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The Bigotry of Peter King and The New Wave of McCarthyism

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, corruption, crime, culture, dishonesty, dissolution of freedoms, government, law, media, Muslims, news, politics, religion, rights, society )

- 2631 days ago -
King isn't holding hearings on domestic terrorism; he's holding hearings on domestic terrorism by one religious group. Is most American terrorism Muslim terrorism? Actually, no. Over the last decade or so...-->

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Kit B (276)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 5:39 am
Republicans like to claim that Democrats are the “European” party: the party that wants a big welfare state, believes in international law, and doesn’t think America is an exceptional nation. But I’ve noticed a certain Europeanification of the GOP of late, as regard to Muslims. For years, Republicans have explained that their brand of patriotism has nothing to do with blood and soil. Unlike right-wing European parties, which often fashion themselves bulwarks against the Muslim menace, Republicans—in their telling—defend the universal ideals of unfettered capitalism, traditional morality, and bucketloads for defense. They welcome anyone who adheres to those principles, no matter their complexion and faith (except perhaps if they don’t have one).

It would be nice if someone explained that to Representative Peter King. King, a Long Island Republican, will hold hearings this week on terrorism by American Muslims. Think about that for a second. King isn’t holding hearings on domestic terrorism; he’s holding hearings on domestic terrorism by one religious group. Is most American terrorism Muslim terrorism? Actually, no. Over the last decade or so, there’s been at least as much domestic terrorism by folks like Timothy McVeigh, Theodore Kaczynski, Eric Rudolph (who bombed the 1996 Atlanta Olympics), Bruce Edwards Ivins (the main suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks), and most recently, Jared Lee Loughner. But even if American Muslims are statistically more likely to commit terrorism than non-Muslims, it is still wrong to define the problem in religious terms. I’m pretty sure that in the 1950s, Jews—given their overrepresentation in the American Communist Party—were overrepresented as Soviet spies. Italians may have been overrepresented in organized crime. Yet for a member of Congress to define either Soviet subversion or organized crime as the province of a particular religious or ethnic group would still have been wrong.

But wait, you say, there’s a difference: It wasn’t their Jewishness that made Jews disproportionately join the Communist Party or their Italianness that made Italians disproportionately join the Mafia. Well, in a sense, it was. At a certain moment in time, certain aspects of Jewish-American or Italian-American sociology disproportionately predisposed Jews and Italians to certain problematic behavior. That may be true for Muslims today, but what the government should be targeting is the behavior, not the religious or ethnic group.

You might think Peter King would understand that not all the terrorist sympathizers in America are Muslim. After all, for many years he himself sympathized with the notoriously brutal Irish Republican Army. According to Mother Jones, King refused to condemn an IRA attack that killed nine police officers. He even complained that the FBI was harassing him for his IRA ties.

King’s anti-terror credentials are spotty. His anti-Muslim credentials, on the other hand, are excellent.

King’s anti-terror credentials, in other words, are spotty. His anti-Muslim credentials, on the other hand, are excellent. In 2007, he told Politico that “we have, unfortunately, too many mosques in this country.” (King claims his quote was taken out of context, which Politico denies.) His fellow committee member, Georgia Republican Paul Broun, recently complained to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that he had seen a man of “Arabian or Middle Eastern descent” go through security without any special scrutiny. “We’ve got to profile these fellas,” he explained.

Were it only King and his committee, perhaps all this might be laughed off. But anti-Muslim bigotry is not a fringe view in today’s GOP. Most of the party bigwigs denounced the “ground zero mosque,” insisting that Muslims should have the good taste not to practice their religion in a place where non-Muslims might be offended, no matter how irrationally. Across the country, Republicans are rushing to head off the threat that America will soon be governed by Sharia (Islamic law). What’s next? The threat represented by Halacha (Jewish law)? After learning that the University of Michigan offers foot-washing stations to facilitate Muslim prayer, Mike Huckabee recently declared that “the accommodation we’re making to one religion at the expense of others is very un-American.”
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by Peter Beinart for The Daily Beast


Kit B (276)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 5:45 am

Just like the very wrong premise of the McCarthy hearings in the 1950's King's hearing are dead wrong. To investigate terrorism is not even the proposal of these witch hunts, King makes no claim other then to "root out terrorist in the Muslim community." As he was once tightly linked to the IRA and Sinn Fein he might know a little about terror groups, and he does know that the terror groups in this country are mostly "home grown" white Christian boys and girls.

