By Mahmoud El-Yousseph
January 28, 2011
The newly elected House Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Peter King [R-N.Y.] is on a crusade. This law maker is fixated on Muslims in America, like a addict hooked on drugs. He will go through all imaginable pain to defame, smear and insult Muslims in our country. First thing on his agenda–holding congressional hearings, on alleged “hidden radicalism” amongst American Muslims and in mosques. In other words, putting Muslims on trial and in the crosshairs.
This “honorable” law maker has made many reckless and absurd remarks about Muslims recently that have had a chilling effect. At first, Rep. King complained that there are “too many” mosques in America. What is that supposed to mean? Does this lawmaker prefer that Muslims build more casinos, brothels, porn shops, or Hanukkah bars instead? Personally, I would rather hang around with people who frequent the house of God than the aforementioned.
New York is considered to have the second largest Muslim population in America, after Michigan, and Rep. King is supposed to represent his constituents–INCLUDING Thos who happen to be MUSLIMS–in Washington, rather than being their declared enemy.
Rep. King is targeting a Long Island mosque located in his district, and even though not one single member of the Islamic Center has ever been accused of terrorism, King claims the mosque is a hotbed of “radical Islam”, calling its leaders extremists, who should be put under surveillance as if this were the Soviet Union. He further argues that most Muslim leaders in the United States aren’t cooperating with authorities. Rep. King is either ignorant or a liar!
King confounded me even more, when he repeated his false claim on Gaffney’s radio program recently by stating “American Muslims never cooperate to combat terrorism.” In addition to this nonsensical claim, King made the extraordinary smear that American Muslims aren’t “American” when it comes to war. “When a war begins, every ethnic and religious group unites as ‘Americans’, but in this case,” King continued, referring to Muslims, “this is not the situation…Whether it’s culture, tradition, whatever, the fact is the Muslim community does not cooperate anywhere near the extent that it should”. As a Muslim American veteran who also happens to be the father of an American serviceman, this is the most outlandish lie I ever heard!
Perhaps King should talk with the top law enforcement officer in the U.S, FBI Director, Robert Mueller who is quoted saying “Since September 11th, we have had substantial assistance and cooperation from the Muslim-American community, the Arab community, and the Sikh-American community within the united States. And for that, all of us are tremendously thankful. Special Agents in Charge around the country often meet with leaders of the Muslim American communities. I periodically meet with leadership here in Washington. I want to add that, in my view, 99.9 percent of Muslim-Americans, Arab Americans, Sikh-Americans, are every bit as patriotic and supportive of the United States, as any others of us here, and that has come out since September 11th.”
For Mr. King`s information, America’s Muslims were in the forefront in denouncing every act of terrorism. A full -page paid advertisement was placed in the Washington Post, on September 16, 2001, by the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] denouncing the 9/11 Terrorist attack and urging Muslims, in the ad, to donate blood, money, and to help with the search and rescue operation.
I should note also, that Muslims led by CAIR lobbied very hard to secure the release of US citizens jailed in Iran and others who were kidnapped in Iraq. No thanks to Chairman King!
Believe it or not, there are thousands of Muslims, as well as Arab Americans, serving in the US armed forces. They have taken part in every conflict and have given their lives to their country. Many Arab and Muslim Americans have deployed and many are still deployed overseas. Denial, or the ignoring of these facts by Chairman King, is shameful and insulting.
Rep. King went to great pains to bring Ayaan Hirsi Ali – a Somali-born atheist (formerly Muslim) and a former member of the Dutch Parliament all the way from Europe, to testify during the hearing. Miss Ali argues that we are at war with Islam and there is no middle ground. Since my tax dollars pay for her travel expenses and hotel accommodation, I would suggest the following US citizens be invited to testify instead of this self serving bigot:
*Gunnary Sergeant Jamal Badani, a former U.S. Marine who retired last year. Mr. Badani is the founder of The Association of Patriotic Arab Americans in Military [APAAM]. He spent more time, before and after 9/11, deploying for worldwide duty, than he spent with his own family. Mr. Badani’s service uniform is on display at the Arab American Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Such a witness would shed light on the loyalty and patriotism of Muslims in America.
*The parents of Salman Hamdani. The 23-year-old New York City police cadet, who was a part-time ambulance driver, incoming medical student, and devout Muslim. Mr. Hamdani disappeared on September 11. Law enforcement officials came to his family, seeking to question him in relation to the terrorist attacks. They allegedly believed he was somehow involved. His whereabouts were undetermined for over six months, until his remains were finally identified. He was found near the North Tower, with his EMT medical bag beside him, presumably doing everything he could to help those in need. His family could finally rest, knowing that he died the hero they always knew him to be.
Finally, as a veteran and proud father of a US soldier, my message to Rep. King is this–American Muslims are loyal and patriotic citizens. They are law abiding, hard working, diverse and integrated, more than the Muslim populations in any other Western society. Excuse me Mr. Chairman, this is my America too!
Retired USAF Veteran