Rep. King Hearing on Muslim Extremism: The Guest List

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


»» WNYC's Arun Venugopal is live-blogging the hearings from Washington DC Thursday morning

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is set to hold a long-awaited (and for some, long-lamented) hearing on Muslim extremism in the United States Thursday. Specifically, the hearing will focus on what relationship, if any, exists between radical Islamists, American mosques and other domestic Muslim organizations.

Leading up to this week's hearings, a pro-Muslim demonstration was held in New York City on Sunday, where King was vilified for his insistence on such a hearing. However, another demonstration in favor of King's hearing was held at the same time, during which protesters said it was time for an inquiry into the activities of Muslim Americans.

The list of attendees for the Thursday hearing was released to the public on Monday. Here's a look at who is slated to speak.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Ellison is the lone Muslim member of Congress, and has publicly questioned the validity and motive of King's hearing.

"If you take a hearing like this, and use a congressional investigative committee to investigate a community with the allegation — before we've even had testimony — the allegation that there's no cooperation, I think you're setting a tone of blame and collective guilt, and you're thwarting the very thing you say you want to achieve, which is greater public safety." [CBS News, 3/9/2011]

Watch Rep. Ellison debate Rep. King on CBS News»»

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA)

Wolf has long had his focus on the FBI, the Justice Department and their policies regarding Muslim Americans. He has railed against the Obama administration's proposals to release certain Guantanamo detainees, and in 2009 appeared before Congress to raise questions about the Council of American Islamic Relations and their relationship with HAMAS.

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, President and Founder, American Islamic Forum for Democracy

Jasser has criticized other Muslim organizations for supporting "political Islam," an ideology that Jasser blames for terrorist activity. 

"We need to focus our efforts more transparently on teaching Muslim youth that the American concepts of liberty and freedom are preferable to sharia and the Islamic state. American Muslims represent the best opportunity to fight Islamist radicalization not because we understand Islam but because we have experienced and understood what American liberty provides to the Muslim experience." [New York Post, 5/24/2010]

Mr. Abdirizak Bihi, Director, Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center

Bihi is also the uncle of Burhan Hassan, who was allegedly recruited by Somali radicals to return to Africa and commit acts of terrorism. Hassan was found murdered in Somalia in 2009.

"We believe [Hassan] was killed because he would have been a key person in the investigation into the recruitment (of young Somali men) here in Minneapolis." [Associated Press, 6/9/2009]

Mr. Melvin Bledsoe, Private Citizen

Bledsoe is the father of Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a converted Muslim who claims to be a member of al-Qaida. Muhammad is in prison for allegedly shooting two Army recruiting officers during what he calls a "jihadi attack on infidel forces."

"I want to know how, who and why this happened to my son. And I say to you, if it happened to my son today, tomorrow it can be your son. This is something the American people need to wake up to. Tomorrow they could be looking for someone with blond hair and blue eyes." [The Commercial Appeal, 3/28/2010]

Sheriff Leroy Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Baca has recognized the assistance Muslim communities have provided to law enforcement in the wake of prior terrorist attacks, but also welcomes the hearing chaired by King.

"The Muslim American community, shortly after 9/11, came together within two days and rallied, and were helpful at that point of confusion that the United States was experiencing.

"I think the hearings provide an opportunity for us to talk about a serious subject in the United States. It's 10 years since 9/11 ... and I think that all of us need to realize that even Muslims were shocked — and Muslims were killed – as victims of the 9/11 attacks. What I believe is that we have to go forward and update ourselves with all the effort that's being made by local law enforcement to reach out and bring public trust policing into the lives of Muslim Americans."


