It might not be surprising to see a liberal writer describe Thursday's House Homeland Security Committee hearing on radicalization within the Muslim American community was "horrifying to witness."
It might surprise you, however, to see why.
Former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani, already on record supporting the hearing's focus on Islamic radicalization saying there are "very serious and real issues of extremist interpretations of Islam."
In a follow-up published by the Daily Beast, Nomani takes on her media colleagues and the Left in general for over-reacting to the hearing and the role played by committee Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y.
"The hearing didn't amount to the much-anticipated slam against Muslims but rather it devolved, ironically, into a figurative lynch mob by leading liberals on civil rights and women's rights against truth-tellers on radicalization within the Muslim community," Nomani writes. "It was horrifying to witness."
Reporters let Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison's emotional conclusion to his testimony obscure the rest of the testimony, she adds, writing that "two minutes have defined the four-hour hearing."
Lost in the mix was testimony from three men who have seen the consequences of Islamic radicalization. Each described resistance they met from mosque leadership or self-anointed Muslim political groups when they sought help or tried to fight radicalism on their own. Two saw relatives – a son and a nephew – forfeit promising futures to seek jihad. One died, the other is in jail.
"To me, their stories resonated." Nomani writes. "They were the same dynamics of intimidation that I and others have experienced trying to challenge the dogma at our mosques."
Committee Democrats, normally champions of women's rights and peaceful causes, "took snide potshots at the witnesses and the legitimacy of the discussion." That was disheartening because intimidation and theological distortion were a part of their struggles, too, Nomani writes. "We should be natural allies. Challenging authority and legitimacy is usually the tactic puritanical Muslims use against reformers."
She places herself in their corner on social issues from abortion rights, to gun control, labor and gay rights. "But, on this issue of challenging extremism inside Islam, the hearing revealed to me that liberals, sadly, are largely out to lunch."
See her whole column here.