During a news briefing delivered at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in Washington, D.C., following the San Bernardino shooting, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson vowed to “protect” Muslims from the same sort of “fear, suspicions and prejudice” that haunted suspected communists during the era of McCarthyism.
And in making this vow, Johnson specifically pointed to his grandfather, reported the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, whose members managed to observe the briefing despite the mosque’s leaders attempting to kick them out.
“In 1949, during the McCarthy era, my own grandfather was called upon to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to deny he was a member of the Communist Party and defend the patriotism of African-Americans,” Johnson said. “Today his grandson is responsible for the homeland security of this entire nation.”
Johnson sees a connection between the actions of deceased Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who used unsubstantiated accusations of communism to target anyone who dared criticize either him or the federal government, and the burgeoning movement to clamp down on radical Islamic terrorism.
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