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MCCARTHYISM GOES MUSLIM: Homeland Security Committee’s Muslim Hearings

How do American Muslim’s become “radicalized?” Homeland Security Chairman, Peter King, is holding Congressional hearings to find out. We’ve had hearings to isolate groups of Americans before, remember the McCarthy hearings?  Then, it was the fear of Communism among us, but now, it’s religion, which is unprecedented and frankly, is making some people feel a little squidgy. 

What’s really behind King’s hearings anyway?  Singling out a group for “investigation” usually comes from fear.  We fear what we don’t know.  There are many of us, frankly, that don’t know much about Islam.  Not many Americans know how Muslims become radicalized, or how many radical Islamic fundamentalists there are in the US.  King claims he’s “not trying to stereo-type” but wants to get to the bottom of the issue by talking to families whose kids have become radicalized, to members of the Muslim community and to law enforcement to try and get a read on what exactly is going on that could pose a threat to our country from within.  

So, what do we know already?  We know that al Qaeda is a radicalized branch of Islam aiming to kill us. We completely understand what that means – we will never forget 9/11.  We have gone to war in Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of that terror against us.  But, these hearings are not about people far away in a far away land plotting to do us harm.  They are about our people. Americans who we think might turn against us.  

Homegrown terror is a serious threat.  O.k., we get know that, too – we have wacky Christian fundamentalists who picket funerals of soldiers and bomb abortion clinics, Tim McVeigh who bombed the Oklahoma Federal Building, Islamic extremists who murdered people at Fort Hood and planted a bomb in Time Square.  We are nervous about people willing to bomb targets and themselves in the process.  Yep-it’s all super scary. So, how do we prevent someone from going to the dark side and prevent attacks against our society?  This is what we don’t really know.  So, how does putting one faith on trial get at the real problem?  What about other extremists among us?  The deadliest homegrown terrorist in our nation’s history was a white guy named Tim.

We remember how the McCarthy hearings put people’s political beliefs up for review and cost people their livelihoods and dignity, in the name of protecting America.  No one thinks of the McCarthy days as being a shining moment in our nation’s history, so no one wants to go back there.  Today’s hearings single out Muslims to determine how their religious beliefs become “radical” and if they are a danger to America. Newsflash: yes, radical anything is a potential danger to America. 

So, here’s the other thing…

You know when you want juicy info from your kids?  Do you sit them down in front of everyone and talk at them?  Or, do you build a trusting relationship with your kids, so when you need the juice, you can have an ice cream MOMent and do a lot of listening?  We have a conversation with our kids to get the really good stuff.  Cuz it’s delicate. 

We don’t criminalize people for their beliefs in America. We get to believe what we want to believe, as long as we live within the laws of the land.  So, what happens when “free America” holds hearings that put the entire Muslim faith on trial, instead of trying to have a conversation with the leaders of the Muslim community, terrorism experts and whomever else we think might help us understand the psychology of radicalization and how to diffuse it? Outrage – home and abroad – which may in fact create more anger than understanding. It is the perceived alienation of the Muslim community, instead of the inclusion of it that is creating the criticism.  

Opinionated MAMAS, “all eyes are on us,” so how should our country get to the heart of this issue?  There is a lack of trust in our society.  So, how do we build it back again?  How do we have a constructive national conversation with the whole world watching?  How do we engage the Muslim community even more as part of the solution in protecting our American community?  We all have to believe that our American values and systems make us strong, not weak.  Afterall, we tell our kids what defines their character is what they do when no one is watching.  So, as a country, we cannot fear our freedom, we must respect it and defend it, whether or not anyone is watching.

16 Responses to MCCARTHYISM GOES MUSLIM: Homeland Security Committee’s Muslim Hearings

  1. Anonymous March 10, 2011 at 11:11 am #
    Opinionated MAMA

    This whole thing scares me to death. I'm scared about sleepers plotting against us – they may not have done anything yet, but I fear they will. I know there are good people and bad people in the world of every shape, size and color – that's what I teach my kids. But, I'm also scared that we aren't doing enough…I don't know what the answer is, but I'm scared that we are not going about it the right way. Maybe the lesson is "you get more bees with honey, than with vinegar?"

