The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing yesterday on “understanding the tools, tactics, and techniques used by violent extremists.” If you’re not sure what this is really about, you will once you realize that a team of anti-Muslim careerists were assembled as “expert witnesses” to discuss the problem: Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, Asra Nomani, and John Lenczowski. They were joined by Michael Leiter, former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, whose testimony certainly had major shortcomings related to the major shortcomings of domestic "countering violent extremism" programing but who, unlike the rest, has actual expertise on the topic. There were the standard disclaimers of “not all Muslims”, followed by concocted hysteria about sharia’s encroachment on America...etc. But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the anti-Muslim narrative. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) kicked off his questions by condemning anti-Muslim sentiment and xenophobia. But it was Senator McCaskill (D-MO) who delivered the most devastating cross-examination, fact-checking Lenczowski’s claims about Muslim “no-go zones” all over Europe with Leiter, who contradicted Lenczowski, confirming he “never saw anything resembling a no-go zone” despite his extensive work in Europe. Leiter went on to dismiss the claim that political correctness was hindering counter-terrorism efforts, as well as the “deeply mistaken” belief that “Sharia was making any inroads” in the US. You can watch the full hearing here.

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