On Muslims, King has reached his own fact-less conclusion

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will begin holding hearings Thursday on “the extent of … Continued

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will begin holding hearings Thursday on “the extent of the radicalization of American Muslims.” Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has characterized the hearings as “a witch hunt.” Are they?

King also has said he believes the “self-radicalization” of American Muslims represents “a very small minority” of the overall community. What are the potential consequences of singling out one religious group?

All one needs to know about what is behind the King hearings can be gleaned by Peter King’s own statements regarding Muslims in the US.

How does Rep. King feel about Islam in the United States?

“Unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country. There are too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully. We should be finding out how we can infiltrate [them].

How does King know so much about radicalization in the US? From a single source more than decade ago.

“The only real testimony we have on it is from Sheikh Kabbani who was a Muslim leader during the Clinton Administration, he testified back in 1999 and 2000 before the State Department that he thought over 80 percent of the mosques in this country are controlled by radical Imams. Certainly from what I’ve seen and dealings I’ve had, that number seems accurate.”

King’s single source, Sheikh Kabbani, is a Sufi Muslim who has advocated for peace and tolerance in Islam but who by his own admission is not an authority on Islam in America and who has admitted to simply stating his personal opinion – an opinion that has been contradicted by both the FBI and by every scholar who has studied the matter. Oh, and by the way, Sheikh Kabbani has also claimed that any Muslim who advises the US government is also “an extremist.” But King is not interested in facts. He just feels like it must be at least 80%.

“It was 80 percent back in 2000. Based on the radicalization since then, it has to be — I have no doubt, I have problem at all in saying it’s 85 percent. If it’s not 85, it’s still 80.”

And King has reliable sources to back up his feeling.

“I can get you the documentation on that from experts in the field. Talk to a Steve Emerson… It’s a real issue … I’ll stand by that number of 85 percent. This is an enemy living amongst us.”

That’s Steve Emerson, the “expert in the field” who has turned Islamophobia into a multi-million dollar career. Emerson has been caught in so many lies and distortions that the media watchdog group Fairness in Accuracy and Reporting (FAIR) has devoted an entire page to debunking his wild and exaggerated accusations. In an in-depth report of his writings, FAIR concludes that, “Emerson’s willingness to push an extremely thin story–with potentially explosive consequences–is… consistent with the lengthy list of mistakes and distortions that mar his credentials as an expert on terrorism.”

Of course, King could try to speak to American Muslims himself. But it seems he has already reached his own, fact-less conclusions.

“I think there’s been a lack of full cooperation from too many people in the Muslim community. And it’s a real threat here in this country.” … They won’t turn in their own. They won’t tell what’s going on in the mosques. They won’t come forward and cooperate with the police.”

That comes as a surprise to the authorities King claims to be assisting with these hearings. “If he has evidence of non-cooperation, he should bring it forward,” says Los Angeles County’s Sheriff Lee Baca. “We have as much cooperation as we are capable of acquiring through public trust relationships.”

Perhaps all of this explains why even conservative outlets like the National Interest have criticized King’s hearings. The National Interest wrote, “The hearings should never take place, but if they do, the real promoter of anti-Americanism at home and abroad will be Rep. King.”

The bottom line is that King’s hearings were not about making Americans safer. They are about promoting his personal views about Islam and Muslims in the U.S. As such they lend false legitimacy to the anti-Islam hate groups that have flourished in the U.S. since 9/11. We saw a glimpse of this zealotry and hatred recently, when a large group of tea party protesters in Orange County surrounded a Muslim group’s fundraiser yelling obscenities and shouting “Go Back Home!” to the Muslims walking to and from the event. The scene looked much like a chapter of American history that most Americans reflect on with shame. The fact that a representative of Congress held hearings that could lend legitimacy to this type of bigotry is shocking.

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  • LaurainLA

    FACT: radical Islam is a deadly threat. America – do your own homework and consult writers like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (www.aifdemocracy.org) who testified at hearing, and Ayyan Hirsi Ali (theahafoundation.org) and Walid Phares who were denied the right to testify at hearings (thank you CAIR) and more writers like Nonie Darwish (Cruel and Unusual Punishment), Wafa Sultan (The God Who Hates) Dr. Tawfik Hamid (www.tawfikhamid.com), Bruce Bawer (While Europe Slept), plus well-researched books like the “Muslim Mafia.” Rep. King is WARNING America—thus his character is being assassinated by CAIR, the Muslim Students Association (founded by the Muslim Brotherhood), and the useful idiots in our government and “liberal” press who are whoring for Muslim $$$ (NPR can you hear me now)?

