by IPT News
U.S. Islamist groups like the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) have reacted hyperbolically to news that the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), plans to hold hearings on American Muslim radicalization.
But Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, writes in the New York Post that critics of the hearings like MPAC, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) are attempting "to deny and obfuscate the connection between 'political Islam' or Islamism, and terror."
Political correctness dominates public discussion of incidents involving Islamists, Jasser writes. One example was the Pentagon report on Nidal Hasan, currently charged in last year's Fort Hood massacre.
"The report was intended to convey to military commanders whatever lessons were learned from the incident, so as to prevent similar attacks in the future," Jasser writes. "Yet it never mentioned the word Islam or Muslim. Nowhere to be found was any dissection of Hasan's slide into militant Islamism or of his relationship with his homegrown jihadist mentor, Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki."
Major American Muslim groups like CAIR, ISNA and MPAC were built on the ideology of political Islam. But "knowing where most American Muslims fall in the spectrum of Islamism-vs.- liberalism, as King hopes to find out in his hearings, would be a key step toward counterradicalization," Jasser writes.
Congressional hearings are just one step in crafting a strategy against political Islam.
"Only liberty-minded Muslims working from within Muslim communities can counter the narrative of Muslim victimization. But America needs to be unashamed of taking the side of those Muslims who advocate reform against political Islam," Jasser adds. "In 2011, more Americans need to understand that jihadism is a natural by-product of a political Islam that is incompatible with Western secular democracies based in liberty. America is at war with theocratic Muslim despots who seek the imposition of sharia and don't believe in the equality of all before the law, blind to faith. They detest the association of religious freedom with liberty."
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