The video: On the first morning of Rep. Peter King's (R-N.Y.) much-debated hearing to investigate the influence of Islamic extremists in the United States, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is Muslim, made a strong impression with some wrenchingly emotional testimony. (See video below.) During his closing remarks, Ellison told the story of Muhammad Hamdani, a 23-year-old first responder who died on Sept. 11, 2001. As the congressman detailed how Hamdani's motives were posthumously questioned because of his faith, he began to cry. Afterward, King, who sat stonefaced through Ellison's remarks, thanked the congressman for his testimony.
The reaction:
This "incredibly powerful moment" recalled African-American leaders of the past "describing their experiences suffering the indignities of segregation," says Amy Sullivan at TIME. It's terrible when "an entire faith is tarred for the actions of a handful." Eh, Ellison's performance was a bit "over the top," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. He was trying to "shout (or sob) down" an investigation into the threat of "radical Islam" by unfairly suggesting it is "somehow an attack on all Muslims" — even a 9/11 hero. One thing is for sure, says Jim Newell at Gawker. This "is probably not the 'YouTube moment'" King was hoping for when he launched these hearings. Watch Ellison's emotional testimony: