Thursday, March 10, 2011

Congressional Hearings on "Radical Islam" Misguided, Dangerous

Today, Representative Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will be holding much-publicized and much-criticized hearings on "radicalization of American Muslims." Representative King claims that these hearings will help shed light on the extent to which the American Muslim community has become indoctrinated by extremist ideologies such as that of Al Qaeda.

This act reeks of McCarthyism and represents a truly regrettable moment in the history of the American republic. While individuals within the American Muslim community may indeed subscribe to extremist ideologies such as that which motivates Al Qaeda, such as the shootings at Fort Hood demonstrated, there is absolutely no evidence of any significant radicalization within the overall American community. Representative King's hearings are clearly not intended to achieve any worthwhile object, but merely to appeal to xenophobic and paranoid elements within the Republican Party. To make an already bad story even worse, polling data seems to indicate that most Americans see nothing wrong with Representative King's hearings.

Nonsense like this serves only to divide Americans and distract the nation from more important matters. If ever there was a time to throw stop indulging in such divisive political stunts and get down to the nitty-gritty of putting our national house in order, that time is now. Representative King should be ashamed of himself for attempting to stir up racial and religious bigotry merely to further his own political ends. He is doing the entire nation a great disservice.

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