Brushing aside protests from religious and civic leaders, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) held another Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday investigating Islamic radicalization in America, this one focused on terrorist recruitment in prisons. Like past entrants in his radicalization series, Tuesday's event featured plenty of contentious words from committee Democrats, including a dramatic and emotional speech from a Detroit Democrat recalling his own friends' experience in prison.
Read More →
Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI) used his question period to deliver an impassioned address about the broader problem of prison reform, at times holding back tears as he discussed how the issue impacted his own life.
"We talk about political correctness, you know what pisses me off? I'm a damned member of Congress here and my friends have rotted in prison and those that have gotten out, they've never been the same again," he said. "Some of you who are Tea Party members, this is the waste we got to stop. We're spending too much money incarcerating young men, young black men, whose lives can be saved. It's not about Islam, it's abut the sentencing policy, it's about this prison system. We got to change that."
He added that based on his own discussions with prisoners who converted to Islam, inmates did so largely to gain protection from dangerous gangs and to make a clean break from their criminal past, not to engage in any kind of radical behavior.