  • beekeeper6

    Reza- I know you know the “Muslim group” you refer to at the end was the ICNA, which advocates a push for sharia law in America. King is a POS but that doesn’t mean the issue should be ignored. It’s interesting how liberal Muslims like Dr. Jasser get no love from the American political left, who prefer to run interference for the woman hating extremists. Why is that?

  • Afropick07

    I like the mention of “tea party protesters”. Sure why not throw them under the bus in an unrelated article

  • dollmike

    These Right Wing Teapublican idiots might win their battle on America but they will lose the war. There are only 4 to 6 million FOX affected morons out there and the media treats them like they are most of America, but all the Union bashing, Woman’s health cutting, Public Broadcasting cutting, etc, etc, has awaken real Americans to the threat as could only be made obvious by the Rights own actions after their perceived mandate from a low turnout mid-term election. The American Right is more dangerous to real freedom then anything a Muslim is capable of. The likes of King can try to instill fear in the hearts of Americans all they want but only those already affected will carry the disease. FOX and the Corporate masters of the Tea Party will not endure and the people will win this fight.

  • regulas1

    I see the Post is proud to continue leftist lies. The left loves to defend radical Islam because they have a common enemy, God fearing Christians. The left hates us, our God and belief in freedom. The left like communist dictators because of their supreme control over the people. The Marxist loving left/unions are a bunch of communist sympathizers and are the enemy of freedom. Obama and his ilk drool at the power dictators have and would love to be one himself, I believe that was and still is his plan for the USA. Not going to happen.

  • kkorenthal

    It is absolutely SILLY to suggest that radical Islam is not worthy of a national dialogue. The fact that those that represent the Muslim community were not first to step up and start this conversation is all the more evidence that one needs to occur. Liberals and Muslim apologists have no one to blame for Peter King’s hearings but themselves.Peace-loving Muslims that do not support Sharia Law still have an opportunity to stand up and denounce radical Islam. But if they do so, I suggest they be ready to die for it. Radical Islam allows zero dissent which is one reason that liberals have become useful idiots to the terrorists. They do the will of terrorists when they refuse to have an open dialogue on Islam and the radicalization of that religion. King could have chosen a whole host of much more critical opponents of radical Islam, some of them with stories of the wrath of radical Islam that will make you cry. But he took a centrist approach and allowed the other side of the issue to be WAY over represented considering this unwillingness to hold these discussions.

  • clearthinking1

    Mr. Asslan,You and Eboo Patel need to be more honest like Asra Nomani. Read her reasonable and intelligent article, especially when juxtaposed with yours. Asra knows your issues and your game and writes:For you, someone who ran from an Islamic theocracy in Iran to the arms of American democracy, to attack reasonable attempts to protect the American people is absurd. Your priority is obviously to protect Islam first and then worry about protecting the American people against a very real threat (remember again why your parents ran to America).Lecture your fellow Muslims where ever they are. Do NOT lecture your fellow Americans who already are tolerant and accepted you, a muslim from Iran, even in the midst of the hostage crisis.

  • Teleologicus

    Columns like this only add to the growing distrust many Americans have of so-called “American” Muslims. Instead of playing the victim card and making bogus claims of discrimination, all truly sincere Muslims who are opposed to jihad and violence, who truly seek to participate in rather than to destroy the benefits of modern Western civilization, should be out in front leading the way to identify, expose, and condemn those Muslims they claim do not understand and practice the true teachings of Islam. I find it difficult to believe that Muslims like the author of this column are acting in good faith when they seek to divert attention and to demonize loyal Americans who are concerned about the obvious dangers presented by some interpretations of Islam. I assume that such Muslims are lying, because it is inconceivable to me that they could fail to understand the reasons for the concern Americans have about Islam. In any case, trying to convince Americans that they have neither the need nor the right to investigate radical Islam in their own country is a badly misguided strategy that is bound to backfire badly.

  • Aldol

    I continue to be mystified by the refusal of the liberal left to call a spade a spade.

  • Mooody

    Chickens sh.ts ran away, when shown their REAL FACE… blocked the blog… up goes your freedom of speech. LIARS/KILLERS99.9% baby killer once pregnant proud womens of West. One can imagine your weird laws and practices and lawfulness.