  2. noelle81177 March 10, 2011 at 11:12 am #
    Opinionated MAMA
    Party MAMAs

    Okay, I don't agree with this at all BUT the men who flew planes into buildings and SLAUGHTERED people were not radical Muslims from "far, far away". They were educated in AMERICA and attacked us ON OUR SOIL! Rhetoric based off of fear is one thing, BUT facts are facts!

    • momof3 March 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA
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      Yes, I agree that the guys who committed MURDER on 9/11 attacked us on our soil and they were here on student visas, BUT they were radicalized somewhere else and came here specifically to do us harm. That's a separate problem – how they got in? how they stayed here? how we didn't know what they were up to? etc. The hearings are focused on figuring out is how American Muslims become radicalized.

    • noelle81177 March 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA
      Party MAMAs

      Who were their sponsors? Who funded them? If we can say that ANY AMERICAN- Muslim or not funded this, then we do have a problem. As I posted above, I do not in any, way, shape or form agree with what is going on and I will in NO WAY participate in such governmental bullying but we do need to get down to the increasing radicalization of Islam.

    • momof3 March 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA
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      Yes, agreed! Didn't Saudi Arabia fund them (our friend – NOT)? There is no question that there are American orgs/companies that send money to terrorist orgs. Let's follow the money then, instead of alienating an entire religion. There are a lot more good Muslims than bad. There has to be a better way to get at the actual problem.

  3. Anonymous March 10, 2011 at 11:39 am #
    Opinionated MAMA

    Rep. King's time and our money would be better spent investigating the white supremist/neo-nazi group that hatched the Spokane bomber.

    • noelle81177 March 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA
      Party MAMAs

      As a messianic Jew, I am most certainly in agreement with you on the investigation of Neo Nazis/White Supremecy followers. However, how many people were killed in the "Spokane Bombing" and how often are the killing our troops with IED's? Who is funding the radical Muslims abroad? They are often funded by Muslims in America and this needs to stop. I can't stand any type of McCarthyism nor am I condoning what is going on at the hands of our elected leaders but I feel Radical Islam is a much bigger threat to our society than Neo Naziism.

    • momof3 March 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA
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      I think we can all agree radical Islam is a problem, but HOW we confront it is what is being questioned. There are a range of other things that could help foster more trust and info sharing?

    • noelle81177 March 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA
      Party MAMAs

      I agree 100%! Seriously, leave the world's problems to moms and we'll get it done!!

    • Anonymous March 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA

      How about this for a lesson…"the road to hell is paved with good intentions." I fear radical Islam. I don't want to, but I do. It is real. Kids were radicalized and taken to Somalia for jihad training. That's a problem America. But, as well intended as his motives may be, Rep King is helping the terrorists cause – the perceived persecution of Muslims. We cannot compromise our principals. We have to be smarter and fairer or we will give up the thing that terrorists fear most – a FREE democratic society. PS., Hi Noelle – how are you doing???

    • noelle81177 March 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA
      Party MAMAs

      Hi TM,
      I am okay…only ONE MORE CHEMO treatment left!! I'm a bit under the weather today (catching what the kids had, of course). And you're right, this is all just fuel for the fire. To quote my favorite tv show "Friends"- "there's GOT to be a better way!!"

    • Anonymous March 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA

      Hooray for only one more chemo treatment! Take care of you…and those babies…if all MAMAs did that, we wouldn't have to worry about our kids becoming radicalized?! For pete sake, we've got gangs recruiting our kids, Mexican drug lords recruiting our kids, Islamic radicals recruiting our kids, right-wing supremist groups recruiting our kids, etc. You know what the solution is? ENGAGED PARENTS. Really, the weight of the world is on our shoulders and I can barely get the laundry done! (-:

    • Anonymous March 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA

      p.s., Let me know when you complete your last treatment – we can have a cyber celebration!!!!

    • noelle81177 March 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA
      Party MAMAs

      woo hoo! I'll let you know! NOW I know why my shoulders hurt so bad…with the weight of the world on them :) But when I read what these moms have to say and the ideas they have, I really do believe we could (to quote Tim Gunn) Make it work!

    • Anonymous March 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm #
      Opinionated MAMA

      Absolutely – we are going to "make it work" because our kids deserve it. (-:

  4. rochesternative March 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm #
    Opinionated MAMA
    Party MAMAs

    The McCarthy trials may not have been a "shining moment" but here we are 50+ years later fighting communists within our own nations.

    We dare not be so lax when we are talking about people who potentially want to kill Americans and put us under a theocracy of Islam.

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