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Letters to the Editor

Waste of time

March 15, 2011

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To the editor:

The Muslim community in the United States is well aware of the effects and causes of terrorism and they are the first to condemn and decry its use. However, police and political leaders are unaware of this and think American Muslims can do more to stop this crime, hence the investigation by the Congress into this matter.

Terrorism is a heinous way of making a statement or changing thinking. We know that it kills and destroys people and infrastructure, but does not work. Muslims are aware of this and decry its use, and of course its effects.

Most Muslims in America are unaware of planning or carrying out an act of terrorism and, because we are Americans too, we would stop it at all cost. Our reputation has been severely damaged by individuals who have committed these despicable and heinous crimes, and they who would plan a terrorist attack against the United States would do it in complete silence and secrecy.

How could any investigation into the Muslim community derive information pertaining to these individuals? Simply, it can’t. This investigation is a waste of time, human and financial resources, not to mention the hysteria it will cause among the American people who do not understand Islam or Muslims and blame every Muslim for the crimes of so few.

Comments

Fred Mertz 3 years, 9 months ago

While I agree that Congressional hearings on any topic are generally a waste of time, I have to disagree with Muslims being the first to decry terrorism. I just don't see it and from my perspective Muslims are generally silent on terrorist attacks or radical Muslim leaders.

I don't believe that all Muslims are terrorists, but the fact remains that most terrorist attacks today are committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. Anyone can bastardized something good, so again, Islam is not the problem. The problem is terrorist who commit terror attacks in the name of Islam.

Nothing wrong with studying and understanding those that commit these attacks.

Majestic42 3 years, 9 months ago

I 100% agree with you. It's a very thin line that Congress is walking doing these hearings, but these hearings are important nonetheless.

LoveThsLife 3 years, 9 months ago

Maybe Peter King CAN help us..I mean he was a supporter of the IRA in the 80's so he should know a few things about how terrorist organizations work.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 9 months ago

Terrorism, regardless of its source must be fought, but fighting it means profiling those apt to commit it. No one would be questioning profiling or investigating white supremist groups. Nor would they support spending resources looking at black middle age women while investigating white surpremist groups. Most, I think, would not bat an eye if the focus instead was on young white males with shaven heads and nazi tattoos; but that is profiling isn't it?

So, why is it a problem when the common thread of many of today's terrorist is their belief and adherence to Islam, to focus on certain Muslims? These are not terrorists who happen to be Muslims, they are Muslim terrorists driven to kill because of their religous beliefs.

I don't see a problem with it as long as we adhere to some of the basic tenets of American law - innocent until proven guilty, no unreasonable searches, probable cause; ie., more than just being a Muslim, before investigating, arresting, etc. and just being cognizant that not all Muslims are terrorist. But to ignore the fact that a common thread is their religion is to ignore a key component of who is a terrorist and why they commit terrorist acts.

LoveThsLife 3 years, 9 months ago

Because during that committee meeting only one person was called who had any real data...the rest was a bunch of stories.

The person who had any REAL information was Sheriff Baca..who came with statistics and was the only law enforcement officer called...he wasn't even called by Peter King..he was called by a Democrat.

Why didn't they ask someone from the FBI or CIA to testify???

Give me a break..they didn't glean any real information from that committee meeting.

As it stands Peter King is making accusations without any real evidence...

Abdu Omar 3 years, 9 months ago

"These are not terrorists who happen to be Muslims, they are Muslim terrorists driven to kill because of their religous beliefs". Show me one place in Islamic Doctrine that calls for terrorism or killing of innocents. It isnt there, quite the contrary. Islamic Dectrine says that only times to kill is in self defense and when you are being oppressed and NEVER kill innocent or non-combatant men, women and Children. It isn't an Islamic thing to kill or commit acts of terrorism.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 9 months ago

Please open your eyes. Can you really deny that the suidide bombers, the 9/11 attackers and others are not motivated by their religous beliefs? Now you may argue that they have misinterpreted their religion, but that is a different issue. They believe they must drive out the infidels. I'm too lazy to look up the correct spelling but have you ever heard of Salman Rusky? He is the author that is still in hiding today for writing a book about 20 years ago. Muslim leaders declared he should be killed.

How about the Fort Hood murderer? He was yelling praise to God so don't tell me that they are not motivated by their religous beliefs.

Now perhaps all these Muslim religous leaders have it wrong so I wish you'd set them straight, but until you do they are going to continue to kill in the name of Islam.

beatrice 3 years, 9 months ago

I've never seen American Muslims downplaying terrorism.

Darrell Lea 3 years, 9 months ago

If your primary source of news is the Lawrence Journal World, you may have missed the following story entirely:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704132204576190820122057388.html

"The Christian community is the first to "condem and decry" the use of terrorism?"

