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New website targets anti-Muslim political rhetoric
Reps. Peter King, R-New York, right, and Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, discuss a hearing on "Muslim radicalization" Sunday.
March 8th, 2011
01:13 PM ET

New website targets anti-Muslim political rhetoric

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

A Muslim advocacy group launched a website Tuesday aimed at tracking what it calls anti-Muslim rhetoric, particularly among elected officials, two days before a congressional hearing that focuses on the American Muslim community.

“One of the first items we’re going to be highlighting is the King hearings,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, a national group that launched the site.

New York Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, convened Thursday's hearing, which he says will focus on “radicalization in the American Muslim community."

“Our concern is that the King hearings are going to sow fear and mistrust of the Muslim community at a time when the nation needs to be coming together,” Khera said. "It’s essentially a congressional stamp of approval for anti-Muslim hate.”

King, a Republican, has rejected such characterizations of the hearings.

“Al Qaeda is actively attempting to recruit individuals living within the Muslim American community to commit acts of terror,” he wrote in a recent letter defending the hearings. "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.”

"We're talking about al Qaeda," King told CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley on Sunday. “There's been self-radicalization going on within the Muslim community, within a very small minority, but it's there, and that's where the threat is coming from at this time."

The new website, called WhatUnites.US, allows users to contact their members of Congress via the Web and encourages users to urge elected representatives to speak out against Thursday’s hearing and to try to prevent future hearings.

King has said that Thursday’s session will be the first in a series of hearings focusing on the American Muslim community.

The site, part of a broader campaign by progressive religious and civil rights groups to denounce the King hearing, says it “brings together Americans from all walks of life to push back against anti-Muslim rhetoric and make it unacceptable for public figures of any kind, but especially elected officials, to espouse anti-Muslim hate.”

“The campaign is built around the American values of freedom, truth, fairness, justice and diversity. The site features video testimonials, blog content, campaign actions and more,” a message on the site says.

Not all Muslims object to the hearings. Akbar Ahmed, an Islamic studies professor at American University, says that many first-generation American Muslims, feeling rejected both by their parents' culture and by their American peers, are at risk of being radicalized.

"There's a new generation of Muslim Americans who are born here or have grown up here and are no longer fully accepted as Egyptians or Pakistanis, as their parents are," he said. "But America is also rejecting them; day and night Islam is being demonized. … They’re suspended between two cultures.

"Whey you are 18, that can push you into a dangerous situation," Ahmed says. "You can go online and some idiot in the Middle East can push you in a dangerous direction. It has little to do with theology and a lot to do with anthropology."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Muslim • Politics

soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Taigo

    All muslims are NOT terrorists. All terrorists ARE muslim. Untill we decifer which ones are, life is going to be tough for ALL muslims in America, and around the world. Now, maybe if the non terrorist muslims could launch a large campaign denouncing all terrorist acts that are hijacking their religion, public opinion may start to lean the other way. I have seen no such campaign since 9/11. Why?!

    April 2, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  2. Muneef

    http://www.bilalphilips.com/bilal_pages.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=290

    March 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  3. Muneef

    An-Nisa sura 04:
    Hast thou not seen those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given, how they believe in idols and false deities, and how they say of those (idolaters) who disbelieve: "These are more rightly guided than those who believe"? (51).

    March 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  4. Muneef

    America does not want to admit that this redicalization hearing is only meant to target Shiaa's in their fears of Iran regime.

    March 10, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  5. Iqbal Khan

    911 was an inside JOB, see what Alan sabrosky is saying and what happend to Dov Zakheim and missing Trillions of dollars?
    do a google search.

    March 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  6. L. Fox

    This Facebook site is removing my polite posts. I am asking for a response to this:
    Why are they blocking an honest inquiry on the FB page? They are also removing me from the group; I am only asking about an opinion or position on this:

    Rep. King's Hearings on the Radicalization of Muslims
    How should Muslims respond to the hearings?

    On March 10, 2011, Representative Peter King, R-N.Y., of the Department of Homeland Security Committee will hold hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America. Not surprisingly, most Muslim organizations have accused Representative King of pursuing an anti Muslim agenda and of being a hypocrite since he was a strong supporter of the Irish Republican Army, which the United States labeled a terrorist organization. Representative King has fired back that the Muslim community has not done enough to assist law enforcement in fighting terrorism and that 85 percent of Muslim Mosques are controlled by radicals or the Muslim Brotherhood. Consequently, a controversy has erupted around the hearings and King's allegation that the Muslim community has a problem with extremism has received more media attention than any rational Muslim leader could possible want.

    The Free Muslims Coalition does not know the intention of Representative King but we do know that the response of traditional Muslim organizations, in opposing the hearings, has done a disservice to the Muslim community.

    It is a well known fact that American Muslims are perceived as extreme and radical by many Americans. Even if Representative King is insincere and has bad intentions, Muslim leaders should embrace the hearings and take the lead in understanding and eliminating the cause of radicalization, to the extent that it exists among Muslims in America. When Muslims take the lead in the fight against radicalism, extremism and terrorism then it will be difficult for their critics to cast the blame on all Muslims or Islam for the actions of a few deranged lunatics.

