Incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is already causing quite a commotion with his plans to hold congressional hearings on what he calls the "radicalization of the American Muslim community." According to King, "mainstream" Muslims are being silenced by their leaders and it's up to Congress to uncover why.
Never mind that Rep. King's belief is flat-out wrong. Like others who have launched political careers by demonizing a specific ethnic group, King dismisses all criticism of his proposed witch hunt as "politically correct nonsense." King even takes it one step further and maintains that the proposed investigations are for the good of all Muslims.
King represents the latest Republican to jump on the "radical Islam and Sharia law are infiltrating our country" bandwagon. While the movement has so far been limited to misguided states like Oklahoma, given the prominence in King's appointment the potential for these hearings, should they happen, to further strain America's relationships abroad is very real.
Our economy is just now starting to turn around. Despite being infused with taxpayer dollars, Wall Street and corporate America are refusing to hire workers, choosing instead to sit on their cash and pay out enormous executive bonuses. Again. And all with the blessing of Republicans like King.
At what point with the American public demand the GOP work to actually solve the problems facing this country instead of simply scapegoating minorities in lieu of actual leadership? The last thing this country needs is to re-visit McCarthyism given the number of Americans teetering on the financial edge. Clearly though the Republicans plan to answer to a different constituency.
Minnesota — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, responded Monday to recent comments by a GOP colleague who promised to hold hearings on the “radicalization” of American Muslims next year.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who will take the reins as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee next year, announced his plans to investigate Muslim Americans last week.
Ellison claimed that King's rhetoric would only succeed in further fraying trust between Muslims and the authorities, as well making a significant portion of the American populace feel increasingly isolated.
Rep. King also suggested in a recent Fox News interview that he was willing to be called a "bigot" over his plans, but that criticisms over his hawkish new calls to combat Muslim "radicalization" were simply "politically correct nonsense."
Ellison responded by airing his broad concern over radicalization, before arguing that King's choice to aggressively target only Muslims would "vilify" the community.
Related: Peter King to hold hearings on Muslim radicalization