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"The Extent of Radicalization"
March 10, 2011 8:01 AM   Subscribe

Hearings on the "extent of radicalization" of US Muslims initiated by Rep. Peter King are underway in Washington.

Peter King (previously) has drawn criticism for his remarks in support of the IRA, and for his failure to produce credible sources for statistics he has cited.

The first Muslim congressman Keith Ellison's remarks to the panel closed with a stirring account of a Muslim first responder to 9/11.
posted by Burhanistan (98 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I grew up in that asshole's district. He was embarrassing then and he's an embarrassment now.
posted by nevercalm at 8:03 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry, that should be (previously).
posted by Burhanistan at 8:03 AM on March 10, 2011


Everything old is new again.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:05 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not a week goes by without Rep. Ellison reminding me of how proud I am to have come from my state.
posted by Think_Long at 8:07 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


er, "proud I am to have him come from my state"
posted by Think_Long at 8:08 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm fine with this, so long as we can also hold hearings on the "extent of radicalization" of Christianity and ultra-nationalists as well, because in the last ten years I've seen a lot more damage done to this country by that than by some fringe Muslim boogeymen.
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:08 AM on March 10, 2011 [55 favorites]


I'm fine with this, so long as we can also hold hearings...

Hmm. You sound suspiciously brown. I think maybe we need to publish your home address so some deniable asset... I mean godfearing independent citizen, can teach you the proper respect for Pure White Jesus.
posted by aramaic at 8:12 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Peter King can suck the extent of my radicalization.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:12 AM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


Everything old is new again.

Yeah. I'm amazed that someone out there would try to resurrect McCarthyism of all things. I mean, how long before someone says, without irony, "Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Islamic faith?" at some hearing.

It's fucking ridiculous, and particularly damning when coming from someone who associated with a "radicalized" group himself.
posted by quin at 8:13 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


This tool needs to be retired. I don't know why you guys in the 3rd district keep re-electing him by wide margins every 2 years. I read that wants to run against Kirsten Gillibrand next year. I hope she crushes him like an ant.
posted by blucevalo at 8:13 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm glad you posted this. Thank you.

Our country's Japanese-American community, who had experience during WWII as the target of another American political fearmongering campaign, has been standing up for the Muslim-American community since 9/11.

Japanese Americans: House hearings on radical Islam 'sinister'

Hearings on Muslim Americans is un-American by Rep Mike Honda (D) California, who spent several years as a child being held in the Amache American internment Camp during WWII.
posted by zarq at 8:14 AM on March 10, 2011 [35 favorites]


This is not America's finest hour.
posted by EarBucket at 8:14 AM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


That he's pro-terrorist but just hates Muslims is super-awesome.
posted by Artw at 8:15 AM on March 10, 2011 [22 favorites]


the "extent of radicalization" of US Muslims initiated by Rep. Peter King

This misplaced modifier is well-placed.
posted by DU at 8:15 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


I want to do this for Dutch Americans as well.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:15 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


This guy makes me incoherent with rage. I think he'd make me incoherent with rage even were it not for the fact that I first became aware of him in the early '90s because he was a prominent supporter of terrorism. But seriously: the fact that he is himself personally guilty of the things that he's falsely accusing mainstream American Muslims of doing? It's beyond infuriating.
posted by craichead at 8:17 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


blucevalo: "This tool needs to be retired. I don't know why you guys in the 3rd district keep re-electing him by wide margins every 2 years. I read that wants to run against Kirsten Gillibrand next year. I hope she crushes him like an ant."

He's a white Republican with blue-collar roots from a wealthy white area of Long Island filled with Republicans that also have blue-collar roots.
posted by zarq at 8:18 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I kind of mangled the verbiage there, but hopefully these hearings won't actually radicalize anyone else.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:18 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


His verbal gymnastics to explain away the IRA - whose methods I deplored but whose mission I am in support of - while demonizing Americans who are Muslim - about whom I have no feelings whatsoever, positive or negative - are mind-boggling... The cognitive dissonance required to do that must be exhausting.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 8:22 AM on March 10, 2011


But King received qualified support from veteran Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), whose district has a significant population of Muslim Americans. Dingell said the hearing had "great potential" and could produce "good results."

