In the wake of the abhorrent events that occurred last Friday in Norway, information has come to light revealing connections between the terrorist suspect, Anders Brehing Breivik, to the anti-Islam movement in England, as well as to prominent Islamophobes in the US.
Communications Intern Jenn Schanz reflects on the tragedy in Norway and the tendency of terrorists to hide behind religious ideology to further political agendas.
“We’ve politicized 9/11, we’ve had costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with surges, military personnel, with trillions of dollars spent. And then at the end of the day it takes what we’ve been saying all along – good, hard intelligence and a committed group of surgical strikes,” says Ahmed Rehab.
“The American Muslim community was relieved, there’s a sense of vindication. This has been a long time coming,” said Rehab.
“Its an embarrassment to our political system,” said Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director. “There is nothing wrong with questioning the sources of radicalization, the nature of radicalization. The problem is when he fails to differentiate between the mainstream on one end, who is us, and the extreme on the other end – the many and the few – the community and underground individuals. Failing to distinguish between the two is precisely the problem we are seeing at the hearings.”
Christina Abraham, Civil Rights Director at CAIR-Chicago, debates anti-Muslim blogger Robert Spencer over Rep. Peter King’s Islamophobic hearings on “Radical Islam” in America.
Muslim Americans in Chicago call Thursday’s hearings embarrassing; Embarrassing to Muslims and Embarrassing to Americans as a whole. The result is America is no better off today than it was yesterday when it comes to representing the intentions and the population of the Muslim people in the United States.
“It seemed like a political circus. It seemed like it was for political show and not an honest attempt by Rep. Peter King to address the issue of radicalization,” said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab, in a press conference responding to the congressional hearings.
“The whole issue of Muslim community, radicalization, Islamaphobia, etc, it is being politicized more and more,” said Ahmed Rehab. “And as we approach the next presidential elections, I fear it may explode just like it did with the last presidential election cycle. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that this is happening. It’s not good for our nation. It’s not an intelligent way to discuss the issues. It’s insulting.”
Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago said, “We feel sickened by this attack, and will not be silent. Those who perpetrated these cowardly murders cannot purport to call themselves men of God or men of faith.”