The hearings into the supposed radicalization of American Muslims began Thursday morning, led by Rep. Peter King, amid protests and heightened security. The testimony quickly got emotional when Rep. Keith Ellison, who is Muslim, began talking about Mohammad Salman Hamdani, who died on September 11. After offering details of Hamdani's life--he was a football player and a Star Wars fan--Ellison got choked while explaining how rumors had spread that Hamdani, who was Muslim, was involved in the terror attacks. Hamdani's name was cleared months after the attacks, when his remains were uncovered in the rubble of the Twin Towers. He'd died trying to help victims of the attacks.
Ellison begins talking about Hamdani at 8:18:
Los Angeles County sheriff Leroy Baca was called to testify by Democrats. The sheriff explained that he'd worked with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group some conservatives say is radical, to stop terror plots. Baca bristled when Rep. Chip Cravaack suggested that he was merely being used by CAIR, which the FBI apparently suspected had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in 1993. Baca said that in his line of work, he deals with facts and crimes--police don't "play around" with such accusations.
Cravaack then asked if he was disputing the FBI's findings. Baca said, "You don't want to cause a conflict between me and the FBI. We work better together than this committee."
Rep. Mike Rogers countered charges of Islamophobia by saying, “I haven’t heard any member of our committee say there’s too many mosques." King corrected him, saying that actually, he had said that.
Video of the original statement first, then the reference to it in the hearing:
The Daily Caller's Chris Moody highlights the moment when Sheila Jackson Lee referred to herself in the third person during her statement opposing the hearings. Speaking to one of the witnesses, Jackson Lee asked, “Mr. Jasser, may I just ask, are you a Muslim?” He said that he was. “Thank you, sir. Are there any other Muslims on the witness table?” she asked. More said yes. “The reason why I ask that question is because Muslims are here cooperating... They are doing what this hearing has suggested that they do not do! It is an irony and an outrage that we are wasting time when Muslims are sitting before us, a Muslim is on this panel, a Muslim has testified, so I question, where are the uncooperative Muslims?”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.