Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the committee chairman, started the hearing with an opening statement linking Hodgkinson, a white, middle-aged man with no ties to foreign terrorists, to Islamic extremism.
Johnson said the main topic of the hearing is for “countering extremism and violence in any form, including Islamist terrorism.”
He went on: “There’s no way anybody can deny we have a problem worldwide in terms of extremism and violence. We witnessed it just a few hours ago on a baseball field for a charity event.”
Despite some opposition from Senate Democrats, the hearing focused violent extremism almost exclusively on Islam and Muslims.
National security and counterterrorism experts told Mic that the hearing was a missed opportunity to come up with strategies to effectively counter the real threat of white nationalism and armed militia movements. Read more (6/19/17)
This echoed a sentiment expressed by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who earlier Thursday said that the “heated rhetoric in this country has to calm down,” and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, who warned Friday of the dangers of political “rage.”Read more. (6/17/17, 11:56 AM)