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Why Are Peter King’s Hearings So Loathsome? Let Us Count the Ways

By Mark Potok on March 8, 2011 - 3:07 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

Some people seem to have great difficulty in understanding why U.S. Rep. Peter King’s hearings on radicalization of American Muslims, set to open this Thursday, are seen as so loathsome by so many. Let me try to explain.

Imagine, for starters, if another congressman — say, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, a Democrat and the first Muslim elected to Congress — decided to hold hearings on the Christian fundamentalist community and the radicalization of some of its members. After all, it is undeniably fundamentalists who have formed the bulk of the extremists who have burned or bombed hundreds of abortion clinics and murdered eight providers or their assistants. The vast majority of these people have been motivated, as most have said themselves, by their interpretations of Christianity.

Well, I think you can see where this is going. You wouldn’t have time to snap your fingers before outraged Americans, metaphorically speaking, surrounded the Capitol carrying pitchforks and torches, demanding the heads of their representatives. Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, to mention just a couple of the far-right talking heads, would erupt before their Fox News audiences. After all, just think back to the self-righteous hullabaloo that broke out when a leaked 2009 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report on the radical right suggested that hate groups were interested in recruiting returning veterans with military skills. Conservatives around the country went into outrage mode, shouting to the skies that the perfectly accurate report was calling all veterans potential Timothy McVeighs. The political right is the first to scream “demonization” when it feels it is being targeted.

There’s another very good reason why the hearings organized by King, a Republican from New York who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, amount to what an editorial in today’s New York Times called “Mr. King’s show trial.” Peter King does not come to the question of radical Islam with clean hands.

This is a man who has said that 80% to 85% of American mosques are run by extremists — jihadists — and who told a reporter that “unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country.” He says that Al Qaeda is aggressively recruiting Muslims in this country. Last month, he was the first guest on a cable television show hosted by Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of the aggressively anti-Muslim ACT! for America group and one of the more obnoxious Muslim-bashers around (the Times reported Monday that she claims radical Muslims have “infiltrated” the CIA, FBI, Pentagon and more). He claims that the vast majority of American Muslims and their leaders have refused to cooperate with law enforcement investigations of jihadists — but then says he can’t reveal his law enforcement sources.

In fact, like virtually all King’s claims, that last is baloney. As a study last month from the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security revealed, 48 of the 120 Muslims suspected of plotting terror attacks in the United States since 9/11 were turned in by fellow Muslims. What’s more, leaders of virtually all responsible law enforcement groups report that most Muslims are highly cooperative.

King is holding his version of the McCarthy hearings at a time when extremist groups in the United States — hate groups, antigovernment “Patriot” zealots and extremist vigilante organizations — are expanding dramatically. Just last month, a new Southern Poverty Law Center report showed that the number of three strands of the radical right went from 1,753 groups in 2009 to 2,145 last year. In January, authorities arrested a neo-Nazi apparently planning a bomb attack on the Arizona border; found a powerful bomb set to explode by a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade; and seized a man apparently about to bomb a Michigan mosque. And  just last week, a large group of Muslim-haters screamed a litany of insults against Muslims at a California fundraisers, terrifying their cowering children, as can be seen in video of the event (which was taken down from the Web after this blog was first posted).

But King has no interest in these threats. To him, Islam is the enemy.

The reality is that King’s hearing are about demonizing Muslims, and they are, unfortunately, very likely to accomplish that goal. After all, they come in the midst of a renewed bout of Islamophobia — a round of hatred and fear that began last summer when other opportunistic politicians ginned up alarm about the Islamic center planned for lower Manhattan. They follow by just a few months the adoption of an absurd Oklahoma law designed to prevent the introduction of Islamic religious law in the state’s courts — a law that is now being emulated elsewhere.

Ultimately, this kind of demonization leads to violence against the targeted minorities. President George W. Bush understood that, and that is why, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, he gave a number of speeches saying that Muslims and Arabs were not our enemies — Al Qaeda was. As a result, anti-Muslim hate crimes, which had spiked up an astounding 1,700% after the attack, dropped by two thirds the following year. Bush may have made many mistakes as a president, but he clearly understood that demonizing minorities ultimately leads to violence.

