Rev. Jim Wallis from Sojourners, on the theological mistakes of the hearing:
There is no doubt, terrorism is real. And there are small groups of terrorists who threaten countless innocents across the world. They are waging a battle on two fronts. The first is physical and the second is theological. Both have consequences.
Of course, Americans want to protect their families and nation from physical attack by terrorists. And since 9/11 we are likely safer than before but, at the same time, terrorist threats have grown. And most Americans agree on the necessity of good intelligence and policing to protect against further terrorism. But it is a serious mistake to only address the symptoms and results of terrorism, without addressing the causes.
One cause is that the terrorists are making gains in the theological battle. The terrorist’s ideology claims that every action they take is part of a global battle between Islam and the West. They want to convince the world that Islam is right and good, and that the West is wrong and Evil. And it helps the terrorists immeasurably when Americans say, in effect, that West is right and good, and that Islam is wrong and evil. Every time American voices say or imply that, it is counted by the terrorists as a victory. They love to point to those stories in the American media, and to use them to justify their cause, make themselves more righteous, and recruit more terrorists.
Exactly. Read the rest of his article here.
Mother Jones gives some background on Rep. King's Islamophobic hardon.
On Thursday, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, will hold hearings on what he calls the "radicalization" of members of the American Muslim community. King, who has previously called for the New York Times to be tried for treason and for WikiLeaks to be listed as a terrorist organization, has never shied away from confronting terrorist threats wherever he sees them—but this time he's struck a nerve. He's been denounced by the ACLU and Democratic rivals—who have compared him to Joseph McCarthy. His own party, meanwhile, has been conspicuously silent. So who's going to speak on Thursday? And what are they going to say? We've got you covered:[SNIP!]
When: Thursday at 9:30 A.M. You can watch it live on C-Span, catch the webcast here, and follow my Twitter feed for live updates.
What's the back story? When King announced the hearings last December, he explained that law enforcement officials "are constantly telling me how little cooperation they get from Muslim leaders." King concedes that only a small fraction of American Muslims have ties to terrorism, but argues that those extremists have outsized influence, citing one figure that 80-percent of mosques in the United States are under the control of jihadists (that figure has been debunked). King believes "political correctness" is interfering with national security; as he explains it, the hearings are analogous to investigations into the Italian-American mafia.
...critics of the hearings dispute King's central premise—that American Muslims are complicit in the radicalization of a tiny minority. A February study by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, for instance, reported that Muslim-American terrorist attacks had dropped significantly in the last year, and that 40-percent of all terrorism arrests came after a tip from the Muslim-American community.So not only will his hearings likely bolster the recruitment efforts of actual terrorists, but his central premise is total crap.
Rep. King said after starting his hearings that, "To back down would be a craven surrender to political correctness and an abdication of what I believe to be the main responsibility of this committee-- to protect America from a terrorist attack."
Among the many things that Rep. King has wrong is this - it's not political correctness that opposes his McCarthyist effort - it's plain old correctness, a/k/a common sense that stands in opposition to his stance. As history will most likely recount.
For shame, Rep. King. And shame on any elected official or regular American citizen who supports this latest Republican-manufactured xenophobia.