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The Screaming Hypocrisy of Congressman Peter King

By Mark Potok on March 11, 2011 - 3:38 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

Yesterday, in the opening statement of his hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) claimed that his political dog-and-pony show was not Islamophobic because “not one terror-related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis” or other domestic groups.

Oh really, Congressman King? Are you quite sure about that?

In fact, precisely one day before King made his eyebrow-raising claim, law enforcement officials arrested a long-time neo-Nazi in what is undeniably a “terror-related case” — the attempted mass murder of up to 1,500 Martin Luther King Jr. Day marchers in Spokane, Wash. Kevin Harpham, a one-time member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance who ranted for years about race wars and similar matters, was charged in federal court with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and possessing an improvised explosive device. The bomb, reportedly laced with rat poison to make it more deadly, was discovered minutes before the Jan. 17 march was to start and defused by police experts at great personal risk.

But apparently Peter King, despite national publicity, didn’t hear about that.

Well, how about this one, Mr. King? Yesterday, on the very day that you were opening your McCarthyite attack on Muslims in America, state and federal law enforcement authorities arrested five people in the area around Fairbanks, Ala., and charged them in connection with a plot to kidnap or kill a local judge and state troopers. The state police said they had discovered “extensive plans” to carry out these attacks, and added that those arrested had carried out “extensive surveillance” of the homes of two troopers. Those arrested included Francis “Schaeffer” Cox, the head of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, an antigovernment “Patriot” group.

King was widely criticized for the hearings because they specifically singled out the Muslim community as the source of the vast majority of domestic terrorism — even though all the evidence suggests that is false. The Hill newspaper blog, for instance, reported earlier this week that “the FBI has reported that roughly two-thirds of terrorism in the United States was conducted by non-Islamic American extremists from 1980 to 2001; and from 2002 to 2005, it went up to 95 percent.” In a study last month, the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security reported that 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.

But none of that has stopped King from holding what are, in effect, his what’s-wrong-with-Muslims hearings. No amount of arguing that his hearings were effectively demonizing Muslims could sway the New York congressman — let alone indisputable facts that flatly contradict his bigoted claims.

  • Mitch Beales

    Ian your latest remarks suggest you may be ignorant of US law because legally religious discrimination and racism are equal. I sincerely hope that comparisons of the sentiments that produce a hateful DVD will be taken seriously before those sentiments lead to the murder of 6 million. Hate must be taken seriously wherever it is encountered. It is unfortunate that some consider the persecution of the Jews a unique phenomenon that somehow excuses the persecution of others by Jews.

  • Mitch Beales

    Ian the context of Pipes remarks really doesn’t help much. He is concerned that Muslim immigrants will resist assimilation but his comments about their hygiene, their food, and the threat of violence he believes they bring will hardly help the situation. It may be Muslims who resist assimilation but Europeans and Americans isolating them. Former slaves have been very poorly assimilated into “white” American society for identical reasons. In any case it is far too early to draw conclusions since there are relatively few second generation Muslim immigrants in the US.

    For someone who is so critical of Ruslan’s references you seem quite willing to accept the ADL’s condemnation of CAIR based on the claim that it was “Founded by leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP),” which ADL claims was an “anti-Semitic propaganda organization” without offering any supporting references. A glance at the ADL’s page on “Anti-Semitism in the Arab/Muslim World” suggests that they equate opposition to the actions of the state of Israel with anti-semitism.

    Why should Geert Wilders criticize any religious books? It is not those books or any others that cause problems but people acting on their own hateful interpretations of these ancient texts. It seems odd that you think Wilders should not be prosecuted for inciting hatred of Muslims but that somehow written religious texts should be held responsible for the damage done by those who claim to be following their teachings.