Words have consequences — unfortunately, even Peter King’s.

  • skinnyminny

    Ruben,
    I agree with you 110%! The arrest in the Spokane incident, the suspect left behind evidence to implicate a left-wing suspect. The arrest in Oregon, of the guy breaking into a home, then calling cops to get him out of the home allegedly said that “Mexicans kidnapped him.”

    Interesting that I raised the issue a last year of the cities claiming to be broke were having gun buyback programs in minority communities, while continuing to have gun shows. It makes me wonder if the K bros were behind this! On top of this, most of these cities that had these buyback events also had neo-Nazi rallies to intimidate minorities – again these cities claimed to be broke – guess who paid for these events held in minority communities for the police to protect these guys – the working class and poor. I believe the poor and working class paid for it since the rich and corporations doesn’t pay taxes.

    I will stress again, people need to watch the movie on video, “Idiocracy.” This movie was a comedy, but frightening in that, the population was dumbed down, the corporations bought government agencies like the FDA, FOX became the only news, because there were no jobs people walked around all day with nothing to do as if the entire U.S. was just a ghetto.

  • Montana

    Why doesn’t this Peter T. King investigate the “Home Grown” radicalization of Irish Americans, who support the tradition wing of the IRA (Irish Republican Army), or Noraid (The Irish Northern Aid Committee), and being recruited by “Enemy Overseas” or worse “Enemy Overseas” the “Catholic Church ”, where they radicalize the priests into raping our young American boys, what about that you hypocrite scumbag.

    Peter King is a hypocrite, he supported the terrorist group IRA, who killed innocent British people, but hey I guess that was OK, right? Killing innocent people is OK, as long as they are not born is the United States, yup that sounds about right. I guess Jesus Christ would give all you extra points for that, NOT!

    No, there are no dancing in the street when Catholics hear about a pedophile priest, but there has been a concerted effort to Deny, Deflect, Defend this “Enemy Overseas” the “Catholic Church ”, I don’t even think you could deny that fact. What would Jesus Christ, say about this so called Church, I have a few thoughts myself.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/fu.....matt-stone

    47 seconds in;
    http://www.colbertnation.com/t.....radicalism

  • ruben

    i think that at this time the white christian right in this country is by far more dangerous….they are paranoid and afraid of anyone or anything that does not look or act like them….i would like to know when is a right wing congressman gonna have any hearings about all the white right wing neo nazi and so called patriot militias that are sprouting up everywhere?it seems that every couple of days these fools are caught trying to blow up something or mastermind some type of domestic terror.

  • http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogspot.com Tom Shelley

    I think I made my point more clearly with the first 4-5 comments I left. “Terrorizing” the elites and the government wasn’t the best way for me to make the point I wanted to. Preassuring them is a much better term to use, which I have used almost all the time. I realize some will take that last comment as me conceding the point, but I am clarifying what I said.

    Tom

  • http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogspot.com Tom Shelley

    I think I need to clarify something about my last post. The IRA doesn’t meet the definition of terrroism offered. They didn’t systematically use terror- as i said, they almost never were trying to terrorize the civilian population with the exception of the elites and the government. They focused largely on the security forces.

    tom

  • http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogspot.com/ Tom Shelley

    In response to jgt2598:

    Once again, you don’t define a n organization by what they do some very tiny % of what they do.

    They were putting preassure on the British to begin a process of withdrawl from Ireland. I’ve got mixed feelings about the times that they destroyed the commercial property of unionists, but that was putting preassure on the elite of the unionist population. In any case, putting preassure on the elite and the government is very legitimate when you consider how the state was set up- it was gerrymandered so it would have a pro-British majority and most Catholics and all nationalists experiemced severe inequality. I go into more detail about this and related matters in a post on my blog at- http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogsp.....enter.html .