    For this reason, the Free Muslims Coalition salutes Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, for taking the lead in the fight against extremism. We can only hope that other Muslim leaders learn from Dr. Jasser's initiatives.

    To respond to this article, please post your comment at: http://freemuslims.org/blog/?id=119

    March 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  7. Iqbal Khan

    Wake up America why we are letting Peter King and people like him to waste time and money on non issues they should be working to solve the real problems facing this country
    JOBS LOSSES,OUT SOURCEING ,BUDGET DEFICIET, BANKS, INSURANCE COMPANIES, UN JUST FOREIGN POLICY, SOCIAL SECURITY, LABOUR UNION PROBLEMS, JOB SECURITY for those who have any jobs left, bringing our troops home from UNJUST and ILLEGAL WARS, KILLING OF INNOCENT PEOPLE, OIL COMPANIES making billions of unjust Profit and paying millions to their CEO's, INFRA STRUCTURES ROADS and BRIDGES and so many other Real issues that they have been elected to solve.
    No but these type of politicians play the game of fear mongring , controlling and restricting the Fredom and Liberties of American citizens, their actions have made us worried every day in our own most powerful country on earth.

    March 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  8. jane

    Unfortunately this website just reenforces what makes Americans mad- why can't Muslims make the same amount of effort to denounce and combat extremism and bigotry in their community as they do protesting Islamaphobia? Why doesn't this women start a website that monitors anti-western/christian/jewish/gay rhetoric amoung her people?

    March 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  9. michelle

    I'm an American Christian and married to a Muslim American this is an injustice to freedom of religion.Why do we label Muslim's with a name of terrorist.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Oh, I See.

      @ michelle

      Well, for starters...

      http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks

      March 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • aaa

      the are baaaaaaaaaaaaad one day you will found out & eill you see

      March 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  10. A REAL American

    The Zionist Tea Party is destroying this country that I love.

    I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!

    March 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  11. Jim

    I am not agaist the hearing, I am against the person who is calling for the hearing. He himself supported the IRA a terrorist organization and therfore himself a terrorist. A Terrorist calling millions of people faith and consider them radical should take a look at himself first. ONLY IN AMERICA A TERRORIST CAN BECOME THE CHAIRMAN OF HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTE. He should resign from HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITEE.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Oh, I See.

      @ Jim

      Life (and politics) is apparently more complex than you give it credit for. Here – read the whole article and try to understand.

      http://www.nysun.com/national/rep-king-and-the-ira-the-end-of-an-extraordinary/15853/

      March 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  12. Cameron

    Allah is another name for Satan, make no mistake.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Jim

      You are a major idiot

      March 9, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • sway

      you need to read and educate yourself, your personality and opinion would have ha its place hundreds of years ago maybe you could have been a crusade commander GOD WILLS IT

      March 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      and the irony is that one billion muslims across the globe think Allah is the opposite of Satan! They have no idea, do they? They are worshipping satan while they think they are worshipping God. Ha ha ha ha ha.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Oh, I See.

      "They have no idea, do they?"

      And there you have it... in a nutshell.

      March 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  13. Uncle Sam

    I really hate to see American of all the world doing such a thing which is entirely against their own basic principles. I think its against the first amendment of liberty to practice religion and faith. Why is a man who has known Irish terrorist ties and funded the IRA, is dealing on this issue. Is it history repeating it self like when Jews were lined up to psychological torture in Europe?

    Sooner or later this will lead to America's downfall mark my words!

    March 9, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      Highly industrialized societies are eventually going to fall prey to fascism. Fascism, Nazism go hand in hand with Industrial – Capitalist societies. So it is a given that America will eventually succu mb to fascism. Almost did with Bush Inc., and as Obama is showing, the tide of Military-Industrialism cannot be fought against, its too over-powering. Muslims seem the ideal "jews" for the emerging American fascism.

      The Europeans even gave Obama a "pro-active" Nobel Peace Prize in the hopes that he would put the brakes on the Bush Inc. fascist trends.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  14. NewMalthus

    Good for King. Hold the hearings. Common Sense instead of Political Correct BS. Notice Obama is staying out of this, what with having seen the light with his new Gitmo decision.
    CNN and its liberal buddies are the ones on a witch hunt.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  15. fakhredin

    Events of 2011 and 2012: Shaul Mofaz in the spring of 2011 Israeli Prime Minister is – his government 14 to 15 months as it takes – and soldiers Muslim commander of Imam Mahdi – Israel's destruction – the King of Jordan Syria Iraq captured to the summer and fall 2011 – he fights with Turkey – the end of summer 2011 – and his soldiers in the desert between Mecca and Medina are down to earth – at the end of 2011 –
    Jordanian and Western troops – are involved in Egypt – Saudi king dies in its power struggle starts – -45P/Honda-Mrkos comet meteors in 14 to 20 August 2011 to deal with the land – its largest in in East Asia comes down
    26 August 2011 a huge star in the sky East to explode three or seven days to show signs of burns and this is the Imam Mahdi – In the spring of 2011 earthquake in northern Israel can happen – Jesus between the months of May to August 2012 are shown – and Imam Mahdi will help to establish justice in the world

    March 9, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  16. Upperhand

    The Five Deceptions of Islam:

    1.) "Islam is a religion of love."
    2.) "Islam is a religion of peace."
    3.) "Allah is just another name for God."
    4.) "We worship Jesus Christ like you do."
    5.) "Koran is the Divine Word of Allah."

