Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rep. Peter King To Conduct Show Trial Against American Muslims

What is the best way to alienate Muslim Americans and spread bigotry throughout the nation? Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is working on it. His grandstanding "investigation" of American Muslim radicalism will not protect anyone. What it will do is promote fear and perhaps stoke the very radicalism King is supposedly fighting. A New York Times editorial cited the flawed premises of King's show trial:

Not much spreads fear and bigotry faster than a public official intent on playing the politics of division. On Thursday, Representative Peter King...is scheduled to open a series of hearings that seem designed to stoke fear against American Muslims. His refusal to tone down the provocation despite widespread opposition suggests that he is far more interested in exploiting ethnic misunderstanding than in trying to heal it.

Mr. King...says the hearings will examine the supposed radicalization of American Muslims. Al Qaeda is aggressively recruiting Muslims in this country, he says. He wants to investigate the terror group’s methods and what he claims is the eagerness of many young American Muslims to embrace it.

...he is focusing on one group that appears to have obsessed him since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, resulting in slanders and misstatements that might have earned him a rebuke from his colleagues had they been about any other group. More than 80 percent of the mosques in America are run by extremists, he has said, never citing real evidence. Too many American Muslims are sympathetic to radical Islam, he said.

Most pernicious, he has claimed that American Muslims have generally refused to cooperate with law enforcement agencies on terrorism cases. He has cited no evidence for this, either, but a study issued last month by Duke University and the University of North Carolina found just the opposite. The American Muslim community has been the single largest source of tips that have brought terror suspects to the attention of authorities, the study found. (It also found that the number of American Muslims found or suspected to be part of terror operations dropped substantially in 2010.)

...Democrats on the committee plan to call Leroy Baca, the sheriff of Los Angeles County, who has often said that American Muslims have been crucial in helping terrorism investigations. But that involves empirical facts and expert observation. Nothing could be further from the real purpose of Mr. King’s show trial.


Mohammad Shihabi said...

Pretty ridiculous. I don't get how it's my responsibility to look for Muslim terrorists. Granted I don't really attend mosque etc..., but I do know people who do, including members of my family, and there just isn't anything even close to terrorism going on there.

The only thing that should be talked about in this hearing is the fact that muslims make up the majority of Al Qaeda's victims in both the pre and post 9/11 era.


Jeff Tone said...

Mohammad: Only through the odious, bigoted concept of guilt through association would you be charged with such a responsibility.

Regarding your second point, Rep. Keith Ellison spoke eloquently about Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a heroic first responder who should be counted among the Muslim victims of Al Qaeda. See my 3/13 post.