Darrell Lea 3 years, 9 months ago

The Hutaree Militia has not been mentioned in the Lawrence Journal World since May. Here's an update:

http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/detroit/hutaree-trial-date-set-for-september

christy kennedy 3 years, 9 months ago

Good letter. Thank you. Peter King is the McCarthy of today.

KayCee 3 years, 9 months ago

Since time has proven that McCarthy was correct in his concerns, I'll back King in his investigations.

LoveThsLife 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow, reading some of the comments I have to ask ...

Have we not learned anything from McCarthyism or from the "war relocation camps" we forced Japanese Americans to live in????

These meetings are a waste a time. It's a horse and pony show and a bunch of political posturing.

I can not believe in 2011 tax payer money is being used to question the patriotism of an entire religious and ethnic community.

This committee on Homeland Security might as well be called the House Un-American Activities Committee 2.0.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. Terror - panic: an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety. The use of extreme fear in order to coerce people (especially for political reasons); terrorist - a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells. No universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism currently exists.

The Federal Reserve Bank is the biggest terrorist of them all! Remember October 2008? The SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING! TOO BIG TO FAIL! THE SKY IS FALLING! GIVE US 700 BILLION DOLLARS OR EVERYTHING GOES DOWN THE TOILET!

Terrorism doesn't neccessarily involve bombs and death (or Muslims).

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 9 months ago

Don't be sorry. The economic bailout, itself, wasn't terrorism...it was terrorism by the Fed Res Bank and it's cronies that got the economic bailout into play. And there was a threat of civil unrest and martial law, but our memories fail us as the NCAA Tournament approaches...

Many members of Congress felt coerced at the time into voting against their inclinations, and the normal procedures for orderly consideration of a bill were dispensed with. The financial bailout legislation of September 2008 was only passed after members of both Congressional houses were warned that failure to act would threaten civil unrest and the imposition of martial law.

Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA), as quoted in the Baltimore Sun:

“The one thing that’s been proven is the absolute fear-mongering that’s being used to drive us is false,” Sherman said. “I’ve seen members turn to each other and say if we don’t pass this bill, we’re going to have martial law in the United States.”

In late September 2008, at the height of the financial meltdown, The Army Times announced the redeployment of an active Brigade Army Team from Iraq to America, in a new mission that "may become a permanent part of the active Army: "The 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys. Now they're training for the same mission -- with a twist -- at home."

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/

Kirk Larson 3 years, 9 months ago

These hearings are about nothing more than political grandstanding: lots of limelight and yammering, but signifying nothing.

LoveThsLife 3 years, 9 months ago

none2 why does anyone become a radical?

Being radical in a thought process isn't limited to those who may associate themselves with a certain religious or ethnic group, and quite frankly this committee isn't going to answer any of those questions.

Darrell Lea 3 years, 9 months ago

"Nevertheless, if Christians are constantly fed conspiracy theories about the Jews, the CIA, the military, etc you can see why some people hearing that might eventually go radical. They wouldn't see themselves as radical, but rather protecting Christians from others who wish to do Christians harm."

Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and a host of others spew conspiracy theories like these to a willing public on a daily basis.

QuinnSutore 3 years, 9 months ago

No matter what they do it just looks shifty. Every time there's a big attack, the Muslim community either remains suspiciously silent, or they're overly defensive and on damage control duty.

So, yeah, thanks Congress for looking into the threats our own citizens may pose.

tbaker 3 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Omar: Google "list of Muslim terror attacks" and see why congress has expressed an interest in domestic militant Islam. Fort Hood ring a bell? It speaks for itself. I agree with you: Muslim terrorists have severely damaged the reputation of peaceful Muslims. I applaud your "decrying" this violence, but you sir are but one tolerant, enlightened, American voice that is not representative of quite a sizable portion of the faith. The broader, largely third world community of Muslims do not demonstrate this tolerance and willingness to denounce violence in the name of Islam, and people from this group have immigrated to the US in large numbers. I've seen this first hand in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Instead, many of the largest Islamic "republics" quietly support it. Their populations danced in streets on 9/11. When the Whabbis in Saudi Arabia allow the construction of Synagogues and Catholic Churches in downtown Mecca, (like Mosques in Rome and Tel Aviv) then I'll believe the majority people in the Muslim belief system have evolved out of the dark ages to your level of tolerance and enlightenment.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 9 months ago

No Populations danced in the streets on 9/11. That was a ploy by the media to make Muslims look bad and the clip they showed was a group of children having fun on a holiday. Second, we know that most of the crime in America is caused by people of color, mostly African American so lets have a few Black leaders go to congress and lets ask them why their people are committing crimes. That would be racist wouldn't it? So picking on Muslims is the same - it is racist.

tbaker 3 years, 9 months ago

Wounded Soldier, lets hope you never have to find out how naive you are. By the way, your example is a textbook illustration of the intellectual fallacy known as the Red Herring. FYI.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 9 months ago

The difference is there is no correlation between skin color and crime. While many blacks may commit crime their skin color does not cause and for you to suggest it does is ignorant and perhaps racist.

