It is not everyday that Congress breaks a major taboo and, in so doing, performs a real service to the nation. Last Thursday, however, was one such day: Representative Pete King (Republican of New York) demonstrated impressive leadership in convening and conducting a four-hour-long hearing on "extremism" in the American Muslim community.
For his efforts, the Homeland Security Committee's chairman was subjected to tremendous personal attacks and partisan sniping - the wages of taboo-busting. While those responsible for inflicting such slanderous criticism claim, in the words of one group, to have "defeat[ed] a major threat of Islamophobia," the real story is that Mr. King began a conversation about an issue that has long been deemed politically untouchable. He also established that there is, indeed, a problem of "extremism" within the American Muslim community.
One manifestation of that problem was the determined effort made by the so-called "leadership" of the Muslim population in this country not only to impugn the chairman and several of his witnesses, but to suppress these hearings altogether. For example, groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) lined up fifty-five House Democrats to insist that Rep. King "reconsider the scope of these hearings and instead examine all forms of violence motivated by extremist beliefs, rather than unfairly focusing on just one religious group."
One of the reasons for this demand became clear as Pete King's witnesses shed light on the true nature of such self-appointed Muslim "leaders": They do not speak for American Muslims and are either directly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood - an organization whose mission is to "destroy Western civilization from within" - or sympathetic to its goal of bringing shariah to the United States.
Relatives of two young men who were recruited, indoctrinated and sent to engage in jihad provided frightening insights into the ways in which Muslim organizations, mosques, cultural centers and Islamic societies stealthily advance this objective. One means is via dawa - the proselytization of the politico-military-legal doctrine of shariah.
Particularly chilling was the account of a Somali-American living in Minnesota by the name of Abdirizak Bihi. His nephew, Burhan Hassan, was among those who joined and was killed fighting on behalf of the Islamist terrorist group al Shabab in Somalia. He relayed how his family was warned by community "leaders" not to go to the authorities for help lest they wind up in Guantanamo Bay or facing "eternal fire and hell."
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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