Keith Ellison Salutes Mohammed Salman Hamdani

As I predicted in my liveblog, the most emotional moment of Peter King’s MUAC Hearing came when Keith Ellison saluted the sacrifice of Mohammed Salman Hamdani.

Every American, including Muslim Americans, suffered on 9/11.

29 Muslims died at the World Trade Center;

3 Muslims died in the hijacked planes (United Flight 175 and American Flight 11).

Muslims stood with the rest of America united in grief, in their resolve to protect America.  Along with Americans of all faiths, Muslim Americans rushed in to save and rescue victims of Al-Quaeda’s terrorism.

Let me close with a story, but remember that it’s only one of many American stories that could be told.  Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a 23-year-old paramedic, a New York City police cadet and a Muslim American.  He was one of those brave first responders who tragically lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks almost a decade ago.  As The New York Times eulogized, “He wanted to be seen as an all-American kid. He wore No. 79 on the high school football team in Bayside, Queens, where he lived, and he was called Sal by his friends… He became a research assistant at Rockefeller University and drove an ambulance part-time. One Christmas, he sang in Handel’s Messiah in Queens. He saw all the Star Wars movies, and it was well known that his new Honda was the one with “Yung Jedi” license plates.

Mr. Hamdani bravely sacrificed his life to try and help others on 9/11.  After the tragedy some people tried to smear his character solely because of his Islamic faith.  Some people spread false rumors and speculated that he was in league with the attackers only because he was Muslim. It was only when his remains were identified that these lies were fully exposed.

Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a fellow American who gave his life for other Americans.  His life should not be defined as a member of an ethnic group or a member of a religion, but as an American who gave everything for his fellow citizens.

King’s cold response to Sheila Jackson Lee’s request that each member be permitted an opening statement is not the only point in the hearing when he looked like an asshole, though: he twice interrupted his own witness, Abdirizak Bihi, as well as interrupting Jackson Lee. The lesson being, I guess, that if you want to end radicalization in the Muslim community the thing to do is not let brown people speak.

  1. tejanarusa says:

    Well, once again, thank you for watching this outrage so the rest of us don’t have to. Sigh. I guess we’re stuck with this sort of stupidity for the next 2 to 4 years, huh?

    Oh, and can you imagine the whining and mewling on every camera available if Dem chairs tried to forbid minority opening statements?

    • aUPfinn says:

      Right on Kris, and real men also know how to say “I’m Sorry” or “I made a mistake, please forgive me”; words of remorse or regret are seen as a weakness, it is part of a forgotten language in this country and thats why we will continue headlong into the national disaster we are witnessing at all costs.

  2. bluedot12 says:

    What a shame. This is what happens when we let these people take office. Was anyone happy over the Bush years? Yeah? Well you can rejoice again from Wisconsin accross Indiana and Ohio and right into DC. This is not the lesser of two evils. It is the worse. Tell me again it doesn’t matter, since they are all bad.

  3. Phoenix Woman says:

    Place yer bets!

    How much of Ellison’s testimony will make it to tonight’s evening TV or drive-time radio network newscasts?

    a) 15 seconds’ worth
    b) 20 seconds’ worth
    c) 5 seconds’ worth
    d) nothing at all

  4. grayslady says:

    Keith Ellison is one of the best representatives in Congress. I remember during the health care “debate”, he and Lynn Woolsey stayed late into the day, most every day, reading into the congressional record all the reasons why we should have universal health care. Keith walks the walk.

    • Shoto says:

      I remember during the health care “debate”, he and Lynn Woolsey stayed late into the day, most every day, reading into the congressional record all the reasons why we should have universal health care. Keith walks the walk.

      See? There’s your proof of the “radicalization of Muslims” in the US. Universal health care? Next thing you know, the dude’s gonna want an equitable distribution of wealth… /s

  5. cregan says:

    While it is true that the fact that most of the terrorist acts in the world of recent years are committed by people trying to tie the act to their Muslim faith is well known to everyone and no secret, it seems quite interesting the fear that exists about discussing it in a public forum.

    In some ways, the hearing isn’t needed because the situation is quite well known to most people, but it seems that a FULL exposure COULD get the truth out there in the open:

    While many acts of terror these days are committed by Muslims, the over whelming majority of Muslims are law abiding people.

    Even so, the problem can be easily seen in that one guy like Tim McVeigh bombs a building and a large group of Americans forever brands a political party and all its millions of members (GOP) with the act.

    Americans have proven they can’t sort truth from fiction or keep a sane attitude about these things. THAT is the danger of the hearings, and those who promoted the idea mentioned in the last paragraph know this better than most and are complaining the most because they know the danger best.

    They know THEY can’t control themselves from jumping to conclusions and painting entire groups with a broad brush, and they are likely right about the ability of others to control themselves.

    • emptywheel says:

      Actually, statistically, within the US, you’re flat out wrong, and that’s not even counting things like Tiller’s murder.

      Globally, I’m not sure, but once you add up the attacks w/in Colombia alone, you’d get a pretty high number of non-Muslim attacks. And do we consider drone strikes the enemy combatant (legally) Raymond Davis was involved in?