    There is quite a difference between terms like “Christian right” or “religious right” and “radical Islam”. In fact it could be easily argued that Muslim terrorists are part of the “religious right.” If you want to talk about “radical Islam” the equivalent might be “imperialist Christianity.” What you seem to prefer is terms that suggest that some Christians are a problem while Islam itself is the problem. Also, in case you are not aware of the fact, many tax dodgers do not consider themselves sovereign citizens. Many of them consider themselves business and government leaders.

  • Ian


    Religious discrimination and racism are far from equal. One chooses their religion, while race, though not a scientific concept, is almost always chosen for us. Racism is clearly the lesser of two evils.

    The reason why I feel I have to keep reminding people that Islam is not a race is because the terms “racism” and “racist” are being thrown around when nobody is attacking anyone’s race. Hell, for the most part, they aren’t even attacking anyone’s religion, but a small strain of that religion.

    Al Qaeda is not the only group of fanatics in the Muslim world. Ironically, you are making the same mistake the article accuses “Obsession” of making (not without some justification, I should add), namely that there are many different types of Islamic extremism.

    My point was that the pundit in question’s comparison of the treatment of Muslims with the treatment of Jews (the latter also being the target of many attacks by the former, both today and during the Holocaust) is ridiculous and shows the emptiness of his argument. The Jews of pre-war Europe did not blow themselves up in pizzarias, stab children, engage in honor killings, or attack gay people in European streets.

    No person can compare the sentiments which lead to the murder of 6 million people to sentiments that lead to the production of a cheap DVD and still honestly ask to be taken seriously.

  • Jordan

    Islam is a religion (I never said it was a race, but religious descrimination and racism are equal, therefore if one is exceptable, so to is the other). You have stated that, because of the actions of third world fanatical organization like al-Qaeda descrimination against Muslims here in the first world is somehow more exceptable than anti-Semitism. If this is true, that must also mean that racism is exceptable due to the violence perpetrated by individuals of any given ‘race’ (race being a societal concept like religion). So which is it? Is religious and racial descrimination more acceptable when based on the actions of the fanatical minority, or is it unacceptable in every circumstance.

  • Ian

    “So, when racism and descrimination [sic] are based on the actions of a fanatical few it’s completely O.K.?”

    No. And again, Islam is not a race.

  • Jordan

    “Apologies, but after “(though the Jews did”, I meant to point out that fascist antisemitism had no basis in any physical threat, while anti-Islamic sentiment is based on a legitimate fear of terrorism and other violence.” So, when racism and descrimination are based on the actions of a fanatical few it’s completely O.K.? I guess that means hating Christianity must be completely acceptable, as well as hating every ‘race’ humanity has ever conjured up.

  • Ian

    Apologies, but after “(though the Jews did”, I meant to point out that fascist antisemitism had no basis in any physical threat, while anti-Islamic sentiment is based on a legitimate fear of terrorism and other violence.

  • Ian


    I am an imperialist apologist because I oppose Islamic imperialism? If you are going to name-call and issue ad hominem attacks, at least try to justify them. And for a man who has excused HAMAS to accuse me of supporting imperialism is Orwellian.

    But onto the rebuttal. First, the comparison to “The Birth of a Nation” is absolutely disgusting. At no point in “Obsession” does it glorify lynching people because of their religion, much less their race. The author or authors seem incapable of writing without hyperbole.

    Remember, I asked what evidence you had that the Muslim interviewees were “extremely anti-Islamic”. The page linked to contained no such evidence, so I went to the section marked “The Pundits”, still optimistic. Sadly, I found nothing. One disliked the film, but could not articulate any solid errors they made, and threw in a reducto ad hitlerum for good measure (though the Jews did .) The other was, gasp, a Bush supporter. So were the majority of Muslim-American voters in the 2000 election. Are they “extremely anti-Islamic” too?

    Under the names of two other Muslims it says “More Information, Coming Soon”. I am practically giddy with anticipation. Forgive my sarcasm, but this article leaves me no alternative.

    And for a person accusing me of being an “imperialist apologist!” (I nearly expected five more exclamation marks, maybe with a 1 mixed in) to post a link to an article containing apologetics for a Nazi ally is mind-blowing.