    Although the IRA’s campaign must have created some sense of terror, that was overwhelmingly NOT what they were trying to do. As I said they were preassuring the elites and the government. If they wanted to spread terror, they would have just slaughtered civilians instead of risking their lives attacking the security forces.

    Tom

  • jgt2598

    George,
    It would be great if facts came out, but Mr. King is going into this with his prestated assumption that most Muslims are fanatics. “Unorthodox methods” Hearings aren’t unorthodox, even one’s which are a complete waste of time and money like this one. “not one Muslim was a part of the first responders on 9/11″ Wrong again, Mohammad Hamdani:
    “People are not stupid…”:

    If all people were smart enough to decide between demonizing lies and facts than the SPLC would have no reason to exist, there wouldn’t be 1000+ hate groups in the US. As for “ending Islamophobia”, that’s not going to happen, there were people in California (including politicians) screaming at children attending a fundraiser for homeless shelters because they were Muslim. If ending hate were as simple as showing facts (another thing that King won’t be doing anytime soon), there would be no racism, no sexism, no religious descrimination, and generally no discrimination of any kind, it all would have ended quite some time ago.
    Tom,
    “Obviously I disagree about calling the IRA terrorists…”
    Terrorism: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion
    -Merriam-Webster Online
    Terrorist has nothing to do with ‘kill count’, someone could kill no one and still be a terrorist. The IRA was attempting to coerc Irish independants through the use of violence and intimidation, that makes them terrorists.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “That’s exactly the argument they make, RusIan Arirkhanov. Leave the politics out, and let the facts speak. Also, I just made my point without getting emotional or swearing at you.”

    So we should leave the politics out of issues which are clearly political. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

  • George

    U.S. Rep. Peter King’s inquiry committee about radical Muslims is bringing out facts that were never known about how cooperative the Muslims toward the security of this country. Sometimes, unorthodox methods are needed to get at the truth.

    Accusations were made, not one Muslim was a part of the first responders on 9/11, although I believe there were Muslims in the Towers at the time who were also murdered on that horrific day.

    The television news reports on the matter of terrorism has been less than fully informative. As long as the facts and opinions are substantiated, the hearings should continue. People are not stupid and will decide for themselves as to the legitimacy of the hearings when Rep. Peter King’s congressional committee has completed. And, as far as Rep. King’s background is concerned regarding statements made in the past, let it all hang out on both sides. Hopefully, we will be able to clear the air with the congressional committee and put an end to Islamaphobia.

    Let everyone speak openly and fairly and not suppress information through any form or degree of character assassination. The suppression of any idea, point or view or thought, only strengthens the hatred.

  • Fred W

    Peter King is a hate-monger and a media whore. His motivation, other than naked racism, is to get his face on TV.
    Jon Stewart did a very interesting piece on how Peter King, the staunch anti-terrorist was a strong supporter of the IRA.

  • http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogspot.com/ Tom Shelley

    As far as knowing which attacks resulted in civilian death intentionally or or unintentionally:
    A: The Sutton data-base on the CAIN web-site ( http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/index.html ) frequently says that the bomb went off prematurely. They also often say that the civilian killed was in the cross-fire of the IRA and the security forces. They also often say that an inadaquete warning was given. (about 9 years ago I read every entry in that data-base (it’s about every single person killed in the Troubles)).
    B: I have heard that Birmingham was a mistake.Not sure about Enniskillen.
    C: With most gun attacks it’s pretty clear they were intentional, although in some cases they mis-identified someone and didn’t mean to kill the person they shot.
    D: Many, probably most of the civilians they killed intentionally were not entirely innocent. I’m not saying it was a good idea to kill these people, but people working on security force installations are sort of legitimate targets, same thing with politicians and some other miscellaneous groups too. And suspected criminals were justified targets as well.
    E: The number of civilians killed by the IRA was somewhere around 525 depending on how you look at it. There were many incidents where more than one civilian was killed, so I’d estimate the number of operations that resulted in civilian death is around 200 (I am working on nailing that down by going through the data-base and making notes, I’ll be done in a few weeks or so). Taking official figures and then making some reasonable adjustments, I’d say the IRA engaged in almost 42,000 operations (I’m not counting as operations several things including defending the nationalist community, intelligence gathering, training, etc.).

