Critics Blast Homeland Security Hearing as 'Anti-Immigrant Circus'

Friday, April 08, 2011

Linda Sarsour from the National Network for Arab American Communities Linda Sarsour from the National Network for Arab American Communities (Lisha Arino/WNYC)

Earlier this month, New York Congressman Peter King held a hearing in Washington on the "Muslim radicalization in the U.S.," which drew fiery protests and condemnation. On Friday, another New York politician held a similar hearing in Manhattan.

Republican State Sen. Gregory Ball held the hearing on terrorism preparedness in which King spoke, as well as two other witnesses who some critics consider anti-muslim.

Speakers included Nonie Darwish, the director of Former Muslims United, and Frank Gaffney. Darwish has said Islam is not a "true religion," and Gaffney claimed the Obama administration had been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Both criticize the construction of new mosques in the U.S. 

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who represents parts of Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, is one of 11 state senators who wrote a letter criticizing the hearing.

"What should be a very legitimate and serious discussion around homeland security and our preparedness level turns into an anti-immigrant circus," Espaillat said.

Sen. Eric Adams of Brooklyn interrupted Darwish's testimony Friday afternoon, disagreeing with her descriptions of the muslim community. "The Koran, a kufi -- this is not our threat,” he said, while some in the audience applauded him.

Ball then interrupted him. "Senator Adams, you are out of line,” Ball said, raising his voice. “This is not going to be a debate.”

Representatives from Islamic community groups also spoke at the hearing. Linda Sarsour, from the National Network for Arab American Communities, criticized the decision to let Darwish, King and Gaffney speak.

Gaffney is the president of the Center for Security Policy and has claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the Obama administration.

“Inviting such pseudo-experts to articulate views about Muslim communities in New York is akin to inviting David Duke, or head of the KKK to discuss African-American affairs in our great state,” Sarsour said.

Other topics discussed at the meeting included policing, improvements to infrastructure and immigration reform.

With reporting by Lisha Arino

Darwish has said Islam is not a "true religion." Gaffney claimed the Obama administration had been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood


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Comments [5]

Anonymous from la

leticia olalia morales of 15501 pasadena ave #8 submitted fake documents and paid 5000 dollars to obtain a US tourist visa. she also used fake employment records to obtain a work visa. she is now applying for citizenship.

Jun. 23 2011 07:56 AM
Adam from Wisconsin


I will honor your ignorance with a reply, just so you cannot say nobody told you.

To say that al qaeda follows Muhammad is to say that the KKK follows Jesus.

Above all, who told you America is even your country ? This is the nation of the Indians. If you believe stealing something makes it yours, then the Muslims have a right to steal this land from you.

The greatest act of terror on America was not with 3 planes in New York. It was in Plymouth Rock when your ancestors landed 3 boats and destroyed the culture of the real and true America, the culture of the Cherokee, Iroquois, Navajo, Seminoles.
You invented bioterror when you gave the great Indians smallpox infected blanckets.

One nation under the Great Spirit, not under God. Get lost you scoundrel thief.

Apr. 11 2011 01:31 PM

hahah 'swar' -- did your missing tooth make you misspell that?

Apr. 11 2011 01:29 PM
Donald from Long Island NY

When these damn Muslims swar their allegiance to America and not Mohammed and Al Quaida then and only then will Americans accept their presence in this country. Assimilate or get out out! Ingrates!

Apr. 10 2011 04:52 AM
Kathleen from Pennsylvania

LaRaza, CAIR, and other such ethnic groups should be notified that Americans are too intelligent to be silenced by these groups using the same tactics as Hitler and Mussolini.

Do they really believe that by calling every person who opposes their take over of our country a derogatory term (racist) will result in these radical groups meeting the same success as Hitler? It will not.

Apr. 08 2011 10:26 PM

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