Fox & Friends stated that there is a "double standard" applied to Rep. Peter King's hearings on Muslim extremism and the Obama administration's treatment of Muslim-Americans by claiming recent comments by Obama official Denis McDonough mirror those comments made by King. In fact, the Obama administration and McDonough have repeatedly reached out to the Muslim community and praised it for its efforts in combating domestic terrorism, while King has repeatedly falsely claimed there hasn't been "sufficient cooperation" from the Muslim community.
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Fox & Friends Claims "Double Standard" Because "The Administration" Is "Saying The Exact Same Thing" As King
Carlson: "I Think There Could Be A Double Standard Here." On the March 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson, after playing a clip of Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough's March 6 remarks at a Virginia mosque, claimed "that's exactly what Congressman King is also calling for. I mean, I think there could be a double standard here. You know, is the administration representative saying the same exact thing that Peter King is saying, but they're being looked at differently?" Carlson continued: "I don't think the Congressman King has not said he doesn't want help from the Muslim community. I think that's exactly what he's saying." Co-host Brian Kilmeade also claimed: "[Attorney General] Eric Holder, he stays awake at night worrying about the numbers of young Muslims who are being radicalized. If the attorney general is that worried about it, don't you think we can talk about it on Capitol Hill?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/7/11]
Carlson: King "Sounds Very Similar To What The Administration's Person Is Saying." Later on Fox & Friends, Carlson claimed:
CARLSON: One of the things that Congressman King wants to do is we want to empower the Muslim community to feel safe to come and spread the word to the authorities if they know of something going on. We want them to be more involved in the process. It sounds very similar to what the administration's person is saying, although he's not being attacked and Congressman King is. [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 3/7/11]
Johnson: "Many Of The Things That Denis McDonough Said ... Is What Peter King Has Been Saying For Some Time." Later on Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. claimed "a double standard" is "being applied" because "many of the things that Denis McDonough said, the deputy White House security adviser, to the Muslim community is what Peter King has been saying for some time. ... It's basically indistinguishable what they're saying. So the same standard should be applied to each of them, to the White House and to Congressman King." [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 3/7/11
But King Has Repeatedly Claimed There Is Not "Sufficient Cooperation" In The Muslim Community
King: "I Don't Believe There Is Sufficient Cooperation" By American Muslims. A March 6 New York Post article titled, "Rep. King: Muslims aren't helping in terror fight," quoted King as saying: " 'I don't believe there is sufficient cooperation' by American Muslims with law enforcement, King said. 'Certainly my dealings with the police in New York and FBI and others say they do not believe they get the same -- they do not give the level of cooperation that they need.' " [New York Post, 3/6/11]
King: "I'm Hoping That" American Muslims Will "Come Forward And Realize That They Should Cooperate." In a New York Daily News article, King claimed Muslims who saw a backlash after 9-11 were "misguided" and that his hearings will make Muslims in America "realize that they should cooperate." From the Daily News:
Muslims, [King] said, have a "misguided" belief that they were victimized by a backlash of hatred after the Sept. 11 attacks. The congressman argues the hate they feel is imagined, and Muslims need to put aside any fears they have towards official America and police.
"I think a lot of that is a self-imposed fear they have, and that seemed to put them underground, put then in a sense of non-cooperation," King said. "I'm hoping that the hearing will bring this out, and encourage people in the Muslim community to come forward and realize that they should cooperate." [Daily News, 3/6/11]
While McDonough Pointed Out Successful Cooperation With The Muslim Community
McDonough: American Muslim Communities "Contribute To Keeping Our Country Safe." In his March 6 remarks at the ADAMS Center in Sterling, Virginia -- which Fox & Friends referred to -- McDonough reinforced the role that American Muslim communities have played in preventing domestic terrorism. From McDonough's remarks:
Over the last several months and again later this month in New York City, John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, will continue to outline the steps we are taking--across our government--to keep America and our communities safe and secure, including from the threat of al Qaeda and its adherents.
I am here to talk with you about how our communities - your communities - contribute to keeping our country safe: specifically, as part of our approach to preventing the radicalization that leads to a range of threats here at home, including terrorism.
Of course, the most effective voices against al Qaeda's warped worldview and interpretation of Islam are other Muslims. As the President said in Cairo, "Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism - it is an important part of promoting peace." Around the world, poll after poll shows that the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject al Qaeda. Many Muslim leaders around the world have loudly condemned al Qaeda and its murderous tactics and declared that it is a violation of Islam to murder innocent people. They've spoken out at great risk to their lives, and some have lost their lives because of it.
There's another way that we expose and undermine the lies of al Qaeda's ideology. They want Muslims around the world to think that the United States is somehow anti-Muslim--when, in fact, we embrace people of all faiths and creeds. That is why President Obama has said repeatedly--"Islam is part of America." And that's one of the reasons why this administration makes it a point--whether in the President's speech in Cairo, at Iftars at the White House, in outreach by our federal agencies, or with my presence here today--to celebrate the extraordinary contributions that Muslim Americans make to our country every day. [White House, 3/6/11]
Experts Agree That The Muslim Community Has Aided Anti-Terrorism Efforts
FBI Director Mueller: "We Have Had Substantial Assistance And Cooperation From The Muslim-American Community." In a February 17, 2004, briefing, FBI Director Robert Mueller stated that the American Muslim community has aided anti-terrorism efforts:
MUELLER: Since September 11th, we have had substantial assistance and cooperation from the Muslim American community, the Arab-American community, the Sikh American community, within the United States. And for that, I am -- all of us are tremendously thankful. Special agents in charge around the country meet often with the leaders of the Muslim American communities. I periodically meet with the leadership here in Washington. [State Department briefing, 2/17/04]
Mueller: "Many Of Our Cases Are A Result Of The Cooperation From The Muslim Community In The United States." In April 2008 testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Mueller noted:
MUELLER: [E]very opportunity I have, I re-affirm the fact that 99.9 percent of Muslim-Americans or Sikh-Americans, Arab-Americans are every bit as patriotic as anybody else in this room, and that many of our cases are a result of the cooperation from the Muslim community in the United States. [House Judiciary Committee, 4/23/08, accessed via Nexis]
Holder: American Muslims "Have Provided Critical Assistance To Law Enforcement." In an August 5, 2010, Justice Department press release, Attorney General Eric Holder noted:
Members of the American Muslim community have been--and continue to be--strong partners in fighting this emerging threat [of terrorism]. They have regularly denounced terrorist acts and those who carry them out. And they have provided critical assistance to law enforcement in helping to disrupt terrorist plots and combat radicalization. [Congressional Research Service, 12/7/10]
Chertoff: "American Muslims Have Been Outspoken In Their Opposition To Terrorist Violence." In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee in 2007, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff stated:
CHERTOFF: It is critical that we recognize that American Muslims have been, and will continue to be, a highly valued part of the fabric of our Nation. American Muslims have been outspoken in their opposition to terrorist violence and have been strong contributors to our country for many generations. [Senate Homeland Security Committee, 3/14/07, accessed via Nexis]
American Prospect Notes Multiple Cases Of American Muslims Assisting Law Enforcement. In an October 2010 post on The American Prospect, blogger Adam Serwer noted numerous cases of "terror plots that have been foiled with the assistance of the American Muslims." From The American Prospect:
October 2001: The conviction of "Portland 7" case was substantially helped after a local police officer encountered the suspects engaged in target practice. The police officer had been sent to the area after a local citizen notified police that he heard gunfire.
September 2002: Members of the "Lackawanna 6" are arrested. FBI first becomes aware of their activities in June 2001 when a local Muslim community member tips off the FBI.
March 2002: FBI become aware of a possible terror plot by Imran Mandhai (and later Shueyb Jokhan) after they are notified by an American Muslim named "Saif Allah" who attended Mandhai and Jokhan's same mosque provides a tip.
June 2003: FBI receive two tips from community members notifying them "military-style training" was being conducted suspect by Ali Al-Tamimi. The tip set in motion an investigation later leading to the arrest of the so-called "Paintball 11" in Northern Virginia.
August 2004: James Elshafay and Shahwar Matin Siraj are arrested largely based on the controversial use of an informant in the investigation. However, NYPD were first notified of Siraj after a Muslim community member anonymously notifies New York police about consistently troubling rhetoric coming from the suspect.
February 2006: Muslim community members in Ohio provide information helping to arrest and eventually convict 3 suspects planning attacks in Iraq.
July 2009: Mosque leaders in Raleigh, North Carolina, contact law enforcement to notify them of "violent, threatening action ... considered to be dangerous" leading to the arrest of Daniel Boydand 6 other individuals.
November 2009: Five Virginia Muslim youth are arrested in Pakistan, allegedly seeking to join a terror group, after family members told American federal authorities they went missing.
April 2010: Senegalese Muslim Alioune Niass first spots the suspicious vehicle used as a bomb to attack Times Square in New York City. Clues from the vehicle and defused explosive immediately led to the suspect, Faisal Shahzad's, arrest.
June 2010: Suspects Mohammed Mahmoud Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte are arrested, after the FBI first receives an anonymous report in 2006 from one of the suspects' family members. News reports indicate one of Alessa's family members provided the tip. [The American Prospect, 10/29/10, emphasis in original]
Muslim Leaders Have Repeatedly Spoken Out Against Terrorism And Violence
American Muslim Leaders Have A History Of Speaking Out Against Terrorism. As Media Matters has previously noted, following the September 11 attacks, hundreds of Muslim leaders and scholars issued statements condemning the attacks and expressing both support for the United States, and sympathy for the victims and their families. Since then, Muslim leaders have consistently denounced terrorism and violence. [Media Matters, 7/08/10]