    I think that’s all I have to say about that.

    As far as Peter King’s racism. Obviously I disagree about calling the IRA terrorists, but here’s what you might attack him over. Torture. unfortunately I think there are some tiny differences between what was done to IRA suspects and what has been done to suspects in the “War on Terror,” but I think most people will see that he is a racist with a double standard like that. He LOVES water-boarding, he’s made that very clear.

    Also, as I said earlier, I have been making a modest effort at giving information about King to Irish leftists who are sort of friendly to Sinn Fein, hoping that SF will be embarrased into telling King to F%ck off, hopefully in a very public way which will hopefully have some effect on his level of support here.

    Tom

  • skinnyminny

    PSzymeczek,
    I’d also like to add to these comments – if what you say is true, then these are some questions that deserve an answer. 1) was he a plant/informant inside the mosque, 2) was he a plant to set up the person(s) convicted in reference to his office – if so, do they need a retrial?

    Again, that is why I left the republican party – you don’t know what you’re getting. I always have to take a step back to wonder ‘what’s in it for them, and what’s the cost/benefit/opportunity – how many dollar signs for them.’

  • skinnyminny

    PSzymeczek,
    So what are you saying, that he was a “plant,” pretending to be a muslim, or that he is an ex-muslim? I’m asking because if you look at what allegedly happened to his office in Los Angeles a while back, it was noted he is a muslim – just look at the story that alleges his office was bombed by Jewish people – so, again, I ask was he a plant to set up Jewish people?

  • Jack Wolford

    I think it’s perfectly O.K. to investigate the Christian Fundamentalists and all the White Supremecists etc. that are attracted to their anti- Obama ( read anti- Black ) groups. Everybody gets a turn in the barrel who puffs up like a peacock.

  • Marisa

    Peter King – I have watched his antics for some time – and every time I even LOOK at him – UGH!!!!! He does NOT have “clean hands,” and he has no credibility–and how he has gotten elected is a mystery….must be more stupid people in his district in New York than the state would care to admit.

  • PSzymeczek

    Darrell Issa is of Lebanese descent, but his religion, for what it’s worth, is Eastern Orthodox.

  • Jordan

    Did any of you ever learn to “walk in another’s shoes”? I ask this because I have found that the best way to determine what is just and differentiate from personal bias is to change up the scenario. If they were holding a hearing on “Radicalization of Christianity” in a democratic nation with a Muslim majority, would it still be just, would it still be right? Unless you truly believe that the answer is yes in both scenarios, than personal bias takes a major role. I believe that in all scenarios this hearing is a farse, unless they raise a more specific issue which can actually bring to light threats to our nation it will continue to be a farce no matter how many of the scenario’s variables are swapped around.

  • Jordan

    Ian,
    The hearing is targeting Muslims because it is solely focusing on fanaticism in one religion (which is fine, so long as you do it right), it is putting the whole minority on trial because it is vague, it isn’t going after organizations or individuals, it isn’t even targeting “mainstream” organizations, the scope is simply to large . This hearing is no more useful than a hearing about “Radicalization of Christianity”, there are plenty of radical Christians but having a hearing concerning all of American Christianity wouldn’t be any help identifying them.
    Fed,
    Talking about a past president’s mistakes carries a political agenda? What if they had said the same about a Democrat, would that make them Republican? History is history, whether we like it or not, Democrats have done bad just as much as Republicans and everyone else.
    Jerry,
    So, are you of the “all muslim’s are evil” persuasion? If so, I have a feeling that Christian terrorists could blow up your house and you still wouldn’t admit that they were terrorists.

