By Press TV
By Ali Rizk
The chairman of the House Homeland security committee congressman, Peter King, has begun hearings on what he calls the growing radicalization of the Muslim community in the US and the lack of cooperation law enforcement agencies in this regard.
This is the latest event of a worrisome trend in the US which includes ongoing efforts in the state of Tennessee that would effectively make it illegal to be a Muslim, the burning of the holy Quran by an American Christian pastor last year in Florida, the vandalizing of mosques — sacred and holy places for Muslims worshiping, and many others. This “latest assault on the American Muslim community” is completely unjustified.
As someone who has visited the US and met the members of the Muslim community (During my stay in the US, I spent most of my time in Dearborn, Michigan, home to the largest Arab American community), I saw firsthand how the members of this community (particularly the younger generation born and raised in the US) embrace the American laws, rules and the atmosphere. Some of them even defend the thorough inspections in the airports, saying that US authorities reserve the right to resort to such methods as they are posed to threat of possible attacks, regardless of the religious affiliation of the attacker.
Many from the younger generation even say they can’t imagine themselves going back and living in their countries of origin as they have gotten used to the Western lifestyle. At the same time, these individuals use the virtues of the society in which they live in to raise their voices in support of their cause. In one case, a Lebanese American told me how she and some of her colleagues had protested and walked out during Daniel Pipes’, a well known Zionist, speech in their university (this is a clear example of how Muslims are taking advantage of their rights to resort to peaceful, legitimate and “civilized” means to object something in the US; a right which they would not have enjoyed if living in their home Muslim countries).
This brings me to another very important point. The uprisings we are witnessing in the Muslim world also offer clear evidence that Muslims, similar to other people, aspire to enjoy liberty and rights. Now I am not saying that the western society is perfect when it comes to liberty and rights (indeed the members of the American Muslim community also complain about prejudice treatment by state authorities). But what I am saying is that the latest events in the Muslim world are about the people who rose against oppression, corruption, political marginalization and a clampdown on their rights, especially freedom of expression. Could this be labeled as radical?
So what the American public should realize is that there is no need to fear an imaginary radicalization of Islam whether in the US or beyond. Of course there are other reasons why the American public should be worried about these hearings. First of all they are being conducted by a Republican congressman who aspires to become a senator and gain the political support of the Zionist lobby in the US (Here note also the latest news about the Republican congressman John McCain expressing his support for the release of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli convicted of spying in the US for Israel).
Second we have to look at those who gave testimonies during these hearings. Latest information shows that there has been a call for dismissing the testimony of one of those who bore witness to the idea of “radicalized Islam” because of having a record of being arrested for drunken driving based on the FBI records. According to Ibrahim Hooper from CAIR (the Council for American and Islamic Relations), those testifying in favor of the “radicalization of Islam” are a bunch of selected individuals who express their personal opinions rather than the facts.
In conclusion, it should be stressed that the American Muslims have contributed and continue to contribute to the American society. Just take a visit to the Arab -American museum in Michigan and get an idea about these contributions. It is noteworthy that a handful of individuals do not represent the whole Muslim community; in other words, overgeneralization is not always true. And I absolutely do not justify the acts of this handful of Muslim individuals (who in practice have nothing to do with Islam), whatsoever, these acts stem from anger against the American alliance with Israel which in the view point of many Muslims accounts for the killing of many fellow Muslims in Palestine and elsewhere. Just ask Commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus.