Meet the Press   |  April 28, 2013

A look inside the Muslim community

Reps. Peter King and Keith Ellison discuss the role of the Muslim community in the Middle East and the United States.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let's talk about the surveillance within the muslim community . that's partly what you were talking about this week, congressman king. you said this in the national review and this is how they reported it, police have to be in the community . they have to build up as many sources as they can. and they have to realize that the threat is coming from the muslim community and increase surveillance there. we can't be bound by political correctness .

>> absolutely. the nypd is doing in new york with 1,000 police officers focusing on this issue, knowing where the threat is coming from. now most muslims are outstanding people but the threat is coming from the muslim community . yesterday tom friedman who is certainly no conservative, said we must ask the question only muslims can answer. what is going on in your community that a review of your youth believes every military action in the middle east justifies a violent response? it's coming from the community . and in previous times when had certain elements in the community are the ones responsible to crime, the police focused on it. for instance in boston the fbi never spoke to the boston police about the older brother. and afterwards there was no intelligence files in boston on these types of people, people inclined to terrorism. the fbi never even got to examining him.

>> congressman, you're a muslim. this concerns you on civil libertarian grounds and other areas.

>> well, i'm an american, and i'm concerned about national safety, public safety , just like everyone is. but i think it's ineffective law enforcement to go after a particular community . i think what we need to do is look at behavior and follow those leads where they would lead. so, like if tamerlan tsarnaev is evidencing dangerous behavior, by all means, go after him. but once you start saying we're going to dragnet or surveil a community , what you do is you ignore dangerous threats that are not in that community and you go after people who don't have anything to do with it. and so let me just finish up with this one point. and so this ricin attack, for example, that's an act of terrorism. that doesn't come out of the mu muslim community . we don't have enough law enforcement resources to just go after one community and, remember, we went after a community in world war ii . the japanese interment is a national stain on our country, and we are still apologizing for it.

>> we're talking about following the constitution. what the nypd is doing, they have 1,000 cops working on counter t counterterrorism, 16 plots against new york have been stopped. if any of those had gone through hundreds or thousands of people dead.

>> where does political correctness get in way with surveilling terrorists?

>> why didn't they talk to the mask, to the imam? it's become more --

>> he was a legal, permanent resident. does that have something to do with what the fbi is capable of doing?

>> an american citizen , they still have the right to ask questions about you. just because you're a citizen doesn't mean they can't ask questions.

>> questions based on what, the exercise of free speech or actual evidence?

>> i think somehow anti-muslim or anti-islam if they accept the reality that the element is coming from within the muslim community as in previous times you had elements come from certain communities. eric holder said this came from radical islam among young people in the muslim community . dennis mcdonough said the same thing in 2011 when he went to a mosque in virginia about the threats that have come to the muslim community . it's there.

>> jeff goldberg, who is "the atlantic" journalist said this on the program last week something the muslim community and other countries have to deal with. this is a portion of what he said.

>> when you talk about what's going on in the muslim world , and we have to remember, of course, that the primary victims of jihadism are other muslims , muslims who don't agree with the more jihadist elements and so we have to ask ourselves, and the muslim world has to ask themselves, you know, what are we doing to provide counter programming even on the internet? and this is not something that the u.s. can fix or the west can fix. it has to come from within islam.

>> let me assure you, muslim leaders all across this country have wildly condemned this most recent act of terrorism and have condemned terrorism broadly and are in a number of ways through interfaith dialogue talk iing about, empathizing peace and connectedness with people, good works within the community . i mean, the reality is this is going on and has been and needs to continue to go on. but that's kind of the thing that i'm saying is that, you know, the community is facing this threat, but this is an american problem. there have been threats throughout this community , this country, from various sources. but, you know, muslims and people across this nation need to think about public safety and threats and radicalism, not just one community .

>> just a few seconds left, congressman king. remaining questions now, what are you really focused on that you'd like the intelligence community and the fbi to answer?

>> i think it's important to know are there other people involved in the threat, are there others still out there? family members or people in the community ? that's very important to find out. also, what did cause them to radicalize? was it done here? was it done overseas? was it done over the internet? what cause that had to happen? how can we stop it in the future. why isn't the fbi not cooperating with local law enforcement?

>> this is a failure you think need to be learned from?

>> absolute failure.

>> all right, congressmen, thank you both very much.

>> thank you very much, david.