Just about a month ago we were in the Visitor Center in our nation’s capital hosting a public forum on domestic terrorism, Islamic radicalism, and the threat of shariah law within the United States. The Heritage Foundation, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and the Westminster Institute co-sponsored the event with our radio station WMAL and helped assemble a distinguished panel of foreign policy, military, and legal scholars.
With the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East and the forthcoming Congressional hearings scheduled by Homeland Security Committee Chair Peter King on the extremely controversial subject of radicalization within the American Muslim community, the meeting could not have been better timed. Not surprisingly, the auditorium was filled with listeners to our morning radio show, The Grandy Group, who had been following our regular reports on Islamic extremism for the last several months.
The hour and a half panel discussion was lively and informative and was over much too soon for the audience who left the theater wanting more. We adjourned the meeting with the strong sense that we had struck a nerve in the public conscience. The cumulative effect of the Fort Hood massacre, the Christmas Day and Time Square bomb attempts, and the efforts to erect a huge Islamic Center at Ground Zero in Manhattan had left many Americans feeling insecure in their own country and mistrustful of their public officials.
The attorney general of the United States had refused to acknowledge any connection between the murderous actions of Major Nidal Hasan and calls for violent jihad preached by radical imams over the internet and in mosques throughout the United States. The director of national intelligence had demonstrated his own lack of it by testifying that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “secular organization,” a statement he later recanted. And the slings and arrows of Islamaphobia were already targeting Congressman King, who had yet to call his first witness. Our audience was clearly fed up with political correctness and nostrums of multiculturalism. They wanted an open and uncensored discussion on the spread of Islamic extremism and we pledged to give it to them.
Two weeks later we were off the air.