Rep. Peter King, newly elected Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, announced yesterday he will hold Congressional hearings to combat “radicalization of the American Muslim community,” a move that will undoubtedly strain relations between the government and Muslim leaders. He must be stopped, and Eric Holder’s just the man for the job.
“There’s a disconnect between outstanding Muslims who contribute so much to the future of our country and those leaders who — for whatever reason — acquiesce in terror or ignore the threat. It is this disconnect that threatens the security of us all,” wrote King in an op-ed for ‘Newsday’ yesterday.
The New York Republican concluded, “As chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I will do all I can to break down the wall of political correctness and drive the public debate on Islamic radicalization. These hearings will be a step in that direction. It’s what democracy is all about.” His comments recall the days of Joseph McCarthy, the Senator who led the anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s.
In fact, the Committee on American Islamic Relations released a statement making that very comparison. They — and many others — have also called him a “bigot.”
King doesn’t appear to mind being targeted by CAIR and like-minded activists. In fact, he wears the acrimony as a badge of honor, dismissing their criticism as misguided political correctness. “To some in the strata of political correctness, I’m a pretty bad guy. To be blunt, this crowd sees me as an anti-Muslim bigot,” he wrote in the ‘Newsday’ piece, and he told Fox News, “That’s political correct nonsense. But I’m willing to take that hit if I have to.”
The Republican congressman’s proclamation comes as Muslim-government relations are at a low point. Recent FBI stings in Oregon and California involving young Muslim men have some wondering whether the government’s going to alienate the Muslim population. While Holder describes their tactics as “forward-leaning,” CAIR’s executive director Hussam Ayloush disagrees.
“‘Forward-leaning’ seems to be basically if someone has not crossed the bridge, we will push them forward, we will tip them over the edge,” he contended. “That is not how a government should be treating its citizens.”
Holder, however, has defended the stings as essential, although did warn potentially explosive Americans that he, the Justice Department and the FBI will not tolerate anti-Muslim hate crimes, violence or harassment.
“I believe that law enforcement has an obligation to ensure that members of every religious community enjoy the ability to worship and to practice their faith in peace,” he said. “Free from intimidation, violence or suspicion.” King’s hearings qualify as at least two of those three things: intimidation and suspicion.
If Holder and his team at the Justice Department want to nip anti-Muslim activity in the bud, they need to pipe up and pressure King to stand down, because the congressman’s proposal casts a shadow of doubt over our fellow Americans, and the last thing this increasingly divided nation needs is more civil war.