Thursday's hearing on Muslim radicalization is just the type of day the left feared in the wake of the Republicans takeover of the House last November. The House Committee on Homeland Security is holding a hearing on the impact of Muslim radicalization in the U.S. of all things – you know, an actual problem.
To say Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) has felt some heat from the usual suspects over today's hearing is sort of like saying "Two and a Half Men" star actor Charlie Sheen has suffered from a little overexposure lately. Both would be gross understatements.
In fact, ‘Good Time’ Charlie’s self destruction is just about the only distraction for King’s critics and an all-too-willing liberal media doing their best to throw him under the bus of political correctness once and for all.
There have been orchestrated protests, white-hot rhetoric and even name calling. Oh the names. Chairman King has been called a bigot, racist, Islamophobe, and the second coming of Senator Joe McCarthy. And that’s some of the nicer stuff.
The crux of the case made by opponents of Thursday’s hearing is that it singles out one particular group and that terrorism in our country has many faces and origins. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark Potok asserted just this week in a television interview that the U.S. faces a greater domestic terror threat from the radical right than radical Islam. Really? Unless something’s changed, I’m pretty sure 9/11 was carried out by radical Islamists.
And if you’re narrowing it down to just the homegrown variety, the would-be underwear and Times Square bombers both qualify. So would Army Major Nidal Hasan who carried out the 2009 Fort Hood massacre, wounding 32 and killing 13 in the name of Allah.
But in Potok’s defense, there are all those terrorist acts the radical right has concocted and carried out recently here at home, right? Uh, wrong again.
Of course, misdirections from Potok and his ilk on this important topic are not all that surprising. Grandstanding by the White House in advance of Chairman King’s hearing, however, is.
Last weekend, President Obama dispatched Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough to a Virginia mosque to address the Muslim community. The message McDonough delivered and its timing were curious.
“We must resolve that in our determination to protect the nation, we will not stigmatize or demonize entire communities because of the actions of a few,” McDonough told the group. “In the United States of America, we don’t practice guilt by association.”
It seems McDonough and the Obama administration have quite a knack for the obvious – at least, the obvious that serves their purpose.
What’s also abundantly obvious to anyone paying attention, yet somehow omitted from McDonough’s address, is that the radical Islamist element leading this siege on our nation is also doing real damage to the Muslim community. In fact, I would submit that the terrorist killers who carry out these dastardly deeds in the name of Allah do far more to “stigmatize” and “demonize” the law-abiding Muslim community in the U.S. than anything else.
Ironically, it’s honest and open discourse about the realities of radicals trying to hijack the Muslim faith here and abroad that will help lead to answers and ensure the safety of all our nation’s communities – not trying to score political points in a house of worship. If the Obama administration really wants to help, it might consider spending less time pandering and more time trying to lead.
And about all those less-than-affectionate names Peter King has been called, he’s none of them. In fact, considering his track record of tackling tough issues and status as a lightning rod for the left, he should be commended for his steadfastness and not caving in the face of some pretty strong opposition.
To borrow a word from ‘Good Time’ Charlie, I’d say Peter King is “winning” and simply doing the job he was elected to do.
Van D. Hipp Jr. is Chairman of American Defense International, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm specializing in government affairs, business development and public relations. He is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army.