The Daily Caller has acquired the talking points that the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a group with deep ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, supplied to its supporters as an aid in attacking the Muslim radicalization hearing New York Republican Rep. Peter King held Thursday. Save for Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s incoherent ramblings on Thursday, Democrats’ statements and testimony against King’s hearing, whether intentionally or unintentionally, largely mirrored MPAC’s talking points.
MPAC recommended that its supporters accuse King of “pure political posturing,” and told them to say, “these hearings appear little more than a political circus with Rep. King as the ringleader.” MPAC also recommended supporters say that the “hearings hurt our national security” because of their “narrow scope.” Finally, it said supporters should say that the hearings were unnecessary because “active” partnerships between law enforcement and the American Muslim community already exist.
California Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson hit on the “pure political posturing” point in the MPAC memo. She compared King’s hearings to those of the McCarthy era.
Rep. Al Green, Texas Democrat, asked why King wasn’t investigating the Ku Klux Klan, something that plays right into the MPAC “suggested message” that the “hearings hurt our national security” because of a “narrow scope.”
“I think that all criminals should be prosecuted. I think that all terrorists should be investigated which is why I said we ought to investigate all of them and that would include the KKK,” Green said. “Over a hundred years of terrorism why not investigate them too. They are rooted in a religion as well. Check their website out. You’ll see.”
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison regurgitated all the MPAC talking points in his testimony at the beginning of the hearing.
“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,” Ellison said. “Targeting the Muslim American community for the actions of a few is unjust. Actually all of us–all communities–are responsible for combating violent extremism. Singling out one community focuses our analysis in the wrong direction.”
A spokesman for Ellison told TheDC that the congressman didn’t receive the MPAC talking points and “wrote his testimony himself.” A spokesman for Green did not immediately respond to TheDC’s request for comment.
The MPAC’s talking points aren’t something that surprise Ben Lerner of the Center for Security Policy. He said they are just another example of a self-described “rights” group shifting the debate away from the issues at hand and onto whatever they want to talk about.
“Serious people are trying to raise serious questions about the issue of homegrown terrorism and radicalization in the Muslim community,” Lerner said in a phone interview. “A lot of what these ‘so-called mainstream’ Muslim organizations are doing is throwing out insults and labels to anyone who has tried to delve into this. They’re not offering any serious, substantive responses to the concerns that are being raised by Congress.”
UPDATE 4:37 p.m.:
Richardson’s spokesman, Ray Zaccaro, told TheDC that her hearing comments “were created internally through the collaboration of the Member and her staff.”
He said Richardson “drew on a variety of resources from the most credible sources in order to develop her Committee statement.” Vaccaro said MPAC’s talking points were not used.