The Radicalization of American Muslims

The radicalization of Muslim communities will be the subject of Congressional hearings next year when Rep. Peter King (R-NY) becomes chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.  The impetus for the hearings, according to the congressman, are complaints by law enforcement officials concerning the lack of cooperation of Muslim leaders in terrorism investigations.

A CBS News report on the planned hearings, announced Thursday, quoted two apparent Muslim leaders: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim member of Congress, and Abed Ayoub, legal director of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Rather than displaying any concern about the difficulties encountered by law enforcement or, at least, welcoming the opportunity to publicly state their case, both men instead objected to the hearings outright.

Deflecting attention from the merits of this serious public-safety matter, Mr. Ayoub resorted to hackneyed racial rigmarole. And Rep. Ellison's words about the planned hearings were downright head-scratching:

"We need to make sure that we stand for civil liberties, so we can deprive people like Osama bin Laden of the claim that Muslims are poorly treated in America. The United States is not at war with Islam."

Rep. Ellison (formerly known as Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison, and Keith Muhammad) sits on the House Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees and is entering his third term. A 2006 article about Ellison in the Weekly Standard ("Louis Farrakhan's First Congressman") chronicled his "ties to the Nation of Islam" and said:

Ellison's record also includes a multitude of embarrassments of the traditional kind. He fell afoul of the IRS after failing to pay $25,000 in income taxes; he ignored fines that he had incurred for parking tickets and moving violations so numerous that his driver's license was suspended more times than he can remember; he was fined for willful violation of Minnesota's campaign finance reporting law. It amounts to a striking pattern of lawbreaking since he undertook the practice of law in 1990.

In The Grand Jihad, the eye-opening must-read book by former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, Ellison is described as "a fixture at anti-police protests and rallies in favor of thugs and cop-killers."

Earlier this month, Rep. Ellison was elected co-chair of the Progressive Caucus in the House. (Yes, you read that right.) Given his propensity to skirt the law and his apparent disdain for the men and women who enforce it, Rep. Ellison's objection to the planned hearings rings hollow, to say the least.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, according to, is a civil rights group that opposes U.S. aid to Israel, ethnic profiling of Arab Americans, the Patriot Act, and the U.S. war on terror and supports "Palestinian "martyrdom" campaigns in Israel." Its sources of support and funding include the Saudi Royal Family.

The government of Saudi Arabia and some members of the Royal Family have channeled hundreds of millions or -- according to some sources -- billions of dollars to various Islamist causes throughout the world during the past half century. Saudis are Islamists and, as McCarthy wrote, Islamism is:

The belief system which holds that Islam is the complete, obligatory guide to human existence, governing all matters political, social, cultural, and religious, from cradle to grave (and, of course, beyond). "Islamist"...refers not just to terrorists but to hundreds of millions of believers who share the terrorist goal of installing sharia societies though they do not actively encourage brutality.

Islamists, as described in Grand Jihad, are "Muslims who reject individual liberty, freedom of conscience, secular democracy, and equality of opportunity." Islamism, like "neocommunism," is "totalitarian, collectivist, and antithetical to the core conceit of American constitutional democracy, individual liberty." It seeks to "establish and spread Allah's law on earth." In effect, Islamism is radicalized Islam.

Contrary to the overwrought outcries from certain leftists, the subject of the House committee's inquiry isn't novel or otherwise unique to it or its incoming chairman. The problem is real and the hearings are necessary, important, and timely. In September 2006, the Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI testified about Islamic radicalization before the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment. In 2007, New York City Police Department issued a 90-page report on the topic. Last month, Los Angeles Police and other area law enforcement agencies held a two-day "radicalization conference."