      • cregan says:

        Would be an interesting statistic to check. Certainly, by numbers of people killed in the US, there is no contest.

        Besides, it is not a contest of who is bigger. The fact is, there are some highly organized efforts to create terror incidents based around what some feel is “legitimate” Islam. Of course, by their own propaganda, or PR is would rather, they feel the usual law abiding Muslim is not really living according to Islam.

        That’s likely baloney, but that’s how they feel.

        They take that view of Islam and use it to justify the killing they attempt to do. That isn’t something the GOP says, they say it themselves. And, they say it quite often.

        If you were them, facing tougher and tougher barriers to get your agents into the US to act, what would you do? Yes, you’d try to get some people who are already here to act.

        To me, it’s a legitimate subject to look into.

        You might argue that right wing terrorism is a legitimate subject too, and you might very well be right.

        Personally, I don’t want any kind of random mass killings.

        • Teddy Partridge says:

          Of course, none of us wants random mass killings.

          And the people who do should be investigated. But starting with ONE religion, especially when the real danger (Spokane, et al) is from at least ONE other group entirely — not to mention the groups that have KILLED doctors in the past — seems odd, un-American, and foolish.

          It’s going to generate all the wrong kinds of answers, responses, and conversations. Peter King is an idiot.

  6. joeyess says:

    Someone has a question regarding these hearings:

    “What fucking revenue is being generated by those hoopleheads gatherin’ ’round that cocksucker and yodelin’ about their fucking points of origin?”

    -Al Swerengen, Deadwood.

  7. Ironcomments says:

    “Cables Cut Away From Ranking Democrat During “Radicalization” Hearing”
    Rep Thompson actually mentions the MLK bomber recently arrested and how myopic and narrow focused are these hearings.

  8. harpie says:

    CAIR comes under fire during Peter King hearings on radical Islam; Sonmez and Boorstein; 1pm, “2chambers” blog

    […] CAIR was used as a lightning rod during the hearing, sort of a proxy for the often cited but unnamed “Muslim organizations” that King and several of his witnesses said were the problem and were encouraging innocent, patriotic Muslim Americans not to work with law enforcement. […]

    From Glenn Greenwald‘s Twitter feed:

    What’s taking place in Peter King’s investigation is foul and putrid beyond belief

  9. carver says:

    Peter King, bosom buddies with the IRA .

    “We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry,” Mr. King told a pro-I.R.A. rally on Long Island, where he was serving as Nassau County comptroller, in 1982. Three years later he declared, “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.”

    I’m sure he must have missed the DHS report (being the busy legislator bigot he is) which said among other things,

    The Department of Homeland Security assesses that lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States. Information from law enforcement and nongovernmental organizations indicates lone wolves and small terrorist cells have shown intent—and, in some cases, the capability—to commit violent acts.

    [..] has concluded that white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy—separate from any formalized group—which hampers warning efforts.

    [..] Similarly, recent state and municipal law enforcement reporting has warned of the dangers of rightwing extremists embracing the tactics of “leaderless resistance” and of lone wolves carrying out acts of violence.

    … Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Avowedly christian white supremacists advocate violence as a routine means to their ends. The history of the Christian churches is replete with violence. Rome begat the eliminationist doctrine that the Second Coming wouldn’t come until all on earth accepted Christ’s teachings and rejected others. From Constantine to the Crusades to the violent purging of the Albigenisian heresies to the acceptance of slavery as ordained by God to centuries of religious wars, the Christian faith has defined itself as warlike.

    The perspective that all such violent acts occurring today, regardless of the religious affiliation of their perpetrators, should be investigated is sound. The idea that the political thug Peter King intends to conduct a thorough or impartial investigation of any of them, rather than present his variation on the theater of the absurd, is not.

  11. harpie says:


    ACLU Statement for House Homeland Security Committee Hearing on the So-Called “Radicalization” of the American Muslim Community

    Of course, Congress can and should investigate terrorism. The danger posed by modern terrorists is real and Congress must understand the scope and nature of the threat and exercise its authorities to the utmost in overseeing the government’s response, holding our military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies accountable, and crafting sensible legislation that enhances security while protecting the rights of innocent persons. But the security threat was no less real during the first red scare and during the Cold War. The question is not whether Congress should respond but how it should respond. History tells us that conflating the expression of certain belief systems or even hostile beliefs with threats to security only misdirects resources, unnecessarily violates the rights of the innocent, and unjustly alienates communities unfairly targeted as suspicious. Justice Brandeis argued that “[f]ear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.8

    8 Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 376, (1927), (Brandeis, J., concurring).

  12. harpie says:

    Congressman Ellison’s Story; Amy Davidson; “Close Read”; The New Yorker; 3/10/11

    In a novel that King wrote, with a hero the Times describes as “a congressman who must thwart a planned ‘dirty bomb’ attack by Qaeda operatives,” an expert tells the Congressman that

    The Muslim community is the most radical and terrorist of any immigrant group that has ever come to this country…. And this has been going on for the past 10 to 15 years…. Most of the micks over here who supported the I.R.A. considered themselves 100 percent pro-American, and believe me these Muslims don’t.