Thursday, March 10, 2011

"The best defense against extreme ideologies is social inclusion and civic engagement"

The title is a quote from Rep. Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, at today's Congressional Committee on Homeland Security's hearing on the "radicalization of Muslim-Americans"

I apologize for the informality of this preface, but this video is one of the most meaningful displays of reason and emotion I have ever witnessed in a Congressional testimony.  Please take the 15 minutes to watch it.

Most, if not all readers of this blog are close with someone who over the last 10 years has developed an increasing prejudice against people who practice Islam.  With Representative Peter King holding hearings on the radicalization of the "Muslim Community" in the United States, it is the perfect time to put forth our feelings on the topic and exchange in a dialogue. 

Rep. Ellison's comments are not a condemnation for the concern about Muslim extremists in the US and abroad.  Instead, he frames reaching out to the Muslim community and being careful to separate extremists from the Muslim community as essential to our national security.  Far too often emotions get the best of Americans in the heat of political debates such as this for both liberals and conservatives.  This is an important time not to lash out, but to put forth a thoughtful plan to keeping our country safe while upholding the values that make us proud to be Americans.


Christian Myers said...

Yeah Minnesota!

Christian Myers said...

I just don't understand how people can blame the Muslim community as a whole or Islam itself for the terrorist actions of a few extremists.

I am glad Congressman Ellision was able to give his testimony, but I'm worried that it might be ignored in the effort to stir up fears as a means of scoring political points.

Liz Furman said...

He is an allstar.

There is no legitimate argument against what Rep. Ellison said; opposing beliefs are based solely on unfounded propaganda. I also think this is a testament to the power of having diversity in our representation, so that they actually do represent the American people. It's about time we had a Muslim representative in Congress. Thanks for sharing.

Bill said...

There's actually two. I voted for the other one in November.