The recent hearings on “Radical Islam” are not going to strengthen us, they are just going to push us further apart, says Imam Khalid Latif, a Muslim chaplain at New York University and with the New York Police Department. Demonizing a group isolates them from the rest of society, he says, and prevents us from being able to understand the qualities and values that we do share. He also talks about standing with families of 9-11 victims, as a Muslim chaplain with the New York Police Department, and how the families have accepted him although the Secret Service has not always been as welcoming. Learn more about Imam Khalid Latif.
(CNN) — Al Qaeda is watching America closely Thursday. Every so often, with the best of intentions, Americans blunder and provide our enemies with great propaganda victories. Thursday is one such day.Rep. Peter King, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is holding the first in a possible series of congressional hearings on the “Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community’s Response.” The title is flawed (Muslims are racially, linguistically and denominationally diverse), and its suggestion of community responsibility for terrorism is also partly wrong.No community can stop terrorists alone. It is the work of law enforcement agencies to protect the nation.
King has complained that American Muslims do not cooperate with the FBI and others. Where is the evidence? In preparing for Thursday’s hearings, King had an excellent opportunity to invite testimonials from officials who share that concern. No such testimony is planned. Granted, there may well be a reluctance in some communities to trust the FBI, but it is the FBI’s job to win and maintain trust. King’s hearings threaten, regrettably, to further strain whatever trust exists.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 26, 2011; 5:31 PM