US media is reporting on comments made by Congressman Keith Ellison ( D-Minn) at the first day of the Congressional inquiry into Islamic radicalization in the US.
According to a Fox News report, Rep Ellison warned that the hearing could increase suspicion of Muslim Americans: Peter King clashed with other lawmakers on Capitol Hill Thursday over his high-profile inquiry on Islamic radicalization, with one Democrat accusing King of “scapegoating” and King accusing his critics of spreading “rage and hysteria.” One lawmaker, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who is Muslim, cried at the end of his testimony as he described the actions of a Muslim-American paramedic who lost his life in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. As the hearing got underway, King vowed to press ahead and said this would be just the first in a series of hearings on homegrown terror. The New York Republican, in his opening statement, cited recent terror plots against the United States in defending his decision. He suggested the hearings could help fulfill the committee’s duty to “protect America from a terrorist attack” by examining the root of recent plots. “This committee cannot live in denial,” King said, accusing critics of trying to “dilute” the focus by turning attention to groups other than Al Qaeda. “Only Al Qaeda and its Islamist affiliates in this country are part of an international threat to our nation,” King said. The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said the hearing “must go forward, and they will.” He said backing down would amount to a “craven surrender to political correctness.” But Ellison warned that the hearing could unfairly increase suspicion of Muslim Americans by lumping them together with violent extremists. “When you assign their violent action to the entire community, you assign collective blame to a whole group,” Ellison said. “This is the very heart of stereotyping and scapegoating.”
An earlier post discussed comments by Rep Ellison in which he called fears of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt a “scarecrow.”
Ellison is the first Muslim-American to be elected to Congress. Previous posts have discussed the controversy over his trip to Mecca which was funded by the Muslim American Society, a well-known U.S. Muslim Brotherhood group close to the Egyptian organization.