    Anyone with a knowledge of Wahhabism will find the defenses of Saudi Arabia’s record on extremism to laughable. They are the primary funders of extremist mosques responsible for producing the very Wahhabist violence the author or authors pretend to be concerned about. Anyone with a MEMRI subscription would find the denial of extremism to be curious, to be very generous.

    And again, no mention of “The Third Jihad”.

    Here is the first quote in context:

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Read up, imperialist apologist!

    Totally non-racist comment from Daniel Pipes: “Pipes has previously stated that, “Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene… All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most” and that “In its long history of immigration, the United States has never encountered so violence-prone and radicalized a community as the Muslims who have arrived since”

  • Ian


    The majority of the charges against Wilders revolve around his criticisms of the religion itself. He has argued that the Quran should be banned under hate speech laws, which may be where the accusations of persecution come from. That being said, I fail to see how any unbiased person could not notice that the Quran (and other religious books) clearly violate such laws when read literally.

    Should Wilders also criticize other religious books? Yes. But double standards should not be enough to land one in jail, especially when the majority of the Netherlands violent extremism comes from one holy book.

    Couldn’t terms like “Christian right” or “religious right” suffer from the same problems you have with “radical Islam”? It is pretty hard to write something about extremist behavior without writing about the beliefs that lead to said behavior. It’s like asking the Intelligence Project to write about tax-dodgers without writing about sovereign citizens, or writing about anti-gay activism without mentioning fundamentalist Christianity.

    Re: CAIR


    No, that is not what I wanted. I asked for evidence that those Muslim interviewees in “Obsession” and the Muslim director of “The Third Jihad” are “extremely anti-Islamic”.

    The article only guesses at the motivations of the film-makers. When one swims through the rhetoric of the article, the only pieces of evidence it has is that 1) one interviewee, only one, does not like Islam and 2) the group that paid for “Obsession”‘s distribution is “shadowy”. The article doesn’t mention “The Third Jihad”.

  • Jack Anliker

    Rep King was a supporter of IRA terrorists until he had a falling out with their front organization then he made disparaging remarks about the Irish. When I was in the US Army in West Germany, I traveled in Great Britain and the Irish Republic and had to follow procedures and precautions to avoid being a victim of Rep King’s good buddies. Why this man isn’t censured by Congress is beyond reason. He has now found another group of people to hate.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    So you wanted evidence about Obsession’s Islamophobia? Enjoy: http://www.theamericanmuslim.o....._on_islam/

  • Consuelo Hannan

    King should answer question about his ira support. the best way to get these people to do what is important for this country is to purge them from our electorial system. the gop is nothing but an elected hate group.

  • Mitch Beales

    So, Ian, would it be OK for Nazis to persecute Jews based on their religion as Geert Wilders and other anti-Islam spokespersons have proposed doing to Muslims? The church militant is a theological concept. The point is not that the juxtaposition of a religion and the word militant is offensive. The point is that militant Islam may mean different things to different people and Pipes condemnation of “militant Islam” is so broad as to be hateful. If he is opposed to certain behavior let him oppose the behavior rather than the beliefs people cite to justify that behavior.

    Please show evidence that CAIR is “pseudo-moderate.”

    Along with many Muslims I oppose the persecution of Palestinians by the state of Israel and this does not make me either anti-semitic or a supporter of “militant Islam.”

  • Ian


    Two people have used Wikipedia in this thread. I was neither of them. I must ask, are you on this site to have reasonable, adult conversations or to engage in pseudo-intellectual, macho contests?

    “[V]ideos like Obsession are in fact extremely anti-Islamic”

    Please show evidence that the Muslim anti-extremists interviewed for that documentary are “extremely anti-Islamic” or evidence that Pipes, Emerson, or the makers of those two films dislike “dark people”. If I criticize Mormon fundamentalists or the Jewish Defense League does that mean I dislike “light people” because those two groups are mostly light-skinned? How does this explain the dislike many opponents of radical Islam have for Ibrahim Hooper, the white spokesman for the pseudo-moderate CAIR?