Bill K (4)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 5:58 am
this is what happens when the republicans allow the right wing of their right wing party to take over.

criss s (4)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 6:04 am
Noted, thank you.

Esther Z (94)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 6:06 am
The only results coming from King's hearing will be more mistrust, hatred of the Muslim community. I'm sure Muslim leaders, citizens will think twice about getting positively involve with any public official who already seems them as terrorists. It seems most Repug conservatives have learned nothing from our past persecution of minority groups! A new witch hunt for a new era, courtesy of right wing nutters.

Kit B (276)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 6:42 am

This gives a new meaning to Islamophobia. What can you expect from a bunch of troglodytes who think the best times of this country was the 1950's? When women who worked outside the home were viewed with suspicion, blacks were relegated to living in the "wrong side" of town and couldn't attend an integrated classroom, rights was word that applied only to white christian men. These people disgust me and turn the rights and freedoms of the constitution into a very bad joke.

Mike S (86)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 1:00 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week. :(
All day today tpmtv has been posting snippets from this right wing witch hunt:

patricia lasek (317)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 1:46 pm
I watched some of the hearings today. It made me sick to hear him pontificating.

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 7:26 pm
Reds under our beds? Muslims under our beds?. - Why is it so easy to raise paranoia and teach Americans to hate Americans?

Richard Zane Smith (81)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 8:51 pm

When people point derisive fingers at "those people" who pray five times a day,
who have committed their lives to strict forms of religious purity and piety...
It makes the Finger Pointers appear more and more like "Infidels" doesn't it?


Antonio Calabria PhD (17)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 9:15 pm
This moron is running for the title of "McCarthy the Second". He should win hands down, the half wit.

Robert Barkley (1)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 9:23 pm
After the break-up of the Soviet Union, documents were released that proved McCarthy correct in most cases. The same can not be said for the HUAC hearings. Read the book "Blacklisted By History", written by M. Stanton Evans. One should be careful about labeling people with "isms". Learn all the facts first.

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 10:11 pm
"After the break-up of the Soviet Union, documents were released that proved McCarthy correct in most cases"...?... I doubt that the many thousands of 'blacklisted', innocent Americans would agree with your statement Robert.

Loosen up America - No one is "Out to get you" Just relax.

Beth M (46)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 10:38 pm
..I lived in England for many years.. serious multi cultural intergration began in the 1950's and 1960's..We made many horrible mistakes and we grew up with our grandparents grumbling about foreigners...England at that time didnt have a very loud church voice in its political arena, neither did it have a strong military voice. Both church and military seem to stay out of politics there thankfully. Immigrants were invited to The UK to fill job shortages..and were not always welcomed or helped..and were often marginalised..But we grew up children we met others/each other and became friends...It becomes harder to set man against man..tribe against against brother..when we r friends...Im glad i lived there in those taught us much about sharing..I now live in Australia...another country with a political arena that is almost devoid of a religious or military voice..its better that way...more evolved..gentler...and im glad i live here..altho it has its problems with others*..and a long way to go with indiginous affairs and equality for women..and strong unions..its view of the world is of a friendly place..a place for us all..I watch US TV news and I am terrified of everything within ten minutes of viewing.. I dont know whats happened their..but U seem to be pimping fear out at an amazing rate...its awful to see it and hear it...You fight so much..with each other, about each other..Its all about one side or the other...I think ur country is in emotional turmoil..and has almost scared itself bankrupt....

Kit B (276)
Friday March 11, 2011, 6:04 am

Thanks for the many interesting comments. Robert I think you missed the point, in America the idea is that we can believe what ever we choose. There fore no McCarty was not right. If you have been keeping up then you should know that most of the charges brought were against Jews or "suspected" gays. Why? Because the front man for McCarty, Roy Cohen was a self hating Jewish gay man. He died from AIDS.

Helen Avila (166)
Friday March 11, 2011, 8:42 am
King is a domestic terrorist since he appears to have adopted the taliban morality police tactics..

Marco C (31)
Sunday March 13, 2011, 8:03 am
This is a disingenous man, apparently without the intellectual ability to grasp the real issues. He is persuing a dangerous agenda and if his irresponsbile actions gain ground, we will find that we are in a very, very bad place.
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