  • Terry Washington

    First of all, who “knows” how many of the IRA’s operations
    pace the Birmingham pub bombings or the “poppy day massacre” (in 1974 and 1987 respectively to name but a few) were “not intended” to cause civilian casualties? Secondly Rep. Peter King seems to have no problem palling around with terrorists as long as they have names like Kevin, Seamus and Patrick as opposed to Mohammed, Abdul, Ahmad and Faisal(that is to say Irish Republican terrorists as opposed to Islamic fundamentalists/jihadists. Thirdly,counter terrorist operations like counter espionage call for patience, subtlety and tact (as my society’s experiences in NI make clear). To my mind the whole business is a joke designed to appeal to fear and hatred in the run up to 2012!

  • Fed analyst

    Ruslan Amirkhanov said,

    on March 10th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    “Good article, but this quote: “Bush may have made many mistakes as a president…” didn’t add anything to it and revealed a political agenda I can’t defend when citing SPLC as an unbiased source.”

    “Yeah, because we know Bush certainly didn’t commit any mistakes, and anyone who would say otherwise is a radical leftist. Jesus.”

    That’s exactly the argument they make, RusIan Arirkhanov. Leave the politics out, and let the facts speak. Also, I just made my point without getting emotional or swearing at you.

  • Jerry Brandt

    So, when the Muslim extremist attack, they need to start with the Southern Poverty Law center, otherwise they won’t believe it was a terrorist.

  • Ian

    Jordan,

    I understand your concerns – and nothing I say should be any sort of endorsement of King, who is twelve different kinds of crazy – but I do not see how this hearing is “targeting” Muslims or “putting the whole minority on trial”. If Muslims such as M. Zuhdi Jasser and Abdirizak Bihi do not find this to be a witch hunt, why do so many non-Muslims?

    You do have a point on the issue of scale, though. There are at least half a dozen Islamist terrorist groups involved in activities within (a minority of) the American Muslim community. They range from Palestinian groups, to anti-Shia Pakistani groups, to al Qaeda. Their differences may make a hearing like this generate more heat than light. But the primary focus of the hearing seems to be the question of how much help law enforcement is getting from “mainstream” Muslim organizations not individual Muslims.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Good article, but this quote: “Bush may have made many mistakes as a president…” didn’t add anything to it and revealed a political agenda I can’t defend when citing SPLC as an unbiased source.”

    Yeah, because we know Bush certainly didn’t commit any mistakes, and anyone who would say otherwise is a radical leftist. Jesus.

  • http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogspot.com/ Tom Shelley

    Bill-

    What part of this do you not understand- only about .25% of their operations intentionally resulted in civilian death. There was another .25% where they unintentionally killed civilians. You don’t define an organization by .5% of what they do!

    So, because your uncles were supporting the IRA, that means you’re right and I’m wrong? And let me tell you, Ulster county is beautiful in the Summer-time- Oh wait, there is no county in Ireland called Ulster.

    Also, since we’re talking so much about the the IRA and Republicans in general on a blog like this, here are some other posts on my blog that people might be interested in:

    “Anti-Racism and Republicans” http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogsp.....igade.html

    “Invisible Comrades” (anti-homophpbia) http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogsp.....rades.html

    Tom

  • Bill

    Tom, as an Irish-American whose Uncles wqere involved in gun running from THIS country to help the IRA do their dirty qwork in Ireland, I can tell you, you are dead wrong- the IRA is just as much a terrorist organization killing innocent victims (as were the Orangemen on the other side). Tell the victims in Ulster County that there’s no difference- lilling and maiming innocent people is terrorism whether the terrorist is Muslim, RC or Presby. Peter King is kisy as much a terrorist as my uncles were!

  • Jordan

    Ian,
    And the groups you mentioned are the exact ones that our country should be having hearings about, they are the best at hiding and, in vague witch hunts like this, those groups which are the real threats will likely slip right through cracks. When you try an entire religion, you only give power to the extremists (who someone caught up in investigating ethnic and religious stereotypes will likely pass over, they are very good at blending in, that’s the entire point of SPLC’s hate group list). Again, this hearing is a farse and a waste of taxpayer money, it will no more flush out extremism in American Muslims than McCarthy’s raging against the left (and anyone else who opposed him) succesfully located Soviet spies. Hearings about specific religious extremist activity or organizations, sure that’s fine (so long as you give every religion’s extremists equal treatment), but targeting a specific religious minority and putting the whole minority on trial will do nothing but waste money, piss off, and even endanger members of that minority, especially when it’s someone like King who is coming into the hearing with the “guilty until proven inocent” stance.