    While I do not question that any given opponent of religion A may oppose religion A because religion A is associated with racial or ethnic group(s) B, it does not automatically follow that all opponents of one particular strain of religion A (not even the whole religion) dislike racial or ethnic group(s) B. I oppose radical Mormonism, but this does not make me anti-white. I oppose radical Judaism, but this does not make me antisemitic. I oppose radical Hinduism, but this does not make me anti-Indian. I oppose radical Buddhism, but this does not make me anti-East Asian, etc. etc. etc.


    The Nazis hated the Jewish “race”, which is why they killed Christian Jews and atheist Jews. The number of non-self loathing Jews who have criticized various aspects of Judaism is innumerable. And while the majority of adherents to Judaism are ethnic Jews, Muslims come in dozens and dozens of ethnic groups. Most Muslims are not Arab.

    I wanted to straighten out what you meant in the last sentence. Do you think the combination of “religion X” with “militant” or “radical” is offensive? Because when you said “the church militant” I did not quite get what you mean.

  • Mitch Beales

    So do Nazis hate the Jewish religion or the Jewish race? Does it matter even one tiny bit? If I were to claim that the church militant is a threat to the USA Christians would be rightfully offended regardless of what I claimed I meant by “the church militant.”

  • Tanbiker

    Bravo, Mark,

    Please take care to ensure that you and your family and your fellow workers and SPLC are well protected. The gun goons, right wing loonies and tea parties will be trying to hurt you all. You have our full support and appreciation.

    A truly patriotic Montanan.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Don’t worry folks, Ian is already known for wikipedia scholarship and deciding which experts we should listen to.

    The fact is that Daniel Pipes is an imperialist apologist, and videos like Obsession are in fact extremely anti-Islamic. Moreover, the fact that Islam is not a race does not mean that Islamophobia does not have a kernal of racism inherent in it. Islam is often associated with “dark people”.

  • George

    Instead of finger pointing and accusations aimed at the Peter King committee, the Islamic community should grasp this opportunity to showcase what they have done since 9/11. This is a great opportunity to clear the air as mainstream media has not offered a balanced reporting on the issue of the Islamic faith in the U.S.

    I would have hoped the major networks would televise the hearings. Let’s all listen to the reports and statements made by committee members and witnesses in the hopes
    of shining a fair light on Islam in the U.S.

  • Jordan

    “As readers of this blog know, Christian Identity has zero to do with mainstream Christianity. I could show a dozen other examples of the Christian right confusing criticism of fundamentalist Christianity with hatred of Christians. Why do so many (mostly non-Muslims) on this site make the same mistake with Islam?” Because we are aware that people like King don’t see the difference between Muslim extremists and normal Muslims. He has himself claimed that 80% of American mosques are controlled by extremists, these people claim to target extremism, yet they see extremism everywhere in their targeted minority.
    “The second Wikipedia article you posted is about laws banning racist speech. Islam is not a race and as far as I know Wilders was not accused of racist incitement.”
    Try this link
    Many nations have laws against hate speech which encompass religious descrimination.

  • Ian


    Where did I say no Muslims at all are “turning in terrorists”? Where did I say “right wing whites are not […]committing acts of terrorism […] in the US”?


    Pipes argues that militant Islam is not the same thing as Islam. That’s why his was talking about a “war against militant Islam”, not a “war against Islam”.

    The, arguably justifiable, discomfort that people have with the terms “radical Islam” or “militant Islam” remind me of Christian Right paranoid screwup #98394.

    As readers of this blog know, Christian Identity has zero to do with mainstream Christianity. I could show a dozen other examples of the Christian right confusing criticism of fundamentalist Christianity with hatred of Christians. Why do so many (mostly non-Muslims) on this site make the same mistake with Islam?

