There was no lack of drama at the third hearing by the Committee on Homeland Security concerning radicalization within the Muslim American community.
The hearing started off civil enough with King giving the opening statements and then turning the floor over to each of the four witnesses.
Each witness explained to the committee members the threat Al Shabaab, a Somalian terrorist organization with ties to al Qaeda, poses to the United States and the efforts being made to stop young Somali-Americans from falling prey to the dangerous rhetoric.
The committee members proceeded to question the witnesses, which is when things started to heat up.
Instead of focusing on the matter at hand, several of the committee members—including Democrat Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, Laura Richardson and Bennie Thompson—used their five minutes to rant and rave about right-wing extremism and the tragedy in Norway.
At one point during the questioning, even witness Ahmed Hussen, a Muslim and the Somali Congress National President, came under fire from Jackson Lee for his belief that the hearings are very beneficial for the Muslim community.
What Jackson Lee and the other committee members seem to forget is Al Shabaab has already followed through with several attacks against both Muslims and Americans and are actively recruiting Somali-Muslims in the United States.
According to the Majority Investigative Report, at least 40 Americans have joined forces with Al Shabaab. One American, Shirwa Ahmed, became the first American suicide bomber, killing several in northern Somalia in 2008.
Oh and don’t forget their direct ties to Al Qaeda, the terrorist organization that killed 3,000 Americans.
It isn’t a matter of profiling a certain ethnic or religious group. It is about protecting American citizens, including Muslims, from the toxic narrative of Al Shabaab by talking about the issues and reaching out to the Muslim community.
On second thought, let’s just keep talking about right-wing extremism and ignore the thousands of Muslims and Americans being targeted and killed in Somalia.
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