Muslims not all to blame
Washington (CNN) — The sole Muslim member of Congress tearfully testified today about the sacrifices of Muslim Americans at a congressional hearing on the radicalization of the community.
Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, told the House Homeland Security Committee about Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old paramedic and New York City police cadet who died trying to save others in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Ellison choked up as he explained that people “falsely speculated (Hamdani) was with the attackers because he was Muslim” and that the young man was first and foremost “a fellow American who gave his life for other Americans.”
The congressman acknowledged that some Muslims are responsible for violent acts. But blaming the entire Muslim community for the evil of individuals, he said, is “the very heart of stereotyping and scapegoating.”
Despite strong criticism from Muslim Americans, committee chairman Rep. Peter King opened the hearing this morning, saying the session was neither “radical or un-American.”
King, a Republican from New York, said recruiting young American Muslims is part of al Qaeda’s strategy to continue attacking the United States and called on Americans to reject The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a prominent Muslim American advocacy group in the United States.