    If that is the best evidence that Pipes is anti-Islam, it leaves a lot to be desired.

    The second Wikipedia article you posted is about laws banning racist speech. Islam is not a race and as far as I know Wilders was not accused of racist incitement.

  • Terry Washington

    As I said before, Rep. Peter King seems not to have a problem with terrorists per se -just those named Faisal, Mohammed, Ahmed or Mohammed as opposed to those with names like Kevin, Seamus or Patrick( ie Islamic fundamentalist terrorists as opposed to Irish Republican ones) BTW what IS his stance on “Gitmo”( the Maze Prison of its day) and “enhanced interrogation techniques” for Al Qaeda suspects( as the Wall Street Journal coyly terms torture) or is he in favour of tactics for “ragheads” that he would presumably decry when used on the Caucasian Catholics of the PIRA???

  • Mitch Beales

    Ian Daniel Pipes may believe that the moon is made of green cheese but his website certainly appears to be anti-Islam. The fact that he “debated” someone with even more extreme views really doesn’t matter at all. I have not watched the films and have no desire to so I have no idea what “conclusions” are reached. The “conclusions” Daniel Pipes seems to reach include things like, “If the U.S. government intends to prevail in the current conflict, it must start talking about the war against militant Islam.” This certainly appears to me to be “attacking a religion” and although you say that Geert Wilders is only accused of this he is in fact accuse of “incitement to hatred and discrimination”. Although you claim that “most civilized nations do not punish” this it appears that several do. I would certainly hope, considering Germany’s history, that they have similar laws. Wilders is apparently considered persona non grata there and perhaps in the UK as well. Perhaps Daniel Pipes is guilty of a similar crime but luckily for him (and for all of us) even hateful speech is protected in the USA. As happy as I am that the USA provides such freedom I believe that this, like our abysmal funding of health care and higher education, is not something we share with “civilized nations.”

  • Africanus Germanicisus Julianus

    Congressmman King should note that the National Alliance, and al Qaeda, both like to “….beat their B**chs good…..”, because, “….women should know their place….”, and that, if we needed someone to torture a Jew, or to show up and Hoot n Holler a lot whenever we decide that we wanna BURN A WITCH – or Something Else that’s FUN, maybe, say; Baiting a BEAR! – that the National Alliance would provide Masses of Brown Uniforms to Restart the Final Solution.
    They Disqust Me – just as I disqust Them, cause I’m a Jew n’ N-word Lovin’ Pinko Terrorist (not really, but to them….).

  • Snorlax

    How much is Ian getting paid to promote a website in here?

    Muslim countries are our allies in the Global War Against Terrorism. Sorry, Ian, but you’re wrong if you claim that Muslims are not turning in terrorists.

    And you’re wrong if you agree with King that right wing whites are not also committing acts of terrorism right here in the US.

  • Ian

    Jimmy Laz,

    Daniel Pipes is not anti-Muslim. He believes that Islam is not a irrevocably violent religion and, like all other major faiths, is capable of moderation. He has debated this point with other opponents of Islamism.

    The films “Obsession” and “The Third Jihad” go out of their way to show that the vast majority of Muslims both in the US and around the world are non-violent. The former contains many interviews with Muslims and the latter is directed by a Muslim man.

    Disagree with the conclusions of either the films or Pipes if you wish, but counter them with facts, not made up allegations of sectarianism.

    And for those who are unaware, the only crime Wilders is being accused of is attacking a religion, something most civilized nations do not punish. Christian Reconstructionists and the Taliban, on the other hand, would surly applaud.

