Saturday, March 5, 2011

Guest Voz -- Talat Hamdani: This is My Son's America Too! -- or-- Why is Republican Rep Peter King Targetting Muslim Americans!

Guest Voz -- Talat Hamdani: This is My Son's America Too!
I was appalled when I learned that House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King planned to hold hearings on the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism. (The hearings are scheduled for next week.) Once again, I realized that in the continuing discussion of how to secure our country against future attacks, American Muslims would have to defend themselves against the broad stereotypes that have become embedded in our collective psyche since 9/11. I am, as much as anyone else in America, acutely aware of the need to prevent future attacks. My American Muslim son Salman Hamdani was among the nearly 3,000 Americans of diverse ethnicities, faiths and political perspectives who died in those terrorist attacks. Salman was a paramedic and a New York Police Department cadet who died trying to save his fellow Americans. He did not stop to think about the faith of the people he was trying to rescue. Instead, like scores of other first responders, he acted to save them. Despite his noble instincts, the tabloid media initially suggested that because of his Pakistani-American heritage, he might have been involved with the attacks.

My grief was compounded by the suspicions that clouded Salman's name and the suggestion that his faith -- my faith -- not the acts of 19 murderers, was somehow responsible. Now, nearly a decade later, the American Muslim community has been singled out for scrutiny by Rep. King on the flimsy theory that American Muslims do not cooperate with law enforcement. This perspective is disputed by law enforcement and counter-terrorism experts ranging from the sheriff of Los Angeles County to the former director of transnational threats at the National Security Council.

In fact, a recent study by a research group affiliated with Duke University found that 48 of the 120 Muslims suspected of plotting domestic terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001, were turned in by fellow Muslims. These include parents, mosque members and even a Facebook friend.

Make no mistake: As a mother who lost a son, I am aware of the need to ensure that our country is secure, that an event like 9/11 never happens again, and that other mothers do not have to bury their sons. And I understand that it is the job of our elected officials to ensure that we are safe. But I reject the notion that it is mainly Muslims in America who pose a threat to our security. Domestic terrorism stalked America before 9/11, and it continues to come in all forms. That is why I support the call from Rep. King's fellow congressmen and a coalition of Muslim, civil rights and interfaith groups to expand the hearings to include a consideration of extremists of all kinds, not just those who are Muslim.

History teaches that extremism is not a feature of any one ideology, and certainly should not be used to single out and discriminate against an entire community. This is my son Salman's America, too. It is our duty as American citizens to honor his sacrifice and that of all those people who died that day by making sure that while we strive to keep this nation safe, we do not compromise the values of tolerance and fair play.

As one of those who paid the ultimate price on September 11, I believe that the healing we must do as family members and as a nation involves moving beyond our fears and seeking truth and justice. I urge Rep. King to hold fair and objective hearings that cover the full scope of potential threats to our country.


Anonymous said...

There is a difference between a domestic terrorist who never had ties or roots to a foreign country that hates us and a terrorist that did. The latter is out to destroy our entire country and way of life. The former has no such agenda.

Vicente Duque said...

Miami Herald : What Arizona lawmakers are doing is political masturbation : shrill incoherence, strident, nonsensical, unpragmatic, outlawing ethnic studies, requiring Latinos to carry papers like Jews in prewar Germany, decrying anchor babies and other boogeymen, rousing the rabble in their xenophobic righteousness

Solving Immigration Problems was never the point, the point was "rousing the rabble in their xenophobic righteousness" to get votes in Elections.

Miami Herald
Temper tantrums won’t solve immigration issue
By Leonard Pitts Jr.
February 8, 2011

Some excerpts :

The second is that what Arizona lawmakers are doing is the very definition of political masturbation. States do not define citizenship. The federal government does.

The third is that any law Arizona does pass would be unlikely to survive its first court challenge. The 14th Amendment clearly defines a citizen as person “born or naturalized” in the United States. Any attempt to tamper with that amendment should alarm all Americans but particularly African Americans, given that it is the 14th Amendment, along with the 13th and 15th, that anchored our citizenship and provided the legal basis for Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

For all that, the most striking thing about the Arizona proposals — and CNN reports that 40 other states are weighing similar measures — is not their overreach but their shrill incoherence. It is worth noting that this is the 25th anniversary of an actual immigration amnesty signed into law by none other than President Ronald Reagan.

That this icon of conservatism would, like Bush, find himself so strikingly out of step with his followers today testifies eloquently to how strident, nonsensical and unpragmatic this debate has become. Rather than offer workable solutions, lawmakers are busy outlawing ethnic studies classes, requiring Latinos to carry papers like Jews in prewar Germany, decrying anchor babies and other boogeymen, competing to prove who can be toughest on dirt poor Mexicans, rousing the rabble in their xenophobic righteousness.

This is not statesmanship. It is not serious policymaking. It is not even adult.

It is a temper tantrum, the incoherent bawling of those who see fundamental demographic change coming and like it not one bit. They scream in the face of an incoming wave. But the wave comes just the same.

And the sad thing is, none of this angst and anguish was ever necessary. We could have fixed illegal immigration long ago.

Unfortunately, that was never really the point.

Dee said...

So Timothy McVeigh, a militia member, was NOT out to destroy our entire country and way of life?
I doubt the surviving family members of those he terroristically murdered with his ammonium nitrate home made bomb
agree with you! And neither do I! That was the DEADLIEST act of terrorism in the US prior to 9/11.

Your comment does NOT make sense!

Dee said...

Here is what McVeigh said about our way of life and why he and his militia members wanted to destroy America:

. He denounced government as "fascist tyrants" and "storm troopers" and warned:

ATF, all you tyrannical people will swing in the wind one day for your treasonous actions against the Constitution of the United States. Remember the Nuremberg War Trials.

McVeigh also wrote a letter of Militia recruitment to someone he wanted to recruit into his Militia:

A man with nothing left to lose is a very dangerous man and his energy/anger can be focused toward a common/righteous goal. What I'm asking you to do, then, is sit back and be honest with yourself. Do you have kids/wife? Would you back out at the last minute to care for the family? Are you interested in keeping your firearms for their current/future monetary value, or would you drag that '06 through rock, swamp and get off the needed shot? In short, I'm not looking for talkers, I'm looking for fighters...And if you are a fed, think twice. Think twice about the Constitution you are supposedly enforcing (isn't "enforcing freedom" an oxymoron?) and think twice about catching us with our guard down – you will lose just like Degan did – and your family will lose.

Atlanta Roofing said...

Good for Peter King! The Pakistani's refuse to admit to extremism within their government and their non-Muslim government officials are dropping like flies at the hands of terrorists. When the murders are done, they have public outpourings of support for the terrorists. No other officials will attend the funerals of these murdered civil servants and none will speak openly about the lack of civility in regards to outdated blasphemy laws and the peaceful coexistence of religions. Thank goodness the United States has a history of dialogue and King hasn't been convinced to shelve this debate by knee jerk Muslims who insist that the debates are harming them while seemingly ignoring the fact that the terrorists are doing the greatest harm while they stand conspicuously silent and without a collective voice of disapproval of terrorist activities throughout the globe.

Dee said...

What you are missing is the fact he is investigating Americans of a specific religious belief. That would be like someone establishing hearings for Protestants because Timothy McVeigh was Protestant. Do you want to be investigated next just because you are Protestant?

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