Rep. Peter King’s Muslim hearing: Plenty of drama, less substance
eld up a finger and gathered himself.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), one of two Muslims in the House, was trying to tell a story about a Muslim paramedic who died responding to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Mr. Hamdani bravely sacrificed his life,” Ellison said, and his voice cracked again, “â€Š… to try to help others on 9/11.”
On Thursday, Ellison was an unusual witness in his own chamber, testifying about his religion in a committee hearing that examined radicalization among American Muslims. Eventually, Ellison gave up trying to compose himself and told the rest of the story in the quavering pitch of a man about to cry.
“Mohammad Salman Hamdani was a fellow American,” Ellison said, “who gave his life for other Americans.”
Ellison’s testimony was the emotional peak of a dramatic, long-awaited hearing, in which Congress was in the spotlight as much as Islam. During more than four hours of testimony, there were other moments of touching depth: Two men told personal stories of seeing loved ones seduced by Islamic extremism.