  • Jimmy Laz

    In order to purge Muslims from a country you must create an environment of hearsay, suspicion and all around hate-mongering. This is done through exaggerated claims repeated again and again by a small group that slowly gets a larger group to believe it through media. This group pounded the hate drums after 9/11; Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer and David Horowitz. They were originators of Brand Islam Hate and they have grown international, now working in tandem with European Neo-Nazi groups to create a global fear of Islam. There most recent advocate was New York resident Pamela Gellar, paid by Spencer to rail against the supposed “Ground Zero Mosque” which was nowhere near ground zero. Ironically, Gellar herself had a patchy past involved in murders subject to an investigation on fraud but also resident of Senator Peter Kings county, Nassau County in Long Island. The one thing in common they share is they are Jews paid by Aish Ben Torah, a zionist “religious” institution that incidentally funded the Obsession and Third Jihad DVD campaign that managed to spread Anti-Islamic Video Propaganda all over the US via newspapers before the Obama election. The statistics and interviews they rely on are paid lackeys and anti-islamic mouth puppets from their own Pro-Israel, anti-arab clique. You continually see these same people even speaking at the Peter King hearings banging the drum. Meanwhile, UK Muslims make up 2% of Britains ( population yet the EMP rails on as if they are invading. Sweden banned minarets yet Muslims account for .02% of the population and there are 2 mosques in the damn country. Similarly in the US the idea is to perpetuate an overwhelming sense of religious dogma and spread fear to purge muslims and enact a greater program. These criminals, the vilifiers and hate-mongers are the ones that need to be put on trial and full investigation as that which Geert Wilders underwent last year in Holland.

  • Jordan

    The difference between war and terror is simple. Both kill, both have at times targeted civilians and military alike, but war is conducted by recognized nations against groups or other nations, while terrorism is the other way around. Terrorism is groups targeting nations or other groups. This is simple if you consider the following. The Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, civilians were killed killed as were military personnel. This was an act of war, the Empire of Japan was a recognized nation. Had the orchestrators of 9/11 been, say, Iranian special forces, it would have also been an act of war. Terrorism and war are political and societal labels.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “There is nothing in the style of Middle Eastern terrorism where people blow up buildings with humans inside?”

    There is nothing about this that is UNIQUE to Middle Eastern terrorism.

  • Mitch Beales

    Ian war, like terrorism, is targeted at whatever seems likely to produce the desired result. Examples where armed forces were not targeted include the Battle of Britain, the firebombing of Dresden, and the nuclear attacks on Japan. The point of all these attacks, like the point of terrorism, was to bring about a result by inflicting terrifying damage on the enemy. Your sanitized version of war leaves out things like rape as a weapon, sowing salt in the fields of the conquered, the torching of Atlanta, and countless other “tactics” that prove beyond doubt that war is hell. Terrorism, by comparison, is a brief time in purgatory. The only difference between war and terrorism is that terrorists have no delusions that they can conquer those they attack.

  • R Lavigueur


    In most cases, the term eco-terrorism is a term used to attempt to paint destruction of property as a crime morally the same as the murder of innocent people. Unless actual civilians are targeted in an indiscriminate fashion, calling these acts terrorism is spurious at best.

    As for a distinction between war and terrorism, there is a long history of war targeting civilians specifically, as a strategy to reduce the morale of the opposing faction. The most telling example from American history is the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, targets chosen because their architecture and geography ensured the maximum amount of civilian casualties per bomb dropped.

    The goal was to terrify the Japanese people and government into surrendering, under the logic of “total war” which assumes that there is no distinction between military personnel and civilians, thus rendering them equally acceptable targets. This too, is a justification frequently used by terrorists for their actions.

    It may or may not be possible to fight wars without engaging in terrorism and deliberate attacks against civilians, but as Ruslan noted, the dividing line between the two methods is hazy at best.

  • Ian


    While property destruction is their specialty, they have taken to violence also.

    But take other examples. The PIRA and other Republican groups in Northern Ireland sometimes warned people before attacking targets where civilians may be around. The ETA mostly hit politicians or police. Most hostage takers of any ideology do not kill their hostages without trying to negotiate.

    There is nothing in the style of Middle Eastern terrorism where people blow up buildings with humans inside?