However, Muslim terrorists are committing their acts of terror because of their religious beliefs, i.e., because they are Muslim. So to ignore investigating Islam and those that adhere to it because it is not politically correct has the potential to open us up to more attacks.

Again, law enforcement routinely conducts investigations into white supremist groups to prevent hate crime and I can tell you that they are not profiling black middle age women when they doing it.

You have to go to the source of the crime and in the case of some of the terrorist attacks today the common thread is being a Muslim. Not racist, not backwards, just factual and realistic

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Maybe.

But they should be investigating groups, like white supremacist groups, that have an obvious potential for violence.

The vast majority of American Muslims don't fit that profile.

It is only very radicalized Muslims that do - and, of course, many mainstream Muslims will say that those who commit violence in the name of Islam aren't actually following Muslim tenets at all.

So, the common thread isn't "being a Muslim", it's "being a radicalized Muslim".

It's sort of like investigating white people because there are white supremacist groups.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree with most of what you said - I mean all we have to do is look to the West and see the Phelps to understand that people can corrupt the most peaceful religous teaching to fit their crazy beliefs.

And, I agree that the government should not be investigating all Muslims, but I think it is good to understand why American Muslims are becoming radicalized and what methods are being used to recruit Americans to commit acts of terror.

I am a firm believer in the Constitution and the rights it protects. So, as I said in an earlier post, government investigations can't just be based on religion, but there must other probable causes.

I'll leave you with a question - how do you determine if an American is a peace loving Muslim or a radicalized Muslim unless you investigate?

It is a difficult question as we have to protect people, but we can't violate rights.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

How do you determine if somebody is a dangerous person unless you investigate them?

I think the answer is that we don't investigate people without probable cause, because that violates their constitutional rights.

If being a member of a group as large as Muslims is probable cause because there are small sub-groups of dangerous ones, then that logic could apply to many groups, including white people, black people, etc.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 9 months ago

Pretty much the same thing I wrote above. i would, howver, add that if there is legitimate probable cause that they are planning terrorist acts, we should investigate the group, any group, including Muslim groups. We should not in the name of political correctness shy away from treating radical Muslims like we would any other criminal element.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Your last couple of sentences describe the problem quite well.

How can one investigate "radical Islam" without infringing on the constitutional rights of our citizens?

This appears to open the door to very intrusive investigations of a group of people, without any probable cause for them.

Some black people commit crimes - if being black is probable cause for being investigated because of that, what happens to "innocent until proven guilty?", due process, etc.?

Kontum1972 3 years, 9 months ago

the real crime was when the guys who flew the jet liners went to ground school in oklahoma, the instructors who taught them to fly those planes should of picked up something was wrong when the terrorists did not want to learn how to land....just take off...Duh! Taking off is easy.....landing is another thing...esp something that big.

I guess those bags of money made them forget about calling the Feds... I saw the interview they had with the flight school dudes only once on TV..after that it wasnt never shown again....i wouldnt be surprised if those flight school guys are not around anymore,... above ground.

Jan Rolls 3 years, 9 months ago

I guess there are no white terrorists just like there are no while illegall immigrants from Europe.

atavism 3 years, 9 months ago

No wonder Kansas and by extension Kansans is a social, cultural and increasingly economic backwater. I mean seriously? These 'hearings' are nothing more than grandstanding by a bunch of predominantly fat, white, racist men who are trying to sound hard about national security to salvage whatever is left of their political credibility as they take kickbacks from their true base. These same attitudes suggest the we 'Americans' should shoot Mexicans from helicopters to protect our (menial) jobs; fund economically disastrous, and morally bankrupt wars abroad in the names of 'freedom' and 'democracy' for all, while mendaciously and overtly selling out the American people to the relatively narrow interests of high finance.

What makes me sad, as evidenced by 85% of the comments on these forums is that the 'people' not only don't care, but are too stupid to realise that they should care. Though, I guess tragedy and comedy are difficult to tell apart until the end.

atavism 3 years, 9 months ago

'Narcissistic' is a big word. Are you sure you know how to use it? I am guessing you meant 'arrogant' or 'conceited' (though the later would be a bit questionable in this context). Perhaps more funding for education and less funding for what used to be called 'witch-hunts' (or hunts in general) is on order?

As for the rest of what you said., you got me -- though in relation to 'fat, white men', if the glove fits...

Each time I fly over Kansas, I have fond memories of my time there. The operative phrase, however, is 'fly over'.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 9 months ago

Ironic that King's hearings are being held in the very same room where McCarthy held his.

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