Calling the majority of Muslims in the country "loyal, decent and honorable Americans," Dingell raised the specter of the infamous Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, who chaired the anti-Communism hearings of the 1950s. Dingell called on King to conduct the hearings in a "fair, honorable and thoughtful fashion."


Come to think of it, Dingell should be shown the door as well. Someone saying that King's sham hearings have "great potential" who was there when the McCarthy hearings happened is either the height of stupidity or the height of senility, I don't know which.
posted by blucevalo at 8:22 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


For me, the funny part is that some minion working for The King said that though his boss had supported terrorism (IRA), that was unimportant because the IRA did not attack America. Ok. What King means then is that it is ok to bomb women and children so long as they are not doing this in America.
posted by Postroad at 8:24 AM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


What King means then is that it is ok to bomb women and children so long as they are not doing this in America.

Well, yeah. Everyone knows that if they're not Americans, they're not Real People.
posted by rtha at 8:25 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I have nothing to hide" - a classic.
posted by HLD at 8:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love that I get to vote for Keith Ellison.

I would do it every day if I could, if only to make Peter King's head explode.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would do it every day if I could, if only to make Peter King's head explode.

The FBI will now be investigating your terrorist threats mustachio.
posted by Think_Long at 8:27 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


And in Washington state, the FBI have captured the reported Neo-Nazi behind the attempted bombing of Spokane's MLK Day Parade. I can only assume hearings on the radicalization of Christians will be coming along next week.
posted by nomisxid at 8:30 AM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


>: "What King means then is that it is ok to bomb women and children so long as they are not doing this in America."

There is overwhelming bipartisan support for that position; it's just usually not stated so plainly.
posted by Drastic at 8:30 AM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


> "I have nothing to hide" - a classic.

Yeah, that was the head of the so-called American Islamic Forum for Democracy. I'm not at all convinced that they are the moderate voice they claim to be, or that they are serving American Muslims very well.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:31 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can I respectfully suggest that these hearings are only going to add fuel to any radicalisation that may, or may not, be going on?
posted by londonmark at 8:32 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


The ultimate irony is that Peter King himself lent support to a known terrorist organization in the 1980's.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:35 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Listening to Rep Mike Rogers from Alabama, you can tell he's fighting the urge to use the word "uppity."
posted by grabbingsand at 8:37 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Google's description of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy in the search is "Leading American Muslim voice taking back Islam from the demagoguery of the Islamo-fascists."
posted by HLD at 8:39 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is not America's finest hour.

This doesn't seem to be America's finest decade.
posted by Flashman at 8:50 AM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is not America's finest hour.

Wait till the next hour, something worse will come up.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:52 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Jon Stewart: ‘Wait Until Congressman Peter King Gets A Hold Of Terrorist Sympathizer Peter King!’
posted by homunculus at 8:52 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is the stupidest country.
posted by Legomancer at 8:53 AM on March 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


Disregarding the fact that the holding of these hearings may be politically expedient for Rep. King, is it patently offensive to hold hearings regarding Muslim radicalization? I think this probably is just another attempt to marginalize Muslims in an effort to pander to a xenophobic base, but are the hearings in and of themselves wrong as many of you are suggesting? I don't think I'd have a problem with an investigation of the white supremacy organizations - I think we could all make the distinction between those and all white people. The problem is, here, a majority of the population makes no distinction between Muslims and Muslim radicals, I guess I disagree in that I believe terrorism, in any form, including that based on a philosophy of perverted Islam, is a real threat to this country.
posted by gagglezoomer at 8:55 AM on March 10, 2011


It's been awhile since I've tuned into any congressional hearings, but damn if this one isn't just full of straw men, generalizations, hunches, speculation, biased narratives, disconnected anecdotal references, and general bullshit. Facts are kind of scarce.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:56 AM on March 10, 2011


There are all kinds of American exceptionalism we could do without.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:56 AM on March 10, 2011