  • Lynn

    Marie-

    Thank you so much for posting that horrible video here, showing people who are the most anti-American that I can imagine waving American flags, the Republicans filled with such ignorance and hate.
    How dignified our fellow Americans look, walking quietly into their event. I am so worried that their children will be traumatized. I will look for their fundraiser’s website to send a message of support to the children.
    It is horrifying to see the damage Republicans and Fox have done to our wonderful country.

  • Fed analyst

    Good article, but this quote: “Bush may have made many mistakes as a president…” didn’t add anything to it and revealed a political agenda I can’t defend when citing SPLC as an unbiased source.

  • http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogspot.com/ Tom Shelley

    I said a VERY tiny percentage (around .25%) of their operations intentionally resulted in civilian death.That is, I am aware of the sectarian murders.

    I like your comment about how King should have cleaner hands, but I must insist that the IRA is not comparable to, for example, Al-Qaeda in it’s war with the West or the military wing of Hamas in it’s war with Israel.

    Tom

  • Marie Casey

    California Councilwoman Deborah Pauly Calls for Muslim Americans to Be Killed -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....cker=False

    on Stewart showed a tiny portion of this video on his show last night but he didn’t make any mention to who was featured in this video. By the way, YouTube keeps removing this video! The first time it was posted it got more than 160,000 hits.

  • Ian

    Tom,

    The PIRA has targeted civilians before, mostly in the early ’70s in retaliation for loyalist paramilitary killings. While this is not comparable to Islamist violence in either method or scale, anyone leading any investigation of any form of political violence should have much, much cleaner hands.

    Jordan,

    Al Qaeda is not the only terrorist threat. Hezbollah has more connections inside the US, and one of the primary recipients of terrorist fund-raising in the States is HAMAS. Considering the genocidal antisemitism of the first two organizations (elected or not), they too should be a concern to any American worried about extremism.

    The film “The Third Jihad”, directed by an American Muslim who is a witness to the hearings, has a great overview of the situation. I apologize for the tokenism in pointing out the director’s religion – which in a perfect world wouldn’t be an issue – but considering that anyone having anything to do with this hearing is being called a bigot by the Intelligence Project and others, I thinks it’s important to point out.

  • skinnyminny

    Ben,
    All you have to do is google the information, there IS a republican congressman that is a muslim. Facts are facts. This is one of the reasons I left the republican party years ago. However, I am thinking this one is being kept in the background because maybe he is not considered to be a person of color, or maybe a minority in this case. Meaning, he is not black, and he is not brown.

  • sarah

    All this hate speech because a black man is in the white house…it’s as simple as that.
    Consider this: If Barack Hussein Obama were still merely a state senator, because of his first-hand knowledge of Islam, his background of dealing with people who think differently than White people do on a DAILY BASIS and because he knows how to survive in a White Male society, THIS MAN WOULD BE THE GO-TO GUY in anyone elses administration!
    We have a man in the Presidents House who is undeniably qualified to relate to THE WORLD people, and we are allowing him to be bashed by people who refuse to come into the new millenium!
    What the HELL is wrong with this picture?!!!

  • Jordan

    Mark,
    I agree, our country should be more concerned with fanatics regardless of religion or political ideology rather than worrying about who has more.

  • Mark H

    To all those who have spoken against religion or for a left, right, or IRA point of few, why can’t terror and lawlessness be the issue? When violence is allowed to be part of the conversation, it silences all other communication. When communcation over differences stops, the freedom we enjoy as Americans is lost. I agree that religious zealotry of all types requires acceptance of one point of view and whether radical fundementalist are Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jewish etc. it should all be seen as an afront to life in a free society.

