Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement in response to today’s House Committee on Homeland Security hearing, “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response”:
“We must recognize that Muslim Americans are key partners, not adversaries, in our efforts to combat global terror and strengthen our national security.
“We face a serious challenge, both at home and abroad, to stop extremist groups who want to do Americans harm and threaten our way of life. But, in pursuing methods to thwart terror, Congress must be sure to accomplish these goals while protecting the crucial civil liberties that have defined our nation for centuries.
“As a former member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and current House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, I have worked with counter-radicalization experts to better understand what leads people to adopt extremist, violent ideologies, and to prevent these individuals from acting on their beliefs. Defeating extremist propaganda requires a careful approach to these issues, including working with the American Muslim community to identify threats.
“The tone of today’s hearings in the Committee on Homeland Security was counter-productive to the broader goal of defeating al-Qaida and other extremist groups worldwide.”