What is the metric by which this "extent" will be defined?
posted by swift at 8:57 AM on March 10, 2011


Most people looked at Joe McCarthy as an example of what not to do...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:01 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


40 comments and so far everyone is pretty much in agreement. If you are tired of commiseration and want to bitch at the people actually responsible for this crock, the phone number for the congressional switchboard is 202-224-3121. Just ask for the office of the representative or senator you want to contact.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:01 AM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


Is there some way I can become a temporary Muslim? I won't if it is offensive to their religion, but this begs for an "I am Spartacus" response.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:02 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I want to know who the Hoover is to his McCarthy.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:03 AM on March 10, 2011


> Is there some way I can become a temporary Muslim?

Heavens, no.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:03 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Steve Benen at Washington Monthly points out that King may actually be harming national security, since the Muslim-American community has been the largest group to give tips on suspected terror plots since 9/11.
posted by KGMoney at 9:06 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


> Come to think of it, Dingell should be shown the door as well.

Without Dingell's seniority, southeastern Michigan would not be doing as well as it is today; as such, he's got a great deal of support from local industries in his district, as well as the United Auto Workers and other unions. So challenges for his seat from within the party tend to be misguided ambition or token opposition.

His Republican opponent last fall would have augmented the teabag majority in the House, as well as squander whatever accumulated negotiating power the local district has in pork barrel funding.

This is not as much an argument in favor of Dingell as much as demonstrate why it's important sometimes to settle for the lesser of two evils.
posted by ardgedee at 9:07 AM on March 10, 2011


Disregarding the fact that the holding of these hearings may be politically expedient for Rep. King, is it patently offensive to hold hearings regarding Muslim radicalization?

Don't you think we have enough law enforcement working on the problem? We don't need a political dog and pony show too. It's not like this is some problem that is being ignored.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:12 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


King: 'Rage and hysteria' over hearing unwarranted

I await the congressional hearings on the extent of unintentional irony among America's Congressional-Americans.
posted by PlusDistance at 9:13 AM on March 10, 2011


I just don't get why there would be any traction for this shit at present. Sure, Americans are eternally xenophobic and insular. But nothing terroristic has happened stateside since 9/11, and I can't imagine people getting all frothy at the upcoming ten-year anniversary. Weepy and pious, yes, but not "let's kill them all." Doesn't it take some sort of dramatic event to inflame the type of murderous hate this asshole King has in mind?

With the lousy economy and the teabag crew, I'd be expecting hearings on "the extent of taking-our-jobs by illegal Mexican immigrants" rather than this equally offensive dog-n-pony show.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:13 AM on March 10, 2011


Is there some way I can become a temporary Muslim?

It ain't temporary.

posted by saturday_morning at 9:21 AM on March 10, 2011


I was trying to think of something appropriately incisive to say about this, but after watching Rep. Keith Ellison's speech, I think he said it best:
The entire community bears responsibility for the violent acts of individuals. Targeting of the Muslim-American community for the actions of a few is unjust. Actually, all of us, all communities are responsible for combating violent extremism. Singling out one community focuses our analysis in the wrong direction. Throughout human history, individuals from all communities and faiths have used religion and political ideology to justify violence. Let's just think about the KKK, America's oldest terrorist organization, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the shooting at the Holocaust Museum by James Von Braun, and bombings at Planned Parenthood clinics. Did Congress focus on the ethnic group or religion of these agents of violence as a matter of public policy? The answer is no. Stoking fears about an entire group for political agenda is not new in American history. During WWII, the US Government internet Japanese-Americans and spied on German-Americans. During JFK's presidential campaign, his opponents portrayed a dire future for an America with a Catholic president. We now view these events of our past as a breach of our treasured American values.

