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Over Before it Started

26

Methinks Representative King is a wee bit over his haid. Reading my previous post about the Politico article fills me with dread and sorrow at another lost opportunity. Doesn't King know he is going to be smeared and defamed for these hearings no matter what — so why not achieve something? Why not have the courage of your convictions?

They are worried about these hearings with good reason. "On the gonif brent a hittle" — the Yiddish axiom translated means, "on the thief the hat burns." At the last yearly MPAC Conference (December 18, 2010), one of the questions moderator Salaam Al Marayati asked his panel concerned the future hearings of Congressman Peter King. One of the panelists, an attorney named Angela Oh, said that any person subpoenaed should hire an attorney, and that the attorney should advise the committee that the person under subpoena would not appear. The other panelists agreed.
 
One of the other panelists, an attorney named Reem Salahi, made a lot of noise about King and the IRA. I have the feeling that they want the media to exploit this. The entire session was recorded and appeared on the MPAC web site.

Instead, Representative King has already conceded key points. Why? How could he in good conscience squander such an important, historic opportunity?

In a move that will come as a relief to Muslim leaders, King told POLITICO that he’s not planning to call as witnesses such Muslim community critics as the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Steve Emerson and Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer, who have large followings among conservatives but are viewed as antagonists by many Muslims.

Based on this, it appears this will be a show trial completely lacking in substance. Between Emerson and Spencer, they cover the whole of it. Emerson knows who all the players are and what groups and cells they are affiliated with. He knows who everyone is and what they're doing. For King to acquiesce in his marginalization is criminal. In Spencer's case, it's just as bad. Why wouldn't King discuss the texts and teachings of Islam that jihadists use to justify violence and make recruits? For him not to avail himself of Emerson's knowledge and Spencer's scholarship is an astounding case of willful blindness. 

King aims, he said, to call retired law enforcement officials and people with “the real life experience of coming from the Muslim community.” Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in the House and a critic of the hearings, will likely be a minority witness, according to both King and the Minnesota Democrat.

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, infamous for his pro-Hamas rallies (here) and his pilgrimage to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, paid for by the Muslim Brotherhood (here), is testifying, but Emerson and Spencer aren't? What can King achieve?

The focus, King said, will be on — among other topics — reported complaints from Somali Muslims that the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other groups discouraged them from talking to the authorities about young men who left to fight for the Islamist cause in Somalia and on cases like that of the imam who — while ostensibly cooperating with the FBI — allegedly tipped off a would-be subway bomber off as investigators closed in.

Muslim leaders respond that American Muslims have been key to an array of terror investigations, beginning with the Muslim street vendor who first noticed the smoking car in Times Square.

“I hope my colleague from New York …. does not make the mistake of trying to paint all Muslims with a broad, extremist brush,” Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), the other Muslim in Congress, said in an e-mail to POLITICO. “Because for one, that’s not an accurate depiction of the millions of peace-loving Muslims, and two, our national security depends on us forging strong partnerships with people across the Muslim world.”

Possible witnesses, according to King, include Dutch critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali and M. Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of Arizona-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Jasser is a sharp critic of leading American Muslim groups, whose agenda he calls “Islamist.”

Jasser and Hirsi Ali are perfectly lovely, but to what end? Jasser's Islam does not exist. He does not have a theological leg to stand on. His mosque threw him out. Whatever he is practicing, it's not Islam, and he speaks for no one but himself. Also, Jasser has done some strange things: in May 2009 he made a last minute effort to quash Geert Wilders' appearance on Capitol Hill under the aegis of Senator Kyl, calling Kyl's office the morning of the day Wilders was supposed to appear stating a LIE — that while Jasser had been in The Netherlands Wilders refused to meet with Jasser because Wilders "doesn't meet with Muslims." THAT NEVER HAPPENED.

And when I interviewed him back in 2007, he referred to Israel as occupied territory in the last five minutes of the interview. He blew his cover. Further, Jasser refutes Islamic antisemitism in the interview as well. He may be well intentioned, but his approach and theology is just plain unislamic. Logan's Warning pointed out recently that Jasser has no following among Muslims, and doesn't represent any Islamic tradition. So what's the point?  

King probably thinks, as do other conservatives, that Jasser is the voice of reason in our cause of educating Americans about the threat of radical Islam. But in this Jasser fails miserably. First off, there is no "reason" in Islam. There is only Islam. You cannot question, reason, or go off the reservation in any way. Hence, Jasser cannot educate about the threat, because he obfuscates the truth and has invented the Islam he follows.

Jasser is a rare Muslim voice welcoming the hearings. Other community leaders who spoke to POLITICO are afraid that their fragmented community is not ready for this fight.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is smart, fashionable and a wonderful speaker. I am not sure what she brings to the party — except for Niall Ferguson (meow, I am so jealous). She is a great spokesperson but she has removed herself from the front lines. She runs in a different crowd now. Yes, she can speak to the brutal oppression of women in Islam, but what can she bring to these hearings? If it's a former Muslim they want to hear from, who better than the world's leading scholar on Islam, Ibn Warraq?

That's all King really needs: Emerson, Spencer and Ibn Warraq.

Instead he will trot out useless empty retreads, yesterday's men, and maybe Bull O'Reilly.

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