    Unlike Islam, Koran, Hadith, etc....Jesus Christ teaches us the following:

    Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?" Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. 'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." – Mark 12:28-31

    March 9, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      >> 4.) "We worship Jesus Christ like you do.

      muslims DO NOT worship Jesus Christ
      it would be considered a MAJOR SIN in Islam to worship a physical human enti ty

      >> 3.) "Allah is just another name for God."

      Allah is just another name for THE HOLY FATHER, yes.

      >> Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.

      JESUS was of course speaking as a JEW!! When he spoke these words, Christianity or the New Testament did not exist at the time. But as now know this is not as clear cut. GOD IS THREE-IN-ONE. There is indeed One Lord in Christianity, but HE appears in three different forms.IT IS IRONIC that a Christian should throw this quote from Jesus on a Muslim's face, when the Islamic Lord (Allah) is MUCH MORE "ONE" than the Christian version!!

      March 9, 2011 at 3:43 am |
    • John Richardson

      Christianity has a sordid history of doing violence in the name of God. The crusades, the many wars and battles between Protestants and Catholics, heresy trials, witch trials, the Inquisition and the whole mindset of of the colonial period. Islam has no monopoly on these sorts of things.

      March 9, 2011 at 4:04 am |
    • The One True Steve

      @B(Iraq) as to #4 you are correct. The muslims believe that Jesus is just a prophet like Mohammad.
      As to #3 "Allah is just another name for God" it is impossible because of #4. The Bible says Jesus is the son of God, part of the holy trinity. The Koran says God had no son. Therefore God and Allah cannot be the same.

      @John ... They do now. Just because one group does bad things that justifies another group doing bad things? Really?

      March 12, 2011 at 1:39 am |
  17. William from Phoenix, Az.

    The Qur'an is a beautiful book, it's teachings are that of peace, tolerance, and above all others love. Such is the Christrian Bible, teachings of love, peace, and tolerance. Don't hate the religion, it's certain people's interpretation of such beauty for their own egocentric crusades that warp it into an instrument of evil. Religion at it's core is described as "a belief or set of beliefs used to give meaning to our experience." American society is ignorant to the facts of this, and claim to be tolerant of other beliefs. Just as long as they think the same. Read a text book, look at the facts from a non-biased source, then come back and argue. Oh and by the way, Judaism, Islam, Bahai (read and learn about it) and Christianity stem from one common ancestor.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  18. Reality

    Getting to heart of the situation:

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? And what continues to drive Muslims to commit acts of terror and horror? The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means. Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein. Until then, no male Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere.--

    March 8, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • sway

      If one is to really analyze this entire situation one will see that its all a smoke screen for what is really going on in the world, OK lets accept that the extremist Muslims did manage to orchestrate the bombings on September 11th. would it have not been much more cost efficient to use the technology and espionage tactics acquired by the US to hit the source of the problem while using some of those billions of dollars that was spent on a futile war(sorry both futile wars) to beef up national security at the US borders? this would have saved much more lives both Arab and American, not to mention job creation.
      There is no way bombing innocent people will secure Americas future these wars jus caused more harm than good by causing a growing hatred toward the west by Muslims worldwide.
      Ultimately they made a bad situation worse .
      America needs to wake up and realize these leaders are just in it for themselves and their cooperate buddies, not for the greater good of America.
      the greed and love of money is the root of the problem and America needs to fix America and the broken system they have implemented.

      March 9, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • sway

      The US leaders should not attack their local Muslim population this i think could create great instability in the United States by growing hatred and fear among it's citizens. Fear blinds people its crippling and causes people to react without rational thinking, so y are leaders determined to Scare it's citizens by creating a stigma that no Muslim can be trusted or every Muslim is a terrorist this is a very serious issue and a growing problem that the world needs to address on a global scale.

      March 9, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Oh, I See.

      @ sway

      Here's what I got out of both of your posts:

      Muslims will be offended if we investigate them.
      ergo, "no Muslim can be trusted"
      True

      and "every Muslim is a terrorist"
      True if you insert the word 'potential' in front of "terrorist"

      The rest of your post is incoherent drivel.

      Honest and forthright Muslims who have nothing to fear from these hearings should endorse, rather than denounce, Mr. King's efforts. The more they complain, the deeper the investigation should go.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  19. Kester Strange

    Islam seems to be more a labor union or political persuasion than a religion.
    The democratic party meanwhile seems to be more of a fanatical religion with no trace of tolorance for any other opinion.
    (And the same thing goes for the GOP.)

    March 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.