Sadly, it appears we have attracted a commenter who would like to have a tiny (in so many respects) Loudoun version of Rep. Peter King’s execrable hearings, hearings that further target a minority community already in the crosshairs of a profoundly ignorant hate movement. The small-minded individual in question has been placed on moderation for using exactly the kind of slurs that are the premise of those hearings, scheduled to begin on Thursday.
Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is about to convene hearings whose premise offends our nation’s founding ideals and whose targets are law-abiding members of a religious minority. King has decided to investigate Islam.
Robinson goes on to point out what’s not being investigated by this misleading and dangerous exercise:
The irony is that it would be perfectly appropriate for King and his committee to look into any and all potential sources of domestic terrorism, emphasis on any and all. Before the Sept. 11 attacks, people seem to forget, the deadliest single act of terrorism on U.S. soil had been perpetrated by a right-wing loser named Timothy McVeigh – who was not, as it happened, a follower of Islam. For more than a century, the most remorseless and violent terrorist organization in the nation was the Ku Klux Klan. Watchdogs such as the Southern Poverty Law Center would be happy to share with King voluminous information about heavily armed militia groups out in the backwoods, training for some imagined Armageddon.
Why, for example, the refusal to investigate the Seven Mountains Movement – a genuine analog to Islamist ideological fundamentalism – which is preparing for a literal holy war and is infiltrating evangelical Christian communities worldwide?
The legitimate-sounding goal of this exercise, King explained Sunday on CNN, is to investigate “self-radicalization going on within the Muslim community” and the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism. Who doesn’t want to uncover al-Qaeda sleeper cells? Who doesn’t want to do everything that is possible – and legal – to prevent terrorist attacks?
But King further alleges that Muslim Americans have failed to demonstrate “sufficient cooperation” with law enforcement in uncovering potential terrorist plots. With this libel, King casts doubt on the loyalties of millions of Americans solely because of their faith. This is religious persecution – and it’s un-American and wrong.
This is what it looked like one recent day in Orange County, CA:
It doesn’t look like that in Loudoun. We are blessed with an active and diverse community of faith here, with leaders taking steps to provide the opposite example of what King has in mind. From a press release dated Tuesday, March 8:
Twenty-six faith leaders in Loudoun County, Virginia sent a letter today to Peter K. King, Jr. registering a deep concern about hearings into what he is calling “Islamic radicalization in America.”
The faith leaders, representing a diversity in religious traditions, expressed concerns that “at a time in history when concerns for mutuality and respect are more urgent than ever, it is our feeling that the nature of these hearings will have just the opposite effect..
.. We are deeply troubled by the negative statements made to the media, statements that make the hearings appear designed to provide “evidence” for conclusions that have already been reached.
We note with sadness how such tactics have been used in the past in the United States – and how they have been used throughout world history in a variety of contexts – and feel that rather than making a contribution to ‘homeland security’ these hearings will do just the opposite.”
The letter concludes: “We believe there is a more positive way to deal with some of your concerns, and that we should seek opportunities for people to come together in a way that, out of the diversity of religious and ethnic traditions, explores those elements of justice and peace we hold in common. Such an approach could plant the seeds of a genuine ‘security’ that would model the United States as a ‘homeland’ for everyone.”
This letter is just the beginning.
On a personal note: A lot of words were used here and here to tell me to do something, or to not do something, but my partners in this conversation won’t quite come out and tell me what it is. I think I’m supposed to just uncritically accept that the act of wearing an article of clothing is offensive, and that I am being terribly rude by doing it.
I’m really being very uncooperative – and that’s because I believe they need to be much more explicit and honest about what it is they want me to do. Here’s what I think it is: Shut up. Don’t confront the premise of these hearings. Don’t question the idea that anything from the Arab world is scary and threatening. Agree that associating Islam with terrorism and fear is natural and acceptable, and that subjecting that idea to ridicule is “intolerant.” Isn’t that what you’re telling me to do? I refuse.
This man is one of my heroes. I’m not going to accept the horrible things you are trying to associate with his memory, may he rest in peace, and his faith. I’m not going to tell you to shut up, but I’m not going to be silent about it, either. That is simply a factual statement. Don’t expect me to be silent while my friends are being defamed. I agree with Rep. Michael Honda, who as a child was one of the 110,000 Japanese Americans confined to internment camps during World War II:
“I’ll be damned if I’m going to stay quiet and not say something,” Honda said in an interview this week. “We have to show people that as Americans, we’re not going to put up with this kind of nonsense.”
I hope this clears things up.