At the hearing today on domestic radicalization with the Muslim community, the Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee seemed to want to discuss anything but. “I am concerned that the focus of today’s hearing may increase the suspicion of the Muslim community, ultimately making us less safe,” said Rep. Keith Ellison in his testimony.
And so some members tried to change the subject. They brought up the Oklahoma City bombing. They brought up the recent shooting in Arizona. They noted that Christians and Jews have also been involved in terrorism.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee suggested that committee members “would be better off if we were to have a hearing speaking about the importance of human intelligence.”
Rep. Al Green had a different idea. “Because I love the American people, I want to say in clear concise terms, I have no problem discussing terrorism organizations that are rooted in religion,” he said. “Which is why I want to discuss the KKK. … Why not talk about the KKK today?”
Why not talk about the KKK? Well, for one thing, Green is about 140 years too later with that suggestion — it was congressional hearings on the Klan’s terrorism that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1871.
But honestly, if these other subjects were so pressing, then why didn’t Democrats call hearings on Timothy McVeigh, the Klan, and Christian radicalization back when they had control of the Homeland Security Committee last year? Or did they simply bring these suggestions up today in order to avoid discussion of the real issues?
“It may be right, but it doesn’t look right when we take on Islam, and we allow this to take place, and we don’t take the chance to tell the truth about the KKK and the problems with Christianity,” said Rep. Green today. “It doesn’t look right, Mr. [Zuhdi] Jasser, when we take on one religion with the exclusion of others.”
Maybe it doesn’t. But it’s not the job of our Homeland Security Committee members to avoid hard truths because they’re worried about whether it “looks right.” And until certain lawmakers realize this, it will be impossible to have an honest discussion in Congress on the issue of Islamic radicalization.