    Also, creation of the witch hunt is not uniquely an American pastime. Pre-teens in their social forays often employ the demonization of the other to take focus off of themselves and the group where they are consolidating power. Nice thing about pre-teens, they tend to grow out of that.

  • Mark Potok

    In re the link to the video: That’s a second video. The first video, which was made public by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was taken down after I posted this and so the link went dead. Therefore, I linked it to the second video, which I did not watch all of. The CAIR video had truly awful images of cowering children clutching their parents’ hands. As a result of Eric Albert’s note, I’ll take the link down. It seems obvious it’s confusing. Thanks again to our readers.

  • Jordan

    Eric,
    What video did you see?
    “Were the speakers at the Muslim rally vocal supporters of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood as asserted by the speakers in the film?” No, that it why this is considered a hate rally, the protesters were there spreading demonizing lies.
    “I get that “Islamaphobia” is used as an excuse to suppress liberty in the name of liberty, but from the looks of this film, the argument isn’t being made for me.” So they have the right to scream “go back home!” and to call someone’s religion “pure, unadulterated evil” while protesting fundraising for women’s shelters (which is what the “Terrorists!” as they called them where doing, this is completely unrelated to overthrowing the government, not even sure where you got that from), and no one has the right to criticize them? THAT IS NOT HOW FREEDOM OF SPEECH WORKS!!! I am tired of people thinking that freedom of speech means freedom from criticism.
    “…aren’t we about peaceful assembly?” Since when did “peacful assembly” include calling for people to be killed because of their religion?
    “As a matter of fact, I know quite a few Marines who will be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.”
    -Deborah Pauly, a councilwoman from nearby Villa Park.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    In case you hadn’t heard, Hamas WAS democratically elected in the past. I believe the Muslim Brotherhood also competes for elections in Egypt as well.

  • Eric Albert

    I’m not sure I understand the point being made in this sentence here:

    “And just last week, a large group of Muslim-haters screamed a litany of insults against Muslims at a California fundraisers, terrifying their cowering children, as can be seen in video of the event.”

    I watched all 30-odd minutes of the film and did not hear any “screamed” insults nor see any “cowering children.”

    It seemed to be a protest rally by conservatives, yes, and perhaps they were anti Sharia law, but aren’t we about peaceful assembly? They stated that the guest speakers at the rally they were protesting against were advocates of overthrowing the government by “any means.”

    I agree with that, isn’t that illegal – to advocate the violent overthrow of the government.

    Were the speakers at the Muslim rally vocal supporters of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood as asserted by the speakers in the film? If so, aren’t these organizations that advocate violent overthrow of all democratically elected and secular governments?

    I get that “Islamaphobia” is used as an excuse to suppress liberty in the name of liberty, but from the looks of this film, the argument isn’t being made for me.

    I don’t want a theocracy in America either, neither Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Bhuddist or otherwise.

  • Mark Potok

    My bad on Ellison being the only Muslim in Congress. That used to be true. What’s still true is that he was the first Muslim elected to Congress. Thanks to the commenters who pointed out my error.

  • Robert Castle

    Throughout its history the United States has been notorious for witch hunting. Never has there been a witch hunt that had any socially redeeming value.

    Witch hunting is a form of collective punishment – punish everyone of a given group because of the acts of a few. This is a concept hard to justify on any philosophical, religious, or political ground.

    Witch hunting is a strategic ploy to create chaos within the body politic affected thereby. Neocons, largely supported by international corporations dba the Republican Party want to rule the country, not govern it.
    They cannot persuade the voters to accept neoconservatism by rational means so they deploy there Trojan Horses throughout body politic and wait for Murdoch’s propaganda outlets to do the rest.

  • Ben

    Simply as a side note, there are two Muslim Congressmen. Representative Ellison and Representative André Carson of Indianapolis.

  • Seorsa

    I dislike all religions equally. And clearly in the recent history Christian Fundamentalists have done the most slaughter, and if you stretch it out 2000 years there is no doubt who is more evil. The “islamofacists” have killed, what, 4000 innocent civilians in the US. THe US has killed how many 100,000′s in the last ten years? The Christian’s disregard for human life is astounding.

