims can practice their laws which do not conflict with ours. For example they have to realize that here a female is not considered an adult at the age of 9, that they can't stone people to death for sex out of wedlock. And you are not considered a martyr who deserves to go to heaven when you murder people (the opposite - you go to Hell for being the lowest cowardly type of criminal). They need to make some adjustments. They get all excited when someone disrespcets them. But they as a group disrespect all others in the worst way of all, through murder and their universally silent approval of it. They need to come out and make more noise, talk, yell, tell us what they know about the radical element here. Not too mnay of them do that voluntarily, willingly, so as a result - the hearings. I think it makes sense. Where I live on long Island many Islamic centers and Mosques have been built here in the last 10 or 15 years with funding through radical Islamic sources (at least according to my Turkish Muslim friends). One Islamic center (a Mosque) was recently built 1/2 mile from my house in a Jewish neighbohood. If my Turkish friends are concerned, we probably should be.

Posted by: jackgotney | March 10, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I found an video about this here:

Posted by: vinayaksubhash | March 10, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I found an video about this here:

Posted by: vinayaksubhash | March 10, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I found an video about this here:

Posted by: vinayaksubhash | March 10, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

get rid of the democrats in 2012. lee shouldn't even be in the house. she is farther gone than charlie sheen. get rid of the dems.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | March 10, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I have contemplated these hearings since the first moment I heard they were to occur. Emotions run high in such subject material, but after reflection I have a few thoughts.

1. The level of outcry is slightly askew, but it does raise the important question: why do it in the first place? What is the ultimate goal? Awareness? Of what? How a small minority of individuals make poor choices no matter what faith or body politic they adhere to? Do we really need to have formal hearings to reach this determination?

2. Is this bit of political theater good for those proposing it? In what way, other than galvanizing his base (who didn't need formal hearings to form their opinion), does Mr. King believe he or his party will be characterized more favorably having done this?

3. Given that moderates are vote switchers by nature, and given that many of them sided with the Republican party last election, have we not yet learned that -unnecessary- ideological bludgeoning, be it from the right or left, swings votes among moderates?

It is obvious that Mr. King would rather stick to his guns on the matter. To someone in his position, giving in to reasonable criticism is seen as a weakness, blind follow-through is the strength.

That the hearings are almost purposeless doesn't play into the equation at all. I'm suggesting this should carry the most weight, not the least.

Posted by: trident420 | March 10, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Where are the ‘uncooperative Muslims’?

How about Pakistan, the number one example of ’uncooperative Muslim, the whole country’?

Pakistan did NOT want to join US fight against terrorism. Richard Armitage, US Undersecretary of State at the time had to threaten Musharraf with ’dire consequences’ if Pakistan did not join. So Musharraf played a duplicitous game of ’running with the hares while hunting with the hounds’, continued by present democratic Zardari/Gillani government and General Kayani.

Adm. Mullen had following to say about America’s primary ally in its fight against terrorism, to the foreign news media on 1/13/2011: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again it, [Pakistan] is the epicenter of terrorism in the world right now. It is absolutely critical that the safe havens in Pakistan get shut down. We cannot succeed in Afghanistan without that. It’s not just Haqqani Network anymore, or Al Qaeda or TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan), the Afghan Taliban, or LET (Lashkar-e-Tayyeba), it’s all of them working together.”

And previous US ambassador Anne Patterson to Pakistan, wrote in a secret review in 2009 that ‘Pakistan's Army and ISI are covertly sponsoring four militant groups - Haqqani‘s HQN, Mullah Omar‘s QST, Al Qaeda and LeT - and will not abandon them for any amount of US money, as diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks show.

Posted by: martymartel3 | March 10, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post is so predicable in their fanatical pursuit of political correctness. You really have to read their coverage with a grain of salt. Polls shows that most Americans support the hearings. The need for them is manifest.

Posted by: Alon1 | March 10, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

My impression of these hearings is one of disappointment. Rep. King fundamentally has ignored his Democratic Party colleagues' concerns about the narrow scope. This hearing should investigate recruitment of Americans in all forms of home grown terrorist and hate groups -- The American NAZI Party, the KKK, Black Hate groups, radical political Islam etc. My second disappointment is that the selection of witnesses while excellent for anecdotal evidence, the fact that experts from Homeland Security, FBI, CIA etc, Southern Poverty Group are not being called demonstrates a clear bias that is regrettable and makes the results of these hearing suspect.

Posted by: kerryberger | March 10, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's the deal... Muslims pray 5 times a day. They are believers. They see this all as the Path. Or, God's Will. You don't have to do anything. Just Pray (rote) 5 times a day. What possesses people, the voices they hear as infidels is the real dynamic. The "radicalization" you will notice comes to new converts. They are hearing the same voices as the infidel.

Posted by: Geopolitics1 | March 10, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

""Where are the uncooperative Muslims?"

Those would be the ones who have participated in domestic terror attacks and those who knew but didn't report them.

Any other negatives you wish to be proven?

Posted by: illogicbuster | March 10, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Calif.) held up a Constitution. "I will tell you today that this breathing document is in pain,"
Yes, agreed. You have cast votes for too many unconstitutional bills to count.

Posted by: illogicbuster | March 10, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I think a hearing on the threat of fascism being forced upon this country by corporate controlled Republicans and Tea Baggers is in order.

Posted by: lyndee1 | March 10, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

These democrat legislators are beauts. So "Islam" is a "Beautiful Religion?" I guess to some people, Stoning pregnant women, cutting off hands/fingers/limbs; beheading of infidels; murdering your own children because GASP! GASP!, they had the audacity to "look" at a Westerner, is a "Beautiful Sight.

