You are hereGlobe and Mail: Islamic terrorism needs a sensitive investigation, not Peter King's kangaroo court

Globe and Mail: Islamic terrorism needs a sensitive investigation, not Peter King's kangaroo court

March 9, 2011- It is perfectly reasonable for a congressional committee to investigate radicalization among Muslim-Americans. Members of that group are not the only ones responsible for plotting terror in the U.S., but they do make up a disproportionate number of cases.

However, if terror is indeed partly inspired by religious radicalization, then that radicalization must be discussed in a way that encourages people with solutions to come forward and be heard. That is unlikely to happen with today’s hearings called by Representative Peter King.

Republicans victorious in November’s mid-term elections were ill-advised to pick Mr. King to lead the House Homeland Security Committee. He was a vocal supporter of the terrorist Irish Republican Army in the 1980s. Incredibly, Mr. King has never renounced his support, calling the IRA a “legitimate force” to fight the British, and saying, “The fact is, the IRA never attacked the United States. And my loyalty is to the United States.”

With such statements, Mr. King actually unwittingly endorses al-Qaeda’s perverted logic, which is derived, in part, from resentment of the American presence in Saudi Arabia and other predominantly Muslim countries. It suggests that an al-Qaeda attack on, say, the London Underground, is not worthy of U.S. attention.

Last year, Mr. King stirred up anti-Muslim sentiment by opposing the Park51 facility (also known as the Ground Zero mosque), failing to recognize that the facility’s inclusive, moderate leadership is exactly what should be promoted to stop radicalization. Instead, today’s hearing, apart from Muslim-American Congressman Keith Ellison, is short of such figures.



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