the net of people deeply affected by political violence
To Members of Congressional Homeland Security Committee
Wednesday 9 March 2011
To Members of Congress,
I write you on behalf of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a national organization of more than 200 relatives of victims of the 9/11 attacks. As families who suffered terribly on September 11th, 2001 we are acutely aware of the need to ensure that our country is secure, that an event like 9/11 never happens again, and that other mothers do not have to bury their sons, fathers bury their daughters or children bury their parents as a result of a preventable terrorist attack. We understand that it is you, our elected representatives, who have responsibility for ensuring our collective security and we appreciate all the efforts that you make towards those ends.
However, we are equally concerned with sustaining our American traditions of fair play and tolerance. And it is for that reason we write each of you to voice our profound concern about the forthcoming hearings before the House Homeland Security Committee on “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response.” We believe, as currently constituted, those hearings represent an affront to these fundamental American values.
Our concern is that, as currently constituted, the hearings single out a group of people and demonizes them based on unfair stereotypes. Many Muslims were murdered on 9/11 including my own son, a police cadet who died as he responded to the tragedy. Similarly, as we know too well, violent extremism has stalked America since well before 9/11; it is not the domain of a single religion or ethnic group. Indeed, those who monitor extremist groups note that there are 932 hate groups operating in American today and they come in all colors and stripes.
Accordingly, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows supports Rep. Bennie G Thompson’s call to Rep Peter King asking him to reconsider his decision to confine his hearings to an investigation of the Muslim community and that the hearings are expanded to include all potential sources of domestic extremism that threaten our national security.
We urge that each of you heed our call and the calls of all Americans who share our dual vision of ensuring our security without violating our values.
It’s the American thing to do.
For September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
We object vehemently to Congressman Peter Kings Hearing on the Radicalization of American Muslims.
Two of our members, Talat Hamdani, whose letter to members of Congressional Homeland Security Committee is published above, and Bruce Wallace, will attend the Hearings on Thurs.
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
A project of the Tides Center, a 501c3 non-profit public charity
P.O. Box 1818 Peter Stuyvesant Station New York, NY 10009 Ph: (212) 598-0970
“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows” - Dr. Martin Luther King