March 10, 2011

What's wrong with hearings on American Muslims

It is hard to imagine how the public hearings on Islamic terror in the United States, which opened today in the U.S. House of Representatives, could be any more counter-productive. I will attempt to list some of the most apparent problems, without resorting to labels or innuendo.

NO CREDIBILITY: The Chairman of the committee holding the hearings is an unrepetentant and longtime supporter of the ruthless Irish Republican Army.

UNJUSTIFIED: The claim that such hearings will help crack down on terror cells in the United States has been debunked by the bulk of local and federal law enforcement officials -- most of those commenting have emphasized that the hearings will actually undermine the generally excellent cooperation they receive from Muslim-Americans and community leaders.

ALIENATING: The hearings, and the publicity they have generated, further stigmatize and alienate Muslim-Americans, and send an adversarial message to one billion Muslims around the world, just as the Islamic world is getting over the perception that post-9/11 America is at war with Islam -- and just as millions of Muslims are looking to America for leadership in their own risky leap toward democracy.

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