Congressman King to Confront ‘Prison Islam’ Head On in New Hearing

Rep. Peter King announces a second Muslim Radicalization hearing


Cynthia Hodges|Examiner

The 2005 case, according to the FBI began with the arrest of "common criminals" quickly led to a large-scale investigation of a homegrown terrorist plot directed against targets in Southern California. The case ignited the national debate on how Islam is taught in U.S. prisons, as well as on the American approach to incarceration itself.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King announced plans to hold a second Muslim Radicalization hearing, this one titled “ The  Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons will be held on Wednesday. The focus of the second in a series of hearings will be the U.S. prison system.

Congressman King argues that the hearing is necessary due to a reported increase in cases in which inmates have been radicalized at the hands of jailed terrorists and extremist imam chaplains.

Last week Rep. King released a statement describing the second hearing’s agenda saying, “We will focus on a number of the serious cases in which radicalized current and former inmates have planned and launched attacks or attempted to join overseas Islamic terrorist organizations.”

The panel will hear testimony from both U.S. and international experts on the issue and from those intimately involved in recent prison radicalization cases.

A 2009 report found that in the United States, roughly 240,000 inmates have converted to the faith since the 9/11 attacks.

In a 2007 Report Commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice the research shows that there are currently opposing views about Islam in prison.  One side of the debate argues that the Muslim faith offers prisoners a viable path to rehabilitation. The opposing view claims that Islamic prisoners are a threat to U.S. Security.

Statistical evidence shows that the greatest danger to security is found in mutating forms of “Prison Islam.”  There is some evidence to support that the threat stems from dozens of high-profile terrorists who are already serving lengthy sentences in American prisons.

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