Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Security: "Why No Law Enforcement Officials at 'Radicalization' Hearings?"

A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today questioned why Rep. Peter King (photo) (R-NY) will not invite any law enforcement or counterterrorism officials to appear before upcoming House Homeland Security Committee hearings on Muslim "radicalization."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Rep. King claims the hearings are needed because of anonymous statements by those officials that they receive little or no cooperation from Muslims.

Rep. King now tells the New York Times that "he did not expect to call any of the local law enforcement or counterintelligence experts who he said had told him repeatedly that noncooperation by American Muslims is a 'significant issue.'"

The Times article noted that Sheriff Leroy Baca of Los Angeles County said on Monday "that as a member of the Major City Chiefs Association, the Major County Sheriffs Association and the National Sheriffs Association, he had not heard complaints about noncooperation from Muslims."

It also cited a report issued last week "by an independent research group on national security [that] found that 48 of the 120 Muslims suspected of plotting domestic terrorist attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, were turned in by fellow Muslims, including parents, mosque members and even a Facebook friend."

SEE: Muslims to Be Congressional Hearings' Main Focus (NY times)

LA Sheriff Takes on King (Politico)

Baca Tangles with Another Republican Congressman (LA Times)

Muslim Terrorism Threat Far Overrated (Charlotte Observer)

Rep. King Won't Let 'Political Correctness' Derail Probe of Muslims

"Representative King seems to believe that he need not offer any evidence or expert testimony to back up his baseless allegations," said CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor. "One wonders whether Representative King will call witnesses to support his bizarre claim that '85 percent' of American Muslim community leaders are 'an enemy living amongst us.'"

He added that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade from Eastern Michigan recently said that trusting relationships between local authorities and Arab-Americans "help law enforcement more effectively combat radical extremism on both sides of the equation."

SEE: Briefing Highlights Positive Relationships Between Arab-American Community and Law Enforcement

Saylor said Rep. King has a long history of troubling rhetoric and baseless claims about the Muslim community, which raise reasonable concerns about the form his hearings may take. In 2007, Rep. King said "we have too many mosques in this country." In early 2010, he implied that American Muslims are not true "Americans."

Rep. King's planned hearings are opposed by a number of individuals and organizations of different faiths.

SEE: Letter from Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) to Rep. King

Letter from 51 Groups Seeking Objective Hearings on Muslim 'Radicalization'

Source: CAIR