by Jim Kouri
Muslims, activists from leftist organizations, community leaders and celebrities in New York City demonstrated in Times Square on Sunday to protest a Congressional hearing on radicalization of U.S. Muslims and the creation of homegrown and "lone wolf" terrorists.
Ironically, the Times Square protest was held at the scene of last year's attempt to bomb the busy theater district using a carload of explosives. The bomber was a radical Muslim with ties to cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki who advocates violence against the U.S. and Israel. Al-Awlaki specializes in recruiting angry, disturbed or disenfranchised young Muslims for terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda.
Holding placards that read "Today I am a Muslim, too," a few hundred people gathered at what the news media termed "the interfaith protest." Attending the protest and speaking to the crowd were Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and hip-hop producer Russell Simmons.
Other celebrities who showed their support include; Juelz Santana, Kimora Lee Simmons & Djimon Hounsou, Adrien Grenier, Cory Booker, Susan Sarandon,Swizz Beatz, Jermaine Dupri, Lorraine Bracco, John Legend, Heather Graham, Jim Jones, Kelly Bensimon, Reverend Run, Lamar Odom, Khloe Kardashian, Congressman Charles Rangel and others.
Imam Rauf until recently was the leader of the controversial plan to build a mosque and cultural center near the former World Trade Center site. He told the crowd that he was concerned this week's scheduled hearings by Representative Peter King on radicalization of U.S. Muslims would be biased.
In addition, President Barack Obama dispatched one of his top aides to assure Muslims he doesn't believe they are part of the terrorist problem, but part of the solution. Denis McDonough, deputy national security advisor to President Obama, addressed a largely Muslim audience on Sunday.
U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, affirmed that this week his committee will move forward with a series of hearings to examine the threat of Islamic radicalization. That announcement created a firestorm among Muslim leaders and progressive politicians in the United States.
Last week, Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS), acting on behalf of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) wrote Chairman King a letter asking that King, instead of focusing on al Qaeda’s efforts to radicalize and recruit within the Muslim-American community, examine extreme environmentalists and neo-Nazis
In his response King wrote that “the Committee will continue to examine the threat of Islamic radicalization, and I will not allow political correctness to obscure a real and dangerous threat to the safety and security of the citizens of the United States.”
"While there have been extremist groups and random acts of political violence throughout our history, the al- Qaeda attacks of 9/11 and the ongoing threat to our nation from Islamic jihad were uniquely diabolical and threatening to America’s security, both overseas and in our homeland," wrote King.
"It was this dramatically increased threat which Attorney General Holder said “keeps him awake at night” and drove him “to make people aware of the fact that the threat is real, the threat is different, and the threat is constant.”
Attorney General Holder also noted that the teachings of Islamic jihadist Anwar Al Awlaki inspired many of the most recent terrorist attacks. This threat is real, and we can hardly afford to ignore the motivating ideology behind nearly every recent homegrown attack, such as the Zazi plot, the Times Square Attack, Fort Hood, the Portland Christmas bombing attempt, and numerous others. "
CAIR prodded Rep. Thompson to discredit King's probe and one the Islamic group's top officials released a press statement. "Representative King seems to believe that he need not offer any evidence or expert testimony to back up his baseless allegations," said CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor.(Story continues below)
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"One wonders whether Representative King will call witnesses to support his bizarre claim that '85 percent' of American Muslim community leaders are 'an enemy living amongst us,'" Saylor stated.
Saylor accused Rep. King of having a long history of troubling rhetoric and baseless claims about the Muslim community, which raise reasonable concerns about the form his hearings may take. In 2007, Rep. King said "we have too many mosques in this country."
CAIR officials routinely attacks anyone who questions the motives or actions of Muslims in the United States.
According to a report from the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security: "The Council on American-Islamic Relations and its employees have combined, conspired, and agreed with third parties, including, but not limited to, the Islamic Association for Palestine, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, the Global Relief Foundation, and foreign nationals hostile to the interests of the United States, to provide material support to known terrorist organizations, to advance the Hamas agenda, and to propagate radical Islam."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, and certain of its officers, directors, and employees, have acted in support of, and in furtherance of, this conspiracy, said the Senate report.
M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim who challenges groups such as CAIR, in an NYPD-used training video The Third Jihad details how CAIR was created shortly after a secret 1993 meeting in Philadelphia involving members of the Muslim Brotherhood's Palestine Committee. Their goal was to lead opposition to the 1993 Oslo accords and generate support for Hamas, the terrorist organization that now runs the government in Gaza.
Dr. Daniel Pipes, a foremost expert on radical Islam and terrorism cites several criminal cases involving CAIR officials: A senior staff member, Randall Royer a/k/a “Ismail” Royer, pled guilty and was sentenced to twenty years in prison for participating in a network of militant jihadists centered in Northern Virginia. He admitted to aiding and abetting three persons who sought training in a terrorist camp in Pakistan for the purpose of waging jihad against American troops in Afghanistan. Royer’s illegal actions occurred while he was employed by CAIR.
CAIR's Director of Public Affairs, Bassem Kafagi was arrested by the US due to his ties with a terror-financing front group. Khafagi pled guilty to charges of visa and bank fraud, and agreed to be deported to Egypt. Khafagi’s illegal actions occurred while he was employed by CAIR.
Ghassan Elashi, a founder of CAIR's Texas chapter and founder of the Holy Land Foundation was arrested by the United States and charged with, making false statements on export declarations, dealing in the property of a designated terrorist organization, conspiracy and money laundering. Ghassan Elashi committed his crimes while working at CAIR, and was found guilty.
CAIR Board Member Imam Siraj Wahaj, an un-indicted coconspirator in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, has called for replacing the American government with an Islamic caliphate, and warned that America will crumble unless it accepts Islam.
Whenever CAIR is accused of wrongdoing, their spokesmen are quick to tell Americans that its leadership have been guests at President Bush’s White House and that they are regularly consulted by US officials on matters involving homeland security.
"It is important that the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security have access to accurate and balanced information about Islam and Muslims," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Earlier this year, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) was pressured to cease using a training film CAIR members found offensive. CAIR contacted NCIS after receiving a report about a three-day NCIS surveillance detection course at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for Examiner.com and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.