"Oh what webs these Democrats weave when first, last and always they practice to deceive,"

Posted by: fregameeate | March 10, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Mr. King's office has announced that those supporting his witch hunt can pick up their free "brown shirts" tommorrow morning. Swastika's are available for an extra charge.

Posted by: mikesba | March 10, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Typical Fearmongering from a mindless REpublican . Gotta keep the masses fearful so that the rich multi-national REpublican war-for-profit machine , a.k.a. "Pentagon" , gets to keep absorbing and Wasteing American tax dollars . This man knows that his political party , and the money that he "Represents" , would rather be paid enormous amounts of money for overaggresive pre-emptive stikes , killing many innocents , and failing miserably , Than actually have to spend appropriatly and have accountabilty with the American People that they serve . REpublicans are always afraid , they are closet communists that want to control everyone , Wake Up America !

Posted by: beenliedto | March 10, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

There is an erroneous perception Muslims become terrorist because of trigger moments i.e. Radical Cleric(s) come riding into town, or intense whispering in Prison cubicles, etc

If this were the case we non-Muslims would all be aware of neighbors and distant relatives suddenly turning into terrorists.

This simply does not occur for the reason we have not already textually constructed other as evil via the text we base our beliefs on.

The reason for the terror is instruction from birth. This is the trigger which lends itself to the opportunity for terrorism when it arises.

To simply say all of a sudden a perfectly normal good Muslim boy turned to terror without the foundation already in place to accept such diabolical notions is absurd.

Plato thousands of years ago gave humanity some good advice for harmonious societies delete text purported to be from Gods which informs evil action.

Everyone of us base our lives on less than perfect text. To target one without the other is rather hypocritical.

It should be about all text which vilifies other Religious or Secular not persons.

The fact is Muslims are already radicalized the reason being from the Islamic texts Quran foundation chapter "THE COW" onwards vilification of and justification of 'grevious harm' against other is the main theme.

This is why terrorists are good boys and girls coming from good Muslim families. It is that simple.

The radical Muslim clerics are not triggering anything they are simply providing the opportunity. The trigger has already been created by the basic Islamic text which forms all Muslims.

The fact all Muslims do not act on it is irrelevant for as we see enough Muslims do from generation to generation to perpetuate the terror against other.

If you read the Quran - Chapter "THE COW" which sets up the framework by which the Islamic text will be challenged, vilifies the perpetrators, sets them as less and then informs the remedy 'grevious harm' with the ultimate authority God authorizing all within, given this is an old recipe for genocide against other and the terror we clearly are experiencing would it not be rational to be rightfully concerned?

Also more importantly as we are all formed by textual constructs such as the Islamic text, there may just exist evil text informing evil action and we should seek it out be it secular or religious so we can change the future for humanity?

Change the text forming our new citizen’s change the outcomes otherwise more of the same.

This means not just looking at Islamic text but other texts within our communities which are used to form new citizens and accept the fact finally ‘Freedom of Religion’ has been a curse on society because we are not able to easily challenge such Religious text which generates real evil against other without being erroneously labeled and censured.

Posted by: markjuliansmith1 | March 11, 2011 7:21 AM | Report abuse

King points to a genuine problem but is neither sincere nor understands the problem. The mosques here are flooded with uneducated Imams who are otherwise unemployable. Some are recruited and planted by the governments ( intelligence?)at small salaries ( Time magazine). More than 500,000 Muslim doctors and professionals in this country and another 5 million Muslims have no control over the appointment of these Imams. Most are funded and controlled by foreign governments with US approval. King would make a big contribution to Muslims if he legislates that every Muslim leader in this country must first at least graduate from a rated American college. 80 percent of radicalization would disappear overnight.( Prof. Zubairi, a Muslim )

Posted by: acpress | March 11, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

If you think they are not serious about taking over America; This is from Shariah4America website.............

The White Masjid
Have you ever wondered what America would look like under Shari’ah? The ongoing campaign to bring the US and indeed the entire world under the authority of Islam has compelled sincere Muslims to draw up realistic plans for changes that are likely to occur once all obstacles in the way of implementing the Shari’ah are removed.
One of the primary targets for immediate reconstruction in the US is the White House; originally designed by Irish architect James Hoban, this building holds significant symbolic value in representing centuries of repression under man-made law.
Unlike the British burning of Washington, one of the practical proposals for the redevelopment of the White House under Islam will be to see it converted into a flourishing mosque.
Mosques or Masjids are taken to be one of the most important buildings in Islam, acting as places of (Islamic) worship, centres of learning, places where the ill are treated and even locations where crucial decisions are made regarding domestic and international government policies; mosques also act as an opportunity for non-Muslims to learn more about Islam and even embrace this superior way of life.
With the absence of the Shari’ah worldwide, mosques are unfortunately a far cry from their glorious past, and hence the conversion of the White House into one will undoubtedly help restore the iconic status that this building has in the Shari’ah.

There are additional comments like this!

Why did we have the two Barbary Wars which lasted 32-years, spanning four presidents, starting with George Washington? Read online, David Barton, WallBuilders newsletter, winter 2006, A Muslim Sworn Into Congress.

Read online Stephen Coughlin thesis, “TO OUR GREAT DETRIMENT”: IGNORING WHAT EXTREMISTS SAY ABOUT JIHAD. He found that Islam has not been hijacked.



Posted by: smokey1977 | March 11, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Forget the spin and the double talk. Islam wants to take over the world thru political and economic means, as well as with BOMBS. Period. End of story. The liberal mind never ceases to amaze, though. I watch them drive their very own world into the toilet time and time again, fully convinced of their purpose. Read thegoodguise at wordpress. Get the real deal my friend.

Posted by: TheJacob | March 11, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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