    Argue if you will that Emerson should have chosen his words more cautiously, but to say that even the worse interpretation of what he said in 1995 automatically discounts everything he or anyone connected with him wrote after that is an ad hominem. I am fully prepared for someone to show that the analysis is wrong, but you can’t do that by attacking the person who may have writen it.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Matt Bors skewers King:

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Eco-terrorists” are not terrorists at all, they are at best petty-vandals. That’s why all REAL terrorism is designed to kill as many people as possible. There was nothing “Middle Eastern” about the OKC bombing.

  • Ian


    Actions by eco-terrorists, even when they are directed at people, are not designed to kill as many people as possible. There are many other terrorist groups who try to limit their slaughter so as to not outrage the targeted population. Many do not target women, childen, or the elderly. The location of the day care center at Oklahoma City raised suspicions.

    War is targeted (not always sucessfully) at armed forces. Terrorism targets civilians. Comparing war and terrorism is like comparing self-defense or involuntary manslaughter with first degree murder.

    Rich people use both terrorism and war, as evidenced by the college-educated 9/11 hijackers, bin Laden, Arafat, and dozens of other examples. There is little to no correlation between poverty and the likelyhood a person or group will commit terrorism.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Any terrorist attack is designed to kill as many people as possible. The fact that Mr. Emerson sees this as “Middle Eastern” clearly proves his bias. Incidentally, the expensive weapons which rich countries use to arm their forces are also designed to kill as many people as possible, but the violence of the rich and powerful is called “war”, not “terrorism”.

  • CM

    The “open-and-shut” was my interpretation based on memory, and on further checking I see it was faulty. What Emerson actually said, according to the American Journalism Review (, was that the Oklahoma City bomb was intended “to inflict as many casualties as possible. That is a Middle Eastern trait.” Just as making hasty generalizations is a trait of the illogical.

    And no, the fact that Emerson’s for-profit company received almost half of the Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation’s revenue (in 2009, the most recent year reported to the IRS) doesn’t “prove” that his methodology is flawed. But it does suggest that he might have something of a financial incentive to be inflammatory.

    I don’t disagree with your original point that “Right-wing and Islamist violence should both be vigorously investigated.” But if the choice is between Emerson’s research and Mark Potok’s statistics from the FBI and other law enforcement sources, I think it’s obvious which is more “questionable.”

  • Ian

    The IPT’s response to the “Tennessean” article:


    Emerson only said that the attack bore the traits of Islamist attacks, not that it was “open-and-shut”.

    None of this proves, or disproves that the IPT’s analysis of the studies cited by Potok is correct.

  • CM


    Here’s a detailed look at several of the flaws in Emerson’s corner of the universe:

    Recall, too, that Emerson emphatically opined in the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing that it looked like an open-and-shut case of Islamic terrorism. How’s that for careful, reasoned analysis of the facts?

    As for Rep. King, he and his ilk exemplify a claim of being “unbiased” that really goes like this: I have nothing against Muslims, I just wish they weren’t so Islamic.

  • Ian

    “Emerson has spent the last 20 years trying to get Islam eradicated from the face of the earth[…]”


    “[A]nything his group has to say is about as unbiased as a KKK report on what’s really going on in the black community.”

    I have yet to hear Emerson or anyone at the Investigative Project propose lynching people.

    If you feel his interpretation of the data is wrong, by all means, show us where you find flaws in it.

  • Aaron

    Using Steven Emerson’s group as a point of reference to try to discredit Potok’s figures is a questionable strategy. Emerson has spent the last 20 years trying to get Islam eradicated from the face of the earth and anything his group has to say is about as unbiased as a KKK report on what’s really going on in the black community.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Any chance of getting UK authorities to issue an arrest warrant for this clownshoe?

  • Blow

    Don’t forget that America is responsible for the death of over 1.5 million (Red Cross estimates) Iraqis and Afghans—not to mention to Vietnamese and other subject people from around the world. These right wing are such liars. They make me sick.