Let's talk about facts rather than stereotypes. In fact, the Muslim-American community rejects violent ideology. The Rand Corporation, a highly respected research organization, released a report last year that states the following: "Given the low rate of would-be violent extremists - about 100 amongst the estimated 3 million American Muslims - suggests that the American Muslim population remains hostile to Jihadist ideology and exhortations to violence. At a Justice Department press conference just yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder said "The Muslim Community has contributed significantly to the resolution of many things that have resolved over the course of the last 12-18 months. Tips have been received, information has been shared that has been critical to our effort to disrupt plots that otherwise might have occurred." The Muslim-American community across the country actively works with law-enforcement officials, from dialogues with Attorney General Eric Holder, to community meetings with local police in Minneapolis. Recently, tips from the Muslim-American community foiled two domestic terror plots, including the case of the Times Square bomber, and the Northern Virginia 5. Law enforcement officials depend on those relationships. A recent report from the Muslim Public Affairs Council stated that information provided by Muslim-Americans has helped to foil seven domestic terror plots, and 40% of all plots since 9/11. A 2011 study from the Duke University Triangle Center on terrorism reiterated that 40% of the domestic terror plots that have been prevented with the aid of Muslim-Americans. This cooperation with law enforcement is rooted in relationships and trust, relationships we should nurture. A witness of today's hearing, Los Angeles sheriff Lee Baca testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee last year. He said: "To effectively detect and manage extremists, police need to have trust and the understanding of the Muslim communites that live within and outside the United States. Simply, police need public participation.

As leaders, we need to be rigorous about our analysis of violent extremism. Our responsibility includes doing no harm. I am concerned that the focus of today's hearing may increase suspicion of the Muslim-American community, ultimately making us all a little less safe. We have seen the consequences of anti-Muslim sentiment, from backlash against Park51 Muslim community center, to the hostilities against the Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to a threatened Quran burning in Gainsville, Fl. Zoning boards in communities like Dupage, Il, are denying permits to build Mosques. At the height of the Park51 controversy, a man asked a cabbie whether he was a Muslim. When the man said "As-Salamu Alaykum", the individual stabbed him.

Denis McDonough, the president's deputy national security advisor recently spoke at the Adams center at the All Dulles American Muslim Society, Mr. McDonough noted that Al-Qaeda's core recruiting argument is that the West is at war with Islam. A chief goal of our national security policy is to undermine this argument. This requires active engagement with the Muslim community at home and throughout the world. As President Obama said in his Cairo speech, "Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism; it is an important part of promoting peace."

This brings me to my last point, and I will [sic] try to earn this Chairman, because I see the time.

The best defence against extreme ideologies is social inclusion and civic engagement. FBI agent Ralph Bolter, head of the Minneapolis FBI illustrates my point. He led a large-scale probe into counter-terrorism involving local Somali-Americans heading overseas to fight with terrorist organizations. He's now coming to D.C. to become the agency's deputy assistance director in charge of counterterrorism. Bolter's strategy: To fight extremism, the agency needs to establish sincere relationships within the community. "We had to be able to show people that they could trust me, trust us", Bolter said of the local community. FBI agent Bolter "showed a side to the FBI that people don't see" said Minneapolis police chief Tim Dolan. "They needed that. They needed a little more to make their case, and it paid off because of the connections he made. People came forward. He became somebody that they were willing to go to."

Unfortunately, I feel that this hearing may undermine our efforts in this direction. Recently, on a news program, it was stated "How about the number of young Somali men who went to Somalia and the imams and leaders in the Minneapolis Muslim community who refused to cooperate at all? They were denying for a long time that they had even left." This sweeping statement regarding the community I represent is innaccurate. Why weren't law enforcement from Minneapolis invited to testify before this committee about the effective counterterrorism work that is going on in Minneapolis today. I invite, and would welcome such an invitation. In January, the Department of Homeland Security convened a youth summit with Somali-American youth and law enforcement agencies in Minneapolis. The event attracted over 100 people including a US Attorney, three Somali-American police officers, myself, and several law enforcement and security agencies. The meeting provided an opportunity for Somali youth groups to learn more about the various roles and responsibilities of the US Department of Homeland Security, and to discuss community issues and concerns with government representatives. The meeting participants discussed ways in which Somali youth and government entities can improve communication.

