Background Information on Radicalization Hearings

February 3, 2011

  • Congressional hearings on radicalization and community partnerships are nothing new. Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Rep. Jane Harman have held several such hearings in the past few years. MPAC staff has testified at least at two such hearings and we are prepared to testify again. The important questions to ask are, “What is the purpose of Rep. Peter King's proposed hearings? Do they aim to find serious solutions to problems? Or will these hearing become a type of political theater based on the individuals testifying and focusing only on the Muslim American community, when our country’s national security is threatened by various groups?”
  • If not done properly these hearings will only serve to undermine the existing partnerships between Muslim American communities and law enforcement. Many law enforcement and elected officials (see handout of quotations) have praised their partnerships with the Muslims community as central to their efforts to counter violent extremism. These hearings will undermine that work and trust because they will put the Muslim community on trial and embolden the voices of individuals and groups who seek to marginalize Muslim Americans from the mainstream. A community cannot function as both a partner and suspect at the same time.
  • A non-partisan list of local and federal law enforcement officials has expressed support of complete engagement, partnership and cooperation with Muslim American communities citing no complications or hesitancy. FBI Director Robert Mueller, Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff have met with MPAC and local Muslim communities on the issue of cooperation.
  • MPAC has been tackling extremism and terrorism almost two decades. 

Our efforts include:

  • The National Grassroots Campaign to Fight Terrorism (2004)
  • "The Impact of 9/11 on Muslim American Young People" policy paper (2007)
  • "Building Bridges to Strengthen America" policy paper (2009)
  • Ground-breaking study "Post-9/11 Terrorism Database" (2010)
  • Two anti-violence public service announcements viewed by more than 40,000 and featured on CNN and the NY Times (2010)
  • Civic training and responsibility programs such as our “I Am Change” Campaign and our DC and Southern California National “Muslim Young Leader Summits”
  • Muslim American communities have consistently engaged with law enforcement on all levels. One out of every three Al-Qaeda plots threatening the United States since 9/11 has been prevented with the help of tips and vigilance from Muslims. This includes 7 out of the last 11 plots.
  • King’s claims of not cooperating are grossly inaccurate and out of touch with the realities the current status of the Muslim American communities. A few bad seeds do not speak to the reality of 6 million Muslims peacefully living in America. 

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