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Comments [6]

Richard Lewis from PoDunk, Arkansas

Not ONE of these guests are 'experts' on terrorism in the US. Not ONE. If King would show TRUTH and display evidence of ONE bona fide research statistic on the quantified values he uses constantly (85% here, 75% there) - it may bring to light some startling facts. Instead, he spews "I heard this or that's" about things.
We have all read, seen, and heard King's endorsement of the Irish Republican Army labelled a terrorist organization - and he STILL stands by the IRA. I'm sure if the Justice arena of the UK could study his involvement into the 1000's murdered by the IRA - they may find King is a Co-Conspirator. " I just heard . . ." as King would say. . .

Mar. 11 2011 11:48 AM
markjuliansmith from Australia

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 - only 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.

Mar. 10 2011 11:41 PM
Louise from New Jersey

This is a serious issue that certainly merits an investigation. The last three attacks have been by "American" Muslims. Surely an oxymoron! Muslims live solely by the word of the Quran. It is immutable and, in the words of Mohammed, "perfect." In it, Jews and Christians, specifically, are repeatedly condemned. In the Hadiths, Mohammed's own words, he says they should be "smited at the neck and fingertips." (Daniel Pearl? Nick Berg? French and Italian aid workers? and on and on!) There is never forgiveness - except for rape. Allah is most merciful to those who rape but then the victims are just women. If a non-believer is thirsty, he should be given the "filthy discharge of a wound" to drink. If that's not on the menu, there is always molten copper. We have to remember this. We, Jews, Christians, and "uncovered," educated women, will always be the enemy. If we had acted with this realization after the first attack in 1993, perhaps we could have prevented what followed. I think an investigation at this late date is the least we should do.

Mar. 10 2011 11:16 PM

I am amazed. The democrats/unionists are stating the new legislation was “pushed” through. And making other such accusations, that is, implying it was hurried through in the middle of night. This has been going on for weeks and headlined in the national news.
The Wisconsin state capitol is the forum for conducting the state business of Wisconsin. A large number of the democrats LEFT THE STATE. They choose not participate in the functions of Wisconsin state government. They failed to represent their constituents; they ran from their state and from their duties.
Representative King is doing the right thing. How did an intelligent man like him get elected in New York? All of the 9/11 terrorists were Moslem extremists (not to mention other similar incidents). Would this lead a thinking person to possibly conclude that the issue of Moslem extremism should be investigated?
Some idiot on the news was complaining that the Klu Klux Klan was not being investigated in the same congressional hearing. That would make as much sense as including the Black Panthers. Instead, why not pursue the obvious – just like King is doing.
Let’s see, 5 banks have been robbed. The robber was identified each time as a 6 ft., 200 lb., white male. Does it make sense to look for a 6 ft., 200 lb. white male? Would that be unreasonable? Would looking for Moslem males make any sense?
The 9/11 Commission stated it was not a matter of when terrorists set off a nuclear device in the United States – it was a matter of when. I, for one, am thankful for Congressman King’s investigation.

Mar. 10 2011 09:22 PM

Wow! bobbi's comment is great!
This sort of contribution trumpets a clear, heartfelt alarm, one of a simplicity that enables all of us to sense the urgency of our need for national unity!
If we all pull together, we can steer a course through the perils of ignorance and fear.
If, (with God's grace)we succeed, ideas like bobbi's will disappear into the small, dark place they arose from.

Mar. 10 2011 01:17 PM

Whether it's Islamophobia or pure common sense which is endagering America. We need desperately to do what Australia is doing...get them out and stop the immigration of these people. We need a new president...this was all an act put over on the American people to turn this nation to muslims and socialism. The one thing wrong with socialism is they run out of money...they being the middle class. It's a contril thing. Our soldiers fought and died to protect us from invasion. We are being invaded by illegals and muslims. Our culture is being attacked. Do you want your children and their children to either be muslims or die??? That's what will happen. One country took a stand...Australia. All through time Ameicans have stood together to stop this overthrow of our country. It's time to take another stand soon or American will cease to be the land of the free and the brave. Mosque are going up in all small towns in American. The town of Henderson, NC has one now and the muslims are starting to take over gas stations, stores, etc.

Mar. 10 2011 11:28 AM

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