Muslim-Americans have been part of the American scene since the nation's founding. A little known fact is Cedar Rapids, Iowa is home to one of the oldest mosques in America. The Muslim community is just like the rest of us. Muslims serve our nation as doctors, lawyers, teacers, business owners, cab drivers, and even members of Congress. Muslim-Americans live in every community in America. They are our neighbors; in short, they are us. Every American including Muslim-Americans suffered on 9/11. 29 Muslims died at the World Trade Center. Three Muslims died on hijacked airplanes - United Flight 175 and American flight 11. Muslims stood with the rest of America united in grief and in a resolve to protect America. Along with Americans of all faiths, Muslim-Americans rushed in to save and rescue victims of Al-Qaeda's terrorism. Let me close with a true story, but remember that it's only one of many American stories that could be told. Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a 23 year old paramedic, a NYC police cadet, and a Muslim-American. He was one of those brave first responders who tragically lost his life in the 9/11 terrorist attacks almost a decade ago. As the NYT eulogized, he wanted to be seen as an all-American kid. He wore #79 on the high-school football team in Bayside Queens where he lived. He was called Sal by his friends. He became a research assistant at the Rockefeller University and drove an ambulance part-time. One Christmas he sang Handel's Messiah in Queens. He saw all of the Star Wars movies, and it's well known that his new Honda was the one that read with the "young jedi" license plates. Mr. Hamdani bravely sacrificed his life to try to help others on 9/11. After the tragedy, some people tried to smear his character solely because of his Islamic faith. [Speech begins to become broken due to intense emotion] Some people spread false rumors and speculated that he was in league with the attackers because he was a Muslim, but it was only when his remains were identified, that these lies were exposed. Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a fellow American who gave his life for other Americans. His life should not be identified as just a member of an ethnic group, or just a member of a religion, but as an American who gave everything for his fellow Americans.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:22 AM on March 10, 2011 [40 favorites]


Does this remind anybody else of the killer bees scare of the 70s and 80s?
posted by Afroblanco at 9:22 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does this remind anybody else of the killer bees scare of the 70s and 80s?

Haha! Please don't give Rep. King any ideas about them being Africanized too.
posted by saturday_morning at 9:25 AM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Disregarding the fact that the holding of these hearings may be politically expedient for Rep. King, is it patently offensive to hold hearings regarding Muslim radicalization?

"Offensive" isn't the primary problem with the hearings.

He's creating a targeted witch hunt, much like Joe McCarthy did in the 50's, which could be considered unconstitutional since US citizens are theoretically entitled to equal and fair treatment under the law regardless of their race, religious faith or gender.
posted by zarq at 9:28 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't have much of a problem with this stuff as long as it includes Christians and right-wing militias. Hopefully, these show trials will be all the rage for self-serving asshole reps and we'll end up with quite a dialogue on how dangerous extremist philosophies are, how incredibly hateful mainstream religion is, how religion brainwashes those who really need mental health services, how young men become radicalized by GOP policies, and how militias and other right-wing groups are a threat to democracy.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:30 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm also not sure what the practical benefit for law enforcement is for any of this. They already can pretty much do whatever they want if it involves terrorism. No warrants, no hassles, and really very little oversight. We already gave them everything.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:31 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really, really hope that a Muslim Ian McKellan and a Muslim Patrick Stewart are quietly arguing in the galleries up above the hearing.
posted by COBRA! at 9:39 AM on March 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm starting to feel completely incapable of being surprised by anything that happens in Washington anymore. Not that it hasn't been entertaining watching the world's only superpower slide toward corporate puppetry and religious fascism driven by xenophobic terror, but I'd like very much to get off the ride now, please.
posted by EarBucket at 9:42 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wait till the next hour, something worse will come up.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:52 AM


And right on cue: GOP Cuts: A "Guillotine Job" on the Special Olympics
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:44 AM on March 10, 2011


goddammit i said let me off
posted by EarBucket at 9:50 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


i think they'd better start worrying about the radicalization of the ameican worker
posted by pyramid termite at 9:53 AM on March 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm sure Sarah Palin won't stand for that T.D.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:54 AM on March 10, 2011


Read the article, furiousxgeorge. "While she served as Alaska's governor, Sarah Palin attempted to halve funding for the state's branch of the Special Olympics."
posted by hippybear at 9:59 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Read the article, furiousxgeorge.

