The folks at Loonwatch.com have called Rep. Peter King’s hearings Thursday political theater. I think it’s something much more sinister than that; rather it is an attempt of bigoted King to legitimize legal oppressive measures against America’s Muslims, much like what is trying to be enforced by several state legislatures throughout the country. Yet, for all the impressive pomp and ceremony of a congressional hearing that King could muster, there is no, absolutely no substance to his premise that there is any radicalization of America’s Muslim population by American enemies, perceived, imagined or real.
First comes this bit of news totally overlooked by King and his Republican colleagues on the committee that the number of incidents of “terrorism” is not at all worth the effort and tax payer money King has invested for his charade
The number of Muslim-Americans engaged in terrorist acts aimed at the U.S. declined in 2010 from 18 to 10. Including domestic and international targets, the figure dropped from 47 to 20….
“We have a tremendously efficient system of international and national news services that sift through all of the violence that occurs around the world every day and finds hints of Islamic terrorist intention, and then sends news of those incidents to the news services and to our TVs and newspapers and blogs,” Kurzman said. “The result is we end up with a skewed perception of the prevalence of Islamic terrorism.”
In total, he says, 11 Muslim-American terrorists are responsible for killing 33 people since Sept. 11. Per capita, Muslim Americans are more likely to engage in terrorism than the general population, but the threat is still miniscule in the context of the more than 15,000 homicides that occur in the U.S. each year.
Perhaps it might be more accurate to say that per capita Muslims are more likely to be “charged” with committing acts of terrorism as the news of the arrests of the “terrorist” cell in Alaska underscores, where instead of being charged with terrorist related acts, these defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, arson and kidnapping instead. What has happened and what King’s hearings help further is the notion that only “Muslim Americans” commit terrorism and are or should be charged with the offense, making it politically correct to associate the charge only to that group of Americans while anyone else seen as committing similar offenses are less threatening to the existence of the body politic. King therefore, despite his pleas to the contrary has given in to political correctness of American bigots by underscoring a myth, not a reality as the first link above demonstrates.
However, it’s nice to see that there are some, besides the Muslim community and in some cases in spite of it, who are resisting the temptation offered by King to become bigots like himself. It’s very heartening to see that two minorities, Asians and Jews, once tarred with the brush of American racism still remember its lessons and are asking King to be as civic minded as they in respecting citizenship.
Last week, Rep. Michael M. Honda (D-Calif.), who as a child spent several wartime years living behind barbed wire at Camp Amache in southeastern Colorado, denounced King’s hearings as “something similarly sinister.”
“Rep. King’s intent seems clear: To cast suspicion upon all Muslim Americans and to stoke the fires of anti-Muslim prejudice and Islamophobia,” Honda wrote in an op-ed published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
and again, here
Jewish historical experience remembers that not too long ago, we too were the victims of suspicion and hatred based on our religion and ethnicity. The actions of the few should not condemn the many, and every religion has its teachings both of violence and of peace. Jewish tradition demands that we remember the heart of the stranger, because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. If one minority can be singled out for congressional hearings or restrictions on places of worship, anyone can be.
I doubt King will listen. He’s far to emboldened by the insulated cocoon of racists, Islamophobes who have taken him under their wing to advance a political reality he is too eager to carry out, but it’s nice to see that the spirit of liberty and the resistance to this part of our culture still lives. These are indeed dark times for our country….I’m glad Jon Stewart is around to liven and lighten things up……..even if it’s momentary.
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