Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Mich) “testified” at a Congressional hearing yesterday. The hearings are designed to gather information on the radicalization of American Muslims, but some think it’s a witch hunt, and Ellison took the opportunity of the first day of hearings to start them off with tears and total mis-direction.
Oh yeah, he lied too.
For clarification, my title refers to the fact bigotry did not happen in the Mohammed Salman Hamdani case. No proof, just a made-up story. Certainly, bigotry did happen to many Muslim Americans, so why does Ellison bring up this example exclusively?
This morning, Rep. Keith Ellison (Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, Minn.) appropriated a hearing on Islamic radicalism by weeping his way through a speech about whata-buncha-nasty-bigots Americans are. He chose as his case in point Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a Pakistani-born Muslim American who rushed to lower Manhattan on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, to assist in rescue efforts, and died in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Here’s how Representative Ellison tells the story of the aftermath of his death:
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.
Does Ellison’s account check out with reality?
No. It is actually pretty close to the opposite of the truth. In fact, six weeks after the September 11 attacks — before Hamdani’s remains were identified, which Ellison implies to be the turning point of public perception — Congress signed the PATRIOT Act into law with this line included: “Many Arab Americans and Muslim Americans have acted heroically during the attacks on the United States, including Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New Yorker of Pakistani descent, who is believed to have gone to the World Trade Center to offer rescue assistance and is now missing.” That is, Hamdani was actually singled out for particular high honors among the thousands of victims of the September 11 attacks.
Please take the time to read Shaffer’s full post as it goes into much more detail about Ellison’s crocodile tears on day one of the hearings.