March 9 2011

Why U.S. Muslims Should Welcome Pete King's Hearings

Charlotte Hays

Speaking only for myself, I find the media's overall presentation of Rep. Peter King's congressional hearings on radicalization within the Muslim community appalling.

Reporting on the upcoming hearings, the Associated Press says that ten years after September 11:

The nation hasn't figured out how to accommodate a sizable and long-established religious minority while pressing full throttle against growing extremist elements and an increase in allegations of homegrown terrorist plots.

Now comes New York Rep. Peter King, forcing the issue with congressional hearings about radical Islam in the U.S. The first is Thursday, and the protests have already started. Among his fiercest critics, comparisons to McCarthyism, the era of hunting communist sympathizers, are being heard.

"We see no productive outcome in singling out a particular community for examination in what appears to be little more than a political show trial," a coalition of 50 liberal groups said in a letter to King on Tuesday.

The U. S. hasn't figured out how to accommodate a sizeable and long-established religious minority?

Baloney.

America has been dong a fabulous job of accommodating religious minorities since-well, the Pilgrims. Muslims are a welcome part of our national community. We are glad that they have brought their many contributions to our country. Judging from the number of women in Muslim garb who seem perfectly at ease in my Adams Morgan neighborhood, I believe that U.S. Muslims regard themselves as just another group of citizens. 

King isn't investigating Muslims. The issue he is "forcing" is the troubling phenomenon of radicalization inside the Muslim community. How widespread is it? Are ordinary, law-abiding members of the Muslim community targeted for radicalization? This is an an unpleasant subject for a nation that prides itself on inclusiveness. But we can't shut our eyes. Thirteen people lost their lives at Fort Hood because military personnel disregarded overwhelming evidence that Major Hasan had embraced a virulently anti-American form of Islamic radicalism.

Richard Benkin at the American Thinker wonders why King's critics are so rattled:

Are they afraid that King's inquiry might turn up something ominous?  What if they found most American Muslims good people, but determined that their leaders have failed to uproot radical "charities" or mosques within their midst?  Perhaps the Obama White House fears that hearings might find that it is more concerned about political correctness than it is about protecting the homeland.  From their incessant opposition to such things, they seem to believe that admitting any modicum of terrorism in the name of Islam damns the entire community -- which I do not think has ever been King's position.

Muslims should be glad that King is holding these hearings. They have as much of a vested interest in the safety of our citizens as anybody. They should also be interested in letting the world know that they stand with the U.S.

I wish Pete King has been as strong on the issue of Irish terrorism. But on this he is to be commended for being willing to take a lot of heat. 

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