I always assume praise of Sarah Palin on Metafilter is sarcastic. It's rarely steered me wrong, and certain MeFites become much funnier if you pretend they're satirists.
posted by EarBucket at 10:05 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does CSPAN or any other source typically provide video files of hearings like this in their entirety? I'd be fascinated to throw it into Final Cut Pro, and cut out everything that isn't something to the effect of "with respect to my esteemed colleague from the great state of Nevada, myself and all other members of this chamber would like to congratulate you on your dedicated service in the American armed forces and for continuing to fight....." etc etc etc

I think if they just made a rule that said "no blowing each other; get to the point" and if everyone stuck to it these hearings would be at least 25% shorter
posted by Riptor at 10:08 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've found the C-SPAN archives to have a lot of material in them, although it often doesn't appear for a day or two after the event. Whether they would provide the entire hearing or not, I have no idea. I've never looked for that kind of thing there.
posted by hippybear at 10:14 AM on March 10, 2011


Ok, this Jasser guy is way overstepping his boundaries here. He's basically saying that the moderates are responsible for the radicals like Wahhabis because people like him (a medical doctor, not someone schooled in theology) aren't given a voice in mainstream Islamic scholarly councils. It's troubling to here someone mention to Congress that Islam needs reformation. Criminals need prosecution; religion doesn't need anything imposed on it.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:14 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Have you no decency, sir?"
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:15 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


A lot of the people who vote Republican seem to have friends and family serving in the military and it's not unknown for serving members of the military to have a low opinion of Islam what with most of them having done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last few years.

Your average educated liberal will possibly know some folks who are muslims in their immediate circle of friends and thus will think muslim - "my mate Ibrahim" whilst the family of S.Sgt Johnny "Applepie" Smith might think muslim - "I remember the time he told us about how he found an Afghani child carrying RPG rounds to be used in an ambush against his friends. They're animals those muslims".

It's all down to the experience the individual has with people of different faiths*. I know a lot of muslim men and women as a resident of England's midland counties so I wouldn't give two seconds thought about Tariq or Ali or any of them threatening to blow shit up. We all like the same stuff and have a laugh like I would do with anyone.

I personally believe one of the best cures for bigotry is exposure to the subject of hatred. It starts off with "I hate all muslims" then becomes "I hate all muslims except for Irfan" and then becomes "I hate all muslims except for the ones I know" and finally becomes "There's nothing wrong with them at all - they're just regular folks."

For faiths you can also read sexuality or any other characteristic that can be used as a wedge by "certain political affiliations". This will be the next one - gay marriage didn't work but this is what they're putting their money on by the looks of it and they've built up quite the head of steam so far putting it in the public consciousness. Good luck shifting those perceptions.
posted by longbaugh at 10:18 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


an Afghani child carrying RPG rounds to be used in an ambush against his friends

I agree that this is a problem, not only for the military families, but for a lot of people whose only information comes from news reports that show Afghanis or Iraqis engaged in fighting the US and who have no friends or acquaintances who are of the Muslim faith. Part of the problem is that a large section of the political and chattering classes have been emphasizing the "Muslimness" or that child to the exclusion of the "Afghaniness". It's one thing to deal with accidentally formed erroneous hypotheses; it's another to battle insidiously planted ones.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't have much of a problem with this stuff as long as it includes Christians and right-wing militias.

It doesn't. Hence the discord.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:36 AM on March 10, 2011


Al Green mixing it up! I love that guy, and he's not afraid to go hang out in the local mosques here.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:43 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think I'd have a problem with an investigation of the white supremacy organizations - I think we could all make the distinction between those and all white people.

