Rep. Peter King, (R-NY) will begin hearings March 10th with the supposed purpose of outing radical Islam in America. King has expressed disdain for Muslims before, saying in 2007 that there are “too many mosques in this country.” Of course, he had nothing to say about the huge number of churches, some of which have radical members too.
On another note, Rep. King seems to be a follower of the old adage “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” King was such a strong supporter of the Irish Republican Army that he was once thrown out of a courtroom by an Irish judge for being what the judge called “an obvious collaborator.”
In a detailed report by Peter Finn in the Washington Post, Rep. King’s record is clear. He did, time after time, express support for the Irish Republican Army.
The Irish government boycotted the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day parade in 1985 because Peter King, then a local Long Island politician, was grand marshall. The Irish government called him an “avowed” supporter of a terrorist organization.
King even went so far as to suggest a disregard for civilians killed in terror attacks.
“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” King said in a 1985 interview.
The hearings Peter King want to hold are shaping up to be a circus, designed to gin up fears going into the 2012 election season. The carnival barker in the center ring, Rep. Peter King, pushes Republican hypocrisy even higher. King’s hearings should be boycotted by more respectable members of Congress.
Of course, King sees it differently. He equates the IRA more with Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress than with the Islamic terrorist he sees hiding under our beds and in our institutions. I wonder, how did he see Islamic fundamentalists in the 1908s? Did he, like most conservatives, call them freedom fighters, just because they were fighting the Soviet Union?
The IRA, through it’s political arm, has been integrated into the government and peace has settled over Ireland. Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa. Hamas won elections in Gaza. Corollaries can be drawn, similarities and differences debated. But that’s not the point.
Before the IRA and ANC made peace, they were considered terrorist organizations. But no sane person would have equated all Irish Catholics – or all black South Africans, with terrorism. Yet that is exactly what King is doing to the Muslim community, He isn’t trying to seek cooperation and combat radicalism within the Muslim community, he is out to demonize every person even thought to be Muslim.
Rep. Peter King would better serve his constituents and the country if he held hearings to look into radicalization across the board instead of attacking an entire group. American Muslims have already shown a desire to work with law enforcement to combat radicalism within their ranks, that’s a relationship worthy of nurturing. To foster distrust and encourage fundamentalists overseas will do no one any good.