Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison Breaks Down at Muslim Radicalization Hearings


keith-ellison[Video below.] In testimony before the Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on radicalization in the Muslim community Thursday, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, Congress’s first elected Muslim member, broke down in tears while delivering an emotional tribute to a young Muslim-American who lost his life in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks – and whose reputation was later maligned due to his faith.

Ellison, who argues that the hearings unjustly target the Muslim American community for the acts of a few Islamic terrorists, closed his remarks with the story of 23-year-old Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a paramedic who died trying to save lives in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“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,” Ellison said, his voice breaking. “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.”

Rep. Keith Ellison delivers testimony before the Homeland Security Committee on March 10, 2011. (Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon) “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,” he continued.
Ellison also contended that the hearings, led by Rep. Peter King (R-NY), were essentially targeting Muslim-Americans and would likely put U.S. national security at risk.

“Ascribing the evil acts of a few individuals to an entire community is wrong; it is ineffective; and it risks making our country less secure,” he said.

Arguing that “the best defense against extremist ideologies is social inclusion and civic engagement,” Ellison alleged that “the focus of today’s hearing” would actually do the opposite — by increasing suspicion of the Muslim-American community and “ultimately making all of us less safe. ”

“Targeting the Muslim American community for the actions of a few is unjust,” he said. “Actually all of us–all communities–are responsible for combating violent extremism. Singling out one community focuses our analysis in the wrong direction.”

Click below for video:

{CBS News/ Newscenter}


  1. honostly, I think these hearings are awful and completely un-American. I am as against Islamic radicalism and terrorism as anyone else if not more so, but it is not fair to put an entire religion on trial because of it. How would you feel if they decided to hold hearings on Jewish extremeists? It would lead to all Jews being targeted as a whole and everyone would call it anti-Semitism.

  2. #3
    Do “Jewish extremists” blow up skyscrapers & leave 3,000 victims behind. Or planes, buses or trains?
    Keep your “moral equivalence” to yourself!

  3. #3, if jewish extremists were flying planes into building and killing thousands, trust me , every single jew would have been expelled from this country.But when it comes to Muslims, everyone is scared to death

  4. Never once have Jews went on murderous rampages killing innocent Americans. The Bible refers to Ishmael as “wild man” for a reason. Note this is the only pasuk where the adjective comes before the noun in the entire Chumash.

  5. I agree with #3. Of course, I’m horrified by the “radicalization” of Islam. But these hearings are opening up a can of worms. It doesn’t matter if the Jews will be guilty of anything or not. These hearings are making judgements on a whole group of people as opposed to judgements on individuals, legitimate. Once they become legitimate, this tactic can be used against Jews. History has shown us enough of Jews being targeted without cause. We don’t need to bring this kind of process to the USA.

  6. So what is the appropriate Congressional response to Jewish bankers in the wake of Bernie Madoff?

    You guys still ok with judging a whole group by the actions of a few?

  7. it is important that when dealing with a general populace you must go on the general, and there fore I approve of stereotype. However, when dealing with an individual it is important to look at him alone, and this individual seems to deserve his fair share of respect, so lets give it to him.

  8. so we would like to know what the “unradicalized” Muslims are doing for our country….besides the one he was crying about…….

  9. “So what is the appropriate Congressional response to Jewish bankers in the wake of Bernie Madoff?

    You guys still ok with judging a whole group by the actions of a few?”

    WhatÂ’s the comparison, Mandy? Do our Rabbonim Darshen every Shabbos that we SHOULD steal and swindle, the way the Muslom imams preach every Friday to attack the “evil” America and how the Musloms should try and conquer the world- even through blood. Does our society promote that???