You see, this is the problem. They aren't investigation white supremacy organizations, they're investigating Muslims and their radicalization. The fact that you conflate the two is a symptom of the problem. If you would have said you didn't have a problem with investigation of radicalization of Christians, e.g., then you would have a cogent argument. Instead, you made the argument against these hearings.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:44 AM on March 10, 2011


REMEMBER MILO!

not a derail but this ^case was real critical in fighting these type of clowns
posted by clavdivs at 10:56 AM on March 10, 2011


an Afghani child carrying RPG rounds to be used in an ambush against his friends

Of course, sometimes they're just carrying firewood...
posted by homunculus at 11:13 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


They aren't investigation white supremacy organizations,

If we're going to go through all this dramatic theater, maybe it's time we do. I mean, taken as a whole, how many people have been killed in the United States by acts of radicalized Muslims? How many by right wing extremists?

Or is this not about making people safer, but targeting and intimidating brown people?
posted by quin at 11:24 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Or is this not about making people safer, but targeting and intimidating brown people?

I think it's more about King keeping his name out there and looking tough for his base.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:27 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Disregarding the fact that the holding of these hearings may be politically expedient for Rep. King, is it patently offensive to hold hearings regarding Muslim radicalization?
Not necessarily, although you'd have to be careful about how you did it. But it's patently clear that *these particular* hearings on Muslim radicalization, which are designed to obscure the fact that most American Muslims are not radicals, are not those inoffensive hearings. The issue here isn't hearings in general. It's the particular hearings that Rep. King has decided to hold, which are shaped by his bigoted, unsupported agenda.
posted by craichead at 11:27 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Listening to Rep Mike Rogers from Alabama, you can tell he's fighting the urge to use the word "uppity."

Aside: I think it's cool that Urban Dictionary provides better context for that word than Merriam-Webster.

Webster even has a dictionary for English learners that fails to give context. I can just imagine the scene when some poor immigrant complains about a black co-worker acting "uppity".
posted by CaseyB at 11:27 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fair enough. But I'm willing to bet that base is all about targeting and intimidating brown people.
posted by quin at 11:28 AM on March 10, 2011


God, hearing that man (King) speak today, was terrible. His opening remarks referred to cowardly or some syn p.c. policing w/r/t his hearing. God how I hate p.c. is used to cover racist ideologies. He deserves a punch in the kisser just for that. I really want to hit him. I'm sorry, that makes me bad, I guess. But sometimes you want to Braveheart style start roaring and slashing.
posted by angrycat at 11:55 AM on March 10, 2011


I guess NPR better be careful when covering this. "King is extremely r.... epublican. That's right. He's very Republican indeed. And a fucking racist. Dammit."
posted by Artw at 12:00 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


CaseyB: "Webster even has a dictionary for English learners that fails to give context. I can just imagine the scene when some poor immigrant complains about a black co-worker acting "uppity"."

The OED doesn't explicitly give that context either, fwiw. They include one or two attributions which allude to it.
posted by zarq at 12:02 PM on March 10, 2011


Um, a white guy shot a congresswoman in the head just a couple months ago and these clowns are looking at MUSLIM radicalization??
posted by MXJ1983 at 12:08 PM on March 10, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm also not sure what the practical benefit for law enforcement is for any of this.

I think all the practical benefit is in the huge erection it gives to the RepubliTeaTard© base.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:10 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the only way you do something like this without it being offensive is if you hold hearings on the radicalization of religion in general. This is like being allergic to legumes and holding hearings on the deadly nature of peanuts, but pretending lima beans don't exist.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:23 PM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, does this mean the steroids-in-baseball hearings are over?

Have these hearings ever done anyone any good? Why are they even a thing?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:31 PM on March 10, 2011


Me, personally, I'm more afraid of suits and ties than I am of any Al Qaeda guys.
posted by nevercalm at 1:58 PM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm more afraid of suits and ties than I am of any Al Qaeda guys

Best. Rally chant. Ever.
posted by reductiondesign at 4:09 PM on March 10, 2011 [11 favorites]


Okay, seriously? The guy holding the "Muslim investigation" hearings was an IRA supporter? I seriously almost would have thought that was a joke.

