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Why Do Islamic Groups Fear Hearings on Islamic Radicalization?

Because they are the radicalization problem. (Patrick Poole will be covering Thursday's hearings live on PJTV. And don't miss this PJTV FLASHBACK: "Roger Simon calls for congressional hearing on censorship of Islamic terminology")

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Patrick Poole

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March 9, 2011 - 12:00 am
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The hysterics over Thursday’s hearings on Islamic radicalization by the House Homeland Security Committee has reached epic proportions. Islamic groups have likened the hearings to a new era of McCarthyism; James Zogby of the Arab American Institute wrote in an editorial in a Pakistani newspaper that the hearings were going to result in increased radicalization and that Islamophobia was a bigger threat than al-Qaeda; and at a rally against the hearings in New York City this past weekend Elaine Brower of the Movement for a Democratic Society claimed that Muslims would be murdered as a result of these hearings.

They have even gone as far as attacking one Muslim leader who has agreed to appear, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, an authentic moderate and American patriot who was given the full Media Slanders treatment last week.

So what has the self-appointed representatives of the Muslim community so up in arms? Are Muslims really in danger from Congress asking questions about widespread radicalization inside the Muslim community? Or are these histrionics a continued attempt to silence the growing majority of Americans who are seeing the glaring discrepancies between the rhetoric of the leading Islamic organizations and the reality of a growing homegrown terror threat? Evidence seems clear that it’s the latter.

This feigned outrage exposes their hypocrisy. Where were the cries of Islamophobia from these same groups last March when a House Intelligence subcommittee held similar hearings on radicalization? There were none, because the House Democrats who then controlled the committee ensured that extremists and the useful idiots endorsed by Muslim Brotherhood front groups were allowed to speak. In fact, one of the speakers, Omar Alomari, community engagement officer from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, was fired two months after the hearing for lying about his prior employment with a foreign government during his background investigation.

This time around, looking at the witness list for this week’s hearings, all of the speakers save one (the father of the Little Rock killer, Carlos Bledsoe) have already testified before Congress (two, Keith Ellison and Frank Wolf, are members of Congress). So what is really going on? I suggest there are at least five reasons why Islamic groups and their leftist allies are opposed to the hearings this week.

1) These hearings challenge the Muslim Brotherhood’s political monopoly

Since the 1993 World Trade Center bombings a select group of Muslim organizations, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), have enjoyed a monopoly on political access to Congress and the White House.

But in recent years, legal actions by the FBI and federal prosecutors have revealed the extent that these organizations are controlled by the international Muslim Brotherhood and have an agenda to wage a “civilizational jihad” intending to “destroy Western civilization from within.” An FBI agent even testified during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial that CAIR is a front for the terrorist group Hamas. As a result of that evidence, the FBI severed ties with CAIR, but they still continue to work with MPAC, ISNA, and other terrorist front groups.

In response to these disclosures, members of Congress have begun to notice and ask questions about the government’s continued association with these Muslim groups and leaders, which poses a direct threat to their political power.

2) Their narrative is at war with reality

CAIR, MPAC, and the other usual suspects repeatedly claim a rise in hate crimes against Muslims, pointing to an increase atmosphere of “Islamophobia.” They blame congressional hearings, opposition to the Ground Zero mosque, counterterrorism training for law enforcement, or Glenn Beck (whatever their particular boogeyman is that day). But data from the FBI show that hate crimes directed at Muslims have been on a sharp decline since 9/11 and are extremely rare — a painfully inconvenient truth.

But you wouldn’t gather that by statements made by Islamic leaders, who repeatedly claim that the U.S. is engaged in a “war against Islam.” And where did they pick up that handy little talking point? Osama bin Laden.

3) Their agenda is increasingly in visible conflict with American values

The offended Islamic groups increasingly ask for special protections and preferences from the government and the public generally that strike at the heart the First Amendment’s protections against establishing religion. Many of these groups have followed their Wahhabi patrons in calling for the criminalization of “defamation of religion,” namely Islam, and seek to undermine the First Amendment right to free speech. Additionally, violent practices justified by Islamic law, such as wife-beating (Surah 4:34), have been cited in criminal cases to excuse such behavior. In one recent New Jersey case, a judge accepted one Muslim man’s explanation that a sexual assault on his wife was justified under Islamic law because she was required to submit (that verdict was overturned on appeal).

The result has been legislative efforts in a number of states to prohibit the use of Islamic law in American courts to exclude violent behavior, such as the anti-shariah state constitutional amendment last November in Oklahoma, which was approved by 70 percent of voters in that election. At least a dozen more states are considering such legislation.

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