2011 another hard year for Muslims in America - II
Peter King’s Muslim phobia
Republican Rep. Peter King, head of the congressional Homeland Security Committee held four anti-Muslim hearings during 2011 on what he calls the "radicalization" of the American Muslim community. He held hearings in March, June, July and December.
Rep. King – an avowed supporter of the Irish Republican Army, the Irish terrorist organization during the 80′s and 90′s – held his first controversial hearing on June 10, 2011 on what he called the "radicalization" of the American Muslim community. The hearing came weeks after the shooting in Arizona that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) injured and six dead. He refused calls to broaden the hearing to examine any non-Muslim groups or right-wing militias. A few members of Congress, including the former Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., called for King to expand his focus.
On June 15, he continued Muslim witch hunt with another controversial hearing. The focus of the second hearing was on the “threat of Muslim-American radicalization in U.S. prisons,” and though King painted the threat as serious, but there was little evidence to support that claim.
On July 27, 2011 King held his third congressional hearing that focused on the Somali community. This hearing came five days after the Oslo Massacre by the right-wing terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik who was perhaps radicalized by a group of anti-Muslim and anti-Islam American bloggers and zealots such as Bat Ye’or, Daniel Pipes, Hugh Fitzgerald, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer Walid Shoebat.
Rep. Peter King continued his anti-Muslim witch hunt on Dec 7, 2011 with his controversial congressional hearing on the Threat to Military Communities Inside the United States from what he claims homegrown terrorism.
These hearings surely fomented widespread suspicion and mistrust of the American Muslim community and stoked anti-Muslim sentiment. During 2011, we saw an increase in anti-Muslim hatred in public discourse, as well as hate crimes and violence targeting American Muslims, and those perceived to be Muslim, including vandalism and arson of mosques, physical attacks, bullying of children in schools, and attempted murder.
Taking note of Rep. Peter King’s anti-Muslim hearings, Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced H. Resolution 283, in the United States Congress which said: “Investigations into radicalization in the United States should focus on the criminal behavior of individuals and avoid creating the impression of unconstitutional profiling based on constitutionally protected beliefs and activities.” The resolution also said that the “Federal Government should take steps to counter the growth in anti-Muslim sentiments, targeted rhetorical attacks, and violence against the Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian American communities.”
Muslim community remains under siege
In August 2011, the Muslim American community was shocked at the revelation that the New York City Police Department have carried out covert surveillance on Muslims with the help of the CIA. An Associated Press (AP) report published by the Washington Post exposed the NYPD spy program, which was allegedly being conducted with the assistance of individuals linked to the CIA. Following a month-long investigation, the AP reported that the NYPD is using covert surveillance techniques “that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government” and “does so with unprecedented help from the CIA in a partnership that has blurred the bright line between foreign and domestic spying.”
In another report in September, the Associated Press made another shocking revelation that the New York Police Department collected intelligence on more than 250 mosques and Muslim student groups in and around New York, often using undercover officers and informants to canvass the Islamic population of America’s largest city, according to officials and confidential, internal documents obtained by the AP. After identifying more than 250 area mosques, police officials determined the “ethnic orientation, leadership and group affiliations,” according to the 2006 police documents.
The AP reports about infiltration surveillance of The Muslim community were corroborated by an investigative report of Mother Jones in August 2011 which revealed that after years of emphasizing informant recruiting as a key task for its agents, the FBI now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies — many of them tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States. “In addition, for every informant officially listed in the bureau’s records, there are as many as three unofficial ones known in bureau parlance as “hip pockets.” The informants could be doctors, clerks, imams. Some might not even consider themselves informants. Mother Jones pointed out: “The FBI regularly taps all of them as part of a domestic intelligence apparatus whose only historical peer might be COINTELPRO, the program the bureau ran from the ’50s to the ’70s to discredit and marginalize organizations ranging from the Ku Klux Klan to civil-rights and protest groups.”
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