Republicans are such poster children for mental problems. The "wide stance" Republicans who go after gays, and now we actually have Republicans who were themselves partisans of terrorist organizations initiating witch hunts for other terrorists.

If only they had posted to AskMe before they got into politics, we could have told them to get therapy first.
posted by XMLicious at 6:02 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


This really disgusts me.
posted by mike3k at 7:56 PM on March 10, 2011


Help me hivemind! I have a massive subconscious self-hatred complex, where I can't stop feeling and doing all these things that my parents told me were sinful. Therefore I compulsively lash out at other people feeling and doing the things I hate myself for. Also, I find my desire to be dominant and powerful over other people (dominance and submissiveness are the only two ways I know how to interact with other people) is beginning to dissolve my tenuous grip on a moral compass, and seems to be adding fuel the fire of my raging xenophobia.

So hive mind, on to my question:

Should I run for a national political office? Which one?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:01 PM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


I think that a lot of ignorance about Muslims exists in the Irish-American Catholic community. It also exists in Ireland, despite the fact that Muslims have lived in Ireland since the days of George III.
This is not to say all Irish people have this ignorance, just that a lot do.
Peter King did vote against impeaching President Clinton. Mostly he is a racist, afraid of anyone not Catholic, and generally a pill. He's doing a good job of radicalizing lots of people. He's like McCarthy.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:58 PM on March 10, 2011


Okay, seriously? The guy holding the "Muslim investigation" hearings was an IRA supporter? I seriously almost would have thought that was a joke.
Calling him an IRA supporter actually significantly understates the situation. He wasn't just some dingbat Irish-American politician who said some stupid things at St. Patrick's Day. He was one of the most prominent IRA-spokespeople in America in the '80s and early '90s. He regularly spoke at fundraisers for IRA-front-group Noraid. He traveled to Belfast regularly to meet with IRA leaders. His voice was banned from the BBC under their anti-terrorism rules. The Irish government boycotted the New York St. Patrick's Day parade in 1985 because Pete King was chosen to be Grand Marshal. (And it's worth pointing out that he wasn't in Congress yet in 1985. He was comptroller of Nassau County, a truly obscure position. The reason that Pete King was chosen to be Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade was because of his prominence as an IRA-supporter, not because of his prominence as an American politician.)

When I found out that King was going to be chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I was frankly really shocked. I guess I sort of thought that a fairly-recent personal history of helping to fund terrorism would make one ineligible for that position. And I think it's a little hilarious that right-wingers are calling Obama a Mau Mau for taking down a bust of Winston Churchill but are completely silent about how King literally helped to fund the assassination attempt on Margaret Thatcher that killed five people.
I think that a lot of ignorance about Muslims exists in the Irish-American Catholic community.
I don't think it's any worse in the Irish-American Catholic community than in any other American community. And honestly, I don't think that this stunt has much to do with the Irish Catholic community. I think that King is trying to get his name out there in anticipation of the New York Senatorial primary, in which he is planning to run as a no-nonsense, non-politically-correct conservative who is not afraid to tell it like it is. And that's pretty scary.
posted by craichead at 6:25 AM on March 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


When I found out that King was going to be chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I was frankly really shocked. I guess I sort of thought that a fairly-recent personal history of helping to fund terrorism would make one ineligible for that position. And I think it's a little hilarious that right-wingers are calling Obama a Mau Mau for taking down a bust of Winston Churchill but are completely silent about how King literally helped to fund the assassination attempt on Margaret Thatcher that killed five people.

Oh, he addressed that point:

“I understand why people who are misinformed might see a parallel. The fact is, the I.R.A. never attacked the United States. And my loyalty is to the United States.”

The I.R.A. were friendly terrorists, so that's perfectly okay, see?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:46 AM on March 11, 2011


Thanks, mate.
posted by Artw at 6:48 AM on March 11, 2011


Yeah, Jon Stewart did a pretty good analysis of this on TDS last night.
posted by hippybear at 7:36 AM on March 11, 2011


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