  • Linnea

    Very well said, Mark. The reason Rep. King hasn’t seen any white supremacist terror plots recently is because he’s chosen not to see them. Also, I suspect it’s easier to go after Muslims because a lot of people in this country still see them as the “other.” Nice job “keeping them honest,” as Anderson Cooper says on his show.

  • ADM

    Skinnyminny, if there were no labels, there would still be problems concerning racism and discrimination.

  • magnetite

    From across the pond in the UK (my claim to have an opinion is that I have a Palestinian brother-in-law and two wonderful nieces for whom I fear – as we Brits slink along five paces behind the US right-wing on issues like this), this looks worse than McCarthyism, godawful disgrace though that was.

    It looks and sounds like the rumblings that became the persecution that became the internment of Japanese-Americans in 1942. I hope it stops at rumblings.

  • Jonas Rand

    I have no idea about this but it seems highly Islamophobic. Can someone inform me of what actually takes place during these hearings?

  • Ian

    The oft-cited figures that Mr. Potok uses are questionable.


    Right-wing and Islamist violence should both be vigorously investigated, not turned into a political game by either the Kings or the CAIRs of the world.

  • skinnyminny

    I think part of this strategy is to do to CAIR what has been done to ACORN…

    Again, I love it when these rightwing politicians use the podium to make accusations against minorities as if they know what they are doing and saying.

    Perhaps some of these guys that have no clue about minorities or the poor should take note. First off, it doesn’t matter if they bring in speakers who claim to have first hand knowledge, or their experts. Because the ones they bring in are business owners. Meaning, yeah, there are people that grew up in what some would view as less-than-desirable neighborhoods, however, once they get on their feet, they move out and vow not to go back because they are either better than the people they left behind or they claim the people they left behind will beg or steal from them.

    Again I stress the policies and treatment towards minorities and the poor. Let’s use this for an example, television loves to show people that are well-to-do with mansions and teens driving luxury cars. Well, if you have kids that have none of the above, and all of this is being thrown in their face – what do you think you’re doing to the kids of the have-nots. You have kids that are taught to tease people for what they look like and what they wear, so if you have a kid that teases another kid because of holes in his shoes or pants, how do you think they act towards kids that wear clothing that is worn in other countries?

    There’s redlining policies in poor communities – loans and property/car insurance. The stores in the poor communities – convienence/liquor stores are rumored to be small interest loans given to foreign-born citizens, while the minorities that live in those communities can’t get a loan/or a decent loan with/without good credit. On the flip side, the stores are victims of theft from some of (not all) the poor residents, and this causes tensions, and the owners start to look down on an entire race of people (mainly blacks) blacks and latinos, yet, it can happen in a poor white neighborhood, but, you will never hear it publicly that whites will steal as well.

    People are invited to live in this country, the land of milk and honey. But, if they come without connections or wealth, they are expected to work-milking the cows and working the bee fields to provide these goods for the well-to-do. Basically, they will never be fully accepted, but will be accused of not assimilating in our society. How can anyone be accused of not assimilating when people are judged on their skin color/religious beliefs? I believe that if everyone was just American instead of the labels, Mexican-American, African-American…we wouldn’t have these problems. People would have a sense of belonging and wouldn’t need to have organizations/businesses that cater to specific groups, i.e. CAIR, NAACP. If the politicians would start applying the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs instead of Peter Principles maybe they would be viewed as a person of the people.

  • somehippie

    King accusing all Muslims of being terrorists or in league with terrorists is also flamingly hypocritical because he SENT MONEY to I.R.A. terrorists in Ireland who were religious/nationalist terrorists that murdered civilians routinely and as a strategy to further their aim. He has sent money to terrorists, they were white “Christian” terrorists, but they were still terrorists and they were some of biggest scumbags to ever walk the earth, now this same guy is lambasting Muslims. The hypocrisy is as sickening as this bigotry.