While the world was engrossed in the tragic events of the natural disaster in Japan and the popular revolutions in the Middle East, Representative Peter King, Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, was busy “investigating” the causes of Islamic radicalization in the United States. An apt line of inquiry, some might argue as some Muslim youth have been radicalized recently and have been covered by the US media.
But what baffles my mind is that Mr. King, so sanguine in his public witch hunt about Islamic terrorism, has been an unapologetic supporter of the IRA. His argument for this long-term engagement with a terrorist organization can be roughly summed up: The IRA has been fighting to oust the British from Ireland and cannot, therefore, be considered the same kind of terrorists as the locally radicalized Muslim terrorists. He, inf fact, is on record for making the following statement: “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it.”
So if we are applying such subtle logic to terrorism, then what does the honorable representative have against Hamas, the Hizbullah, the Moro liberation Front, and the FARC; last I heard, all of these organizations were also fighting to oust their oppressors from their territories.
There is, however, something more sinister in these hearings: they open a path toward singling out different groups as examples in order to please one’s constituencies. Yes, some of the Muslim youth have been misguided but by making that a topic of a committee hearing, the representative and his supporters are causing more harm to America and American relations with the Muslim world. In fact, these actions are likely to strengthen the arguments made by Al-Qaeda and other terroristic groups who already claim that America is inherently anti-Muslim.
There are over one billion Muslims in the world, who, by and large live meaningful, peaceful lives sometimes under hard economic and political conditions. Yes, the revolutionary politics of radical Islam does lure away some of them but that does not mean that all Muslims, like Mr. King, are terrorist sympathizers. If majority of Muslims had terroristic leanings, the world would be quite a dangerous place simply in terms of their numbers. Sadly, though, this sham committee hearing by a known terrorist sympathizer is only likely to become yet another recruiting blurb on the Al-Qaeda brochures.
So, Representative King: tread carefully and do not play politics with what we all belive to be real America: tolerant, diverse, and compassionate.