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Rep. Yvette D. Clarke Expresses Opposition to Chairman Peter King’s Hearing on Islamic Radicalism

Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, a Member of the House Homeland Security Committee expressed her disapproval of the House Homeland Security Committee hearing entitled, “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response,” on Capitol Hill.  Below is a release of the transcript of Rep. Clarke’s statement at the hearing:

“Thank you very much Mr. Chairman.  Let me say that today’s hearing has been a great Congressional theater.  Certainly the equivalent of reality tv… and I’m just — I’m just really appalled at the fact that we have not really gotten to a substantive conversation about how we define terrorism, how we define the whole idea of radicalization, because just in listening, if I had my eyes closed and listening to the witnesses not to diminish what they’ve been through because their experience is real, but I have parents in my district who can sit and talk about their children being recruited, their children being brain washed, and their children are gang members.


“The bloodshed, the lives that have been lost in communities like mine across this nation, since I’ve been here, has not been an issue of homeland security.  And when I hear Dr. Jaser talk about the concerns about the elements of radicalization in existence, in Islam, I’m also reminded that there are those same elements evident in Christianity and in Judaism. I know because I represent all three faiths in my district.  As someone who was directly impacted by 9/11, and who has lived in a community where we have respected every human being regardless of their background, their ethnicity, their religion, to see us come to this day where we are pointing fingers at one another, I don’t see the benefit in it. I see the benefit in the approach of Sheriff Baca.


“I see the benefit in us opening up the dialogues, but I don’t see the benefit in stigmatizing, finger pointing, or even creating the specter that it may occur, even if it doesn’t, as being something worthy of where we should be in our collective humanity in the 21st century.  And so while I can empathize with the challenges faced by these families, we can all point to instances in our districts where families are suffering.  The goal here should be how do we address that suffering through communication, through dialogue, through enlightenment, which is where we need to be in the 21st century.  I’d like to take this moment and yield the balance of my time to the gentle lady from California, Ms. Laura Richardson.”