The hearing at the US Congress entitled The Extent of Radicalisation in the American Muslim Community and That Communitys Response, held by the House Homeland Security Committee, and chaired by Congressman Peter King of New York, was meant to put the Muslim community on the back foot. Instead, it backfired. King came under severe scrutiny from his own colleagues in the Congress, most notably through the moving rebuttal of Congressman Keith Ellison, of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to the US Congress. Significant concerns were raised on the specific targeting of Muslims, as a group and why they are being stigmatised, singled out, and having fingers pointed in their direction. The lack of a broader focus was highlighted. The just released annual report of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, a respected American civil rights group, counted over 1,000 active hate groups in America in 2010, including anti-minority, anti-immigration, anti-government, and neo-Nazi groups fostering an us-versus-them mentality. There is strong evidence that the neocons - who have instigated the US into military misadventures in the Muslim world - have been more a threat and damaging to vital US interests. Yet, the hearing on Muslims, using the US Congress as a platform, gave it an official stamp. Apparently seeking national prominence, the pro-India Congressman King, who until recently has been supported and funded by sections of the New York Muslim community, was in the 1980s and early 1990s an active supporter of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) militancy against Britain. The hearings displayed an emerging change in America in that the Black and Hispanic communities, hitherto fearful, are asserting their voices on the national stage, in part due to a sense of empowerment with having an African-American President in the White House. Part of the backlash against the Muslim community in America is due to a perception among some that Barack Obama is a Muslim, and that a predominantly white country is gradually turning brown. In Britain over 30 years ago, the anti-Pakistani Skinhead upsurge reached its peak during the Margaret Thatcher era. But the Pakistani community there defiantly responded and made its mark by entering into British mainstream society including, but not limited to, Parliament, cricket, church, literature, law, cinema, and journalism. In striking contrast, the overly cautious posture of the US Muslim community, along with a feeble team ethic, is exposing the community to increasing risks of future attacks. If Pakistan is seething with anti-American sentiment, so is the US with anti-Muslim sentiment. All of this represents a challenge for the Muslims, not to merely survive, but to thrive with dignity. The time for self-questioning the wisdom and viability of the present posture has arrived. The real challenge is to honestly acknowledge that the congressional hearings are one result of the lack of direction in the Muslim community and its insufficient recognition of what is truly important. The moment is ripe to critique and correct. The writer is a barrister and a senior political analyst.