  • Jordan

    “Indeed, there have been hearings on topics such as anti-abortion violence, extremism in the military, and the militia movement.” But the one thing that there wasn’t a hearing on was the ‘radicalization of right-wing Christianity’. Rep. King’s hearing isn’t on ‘Al-Qaeda recruitment’ or ‘Jihadist violence’, his hearing is on an entire religion (the scale of which is impossibly rediculous). If he wants to have a hearing on al-Qaeda recruitment (though it would be far more pertinant to simply have a general hearing about extremism in the U.S.) I have no objection, but this farse is a waste of tax payer money.

  • http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogspot.com/ Tom Shelley

    I am concerned about these hearings and in fact have been supplying information to Irish left-wing republicans, in the hope that Sinn Fein will tell King they no longer want to associate with him.

    Which brings me to the main point I wanted to make. The IRA is not a terrrorist organization. Only about .25% of their operations intentionally killed civilians, many of who were not completely innocent. A good piece on my blog about the arguments in favor of Irish Republicanism is at- http://devlin-mcaliskey.blogsp.....enter.html .

    Peter King is horrible, but the IRA were not terrorists and it’s alos worth noting the Republican Movement (Sinn Fein and the IRA) were/are much, much more left-wing than right-wing.

    Tom

  • skinnyminny

    I’m not being sarcastic or rude, but, I thought Darrell Issa, Republican Congressman from Califas was a Muslim! I’d also like to know why is he silent while all of this goes on, meaning, he did say he wanted to cut gov’t waste, and start numerous investigations!

  • http://www.impeachforpeacemarshall.org Rael Nidess, M.D.

    Mark,

    It’s high-time that Brigitte Gabriel’s virulently Islamophobic “American Congress for Truth” or “ACT!” be listed among the Center’s hate groups!

    Her voice is among those most involved in the demonization of not just American Muslims, but ALL 1.6 Billion of Earth’s Muslims as vicious jihadis whose sole purpose in life is to make America subject to the Shari’a.

    While she acts out the unresolved conflicts of her childhood traumas unwitting fools like Rep. Peter King listen and in a Pavolvian reflex, begin salivating… to everyones’ loss.

  • MK Miller

    Please find documentation oh Rep. King’s very supportive relationship with NORAID and The PIRA. It is out there. Niall O’Dowd of IrishCentral dot com has written of it.

    Example:

    In 1985 the official representatives of the Republic of Ireland boycotted the NY St. Patrick’s Day parade because of Rep. King well documented ties to the Provisional Irish Republican Army, a terrorist organization.

    Also an FOIA request on the activites of his time in Belfast.

  • Ian

    The religious right’s paranoia over any discussion of Christian extremism is no reason not to have a discussion of Islamic extremism. Indeed, there have been hearings on topics such as anti-abortion violence, extremism in the military, and the militia movement. I do not see any difference between those hearings or the DHS report and King’s hearing.

    The “80%-85%” statistic comes from a moderate Muslim cleric. Question it if you like, I do, but to cast this as some invention of anti-Muslim extremists is inaccurate.

    Al Qaeda has a long history of recruiting American Muslims, and Anwar al-Awlaki, Adam Gadahn, and the numerous recruits for the Qaeda-linked Somali group al-Shabaab are testements to their success in that field.

    King, with his long history of apologetics for the IRA and general crazyness, is not the best poster child for this cause, but this is a discussion that must be had. To cast this as an anti-Muslim witch hunt ignores the many moderate Muslims – real moderates, not CAIR’s moderates – who support this and who have barely been mentioned in the Intelligence Project’s reporting. These people are putting their lives on the line to expose hate, and they deserve our support.

  • Linnea

    I don’t understand how this King character keeps getting elected to Congress. He is clearly not interested in facts. Where is he getting his information, I wonder, or is it all just his own imagination? While I strongly disliked 99% of what W. Bush did, he at least refused to fall into the trap of demonizing all Muslims because of the actions of a few deeply misguided ones.