By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, TMO Editor-in-Chief
Peter King is the new would-be crusader, running to fill the mosques with blood and to spread the fire of his hatred into every home in this land.
Supported mainly by Christian Republicans, embracing fundamentalist evangelical interpretations of the Bible, King is trying to re-create the hatred and fear that the Catholic Church created against Islam and Muslims from the 11th century onward–spurring and cheering the crusades. He wants a witch hunt against Muslim Americans. He wants to incite the Republican rank and file against those Muslims who do not meet his vision of how Muslims should behave. He wants the country to believe that Muslims are not true American citizens and the nation cannot accept their claim of patriotism seriously. He wants to create conditions to ensure that Muslim voices in the political arena of the country are silenced.
In fact, he is repeating what was written in 1391 as an expression of the views of the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos, one of the last Christian rulers before the fall of Constantinopole to the Muslim Ottoman Empire, on such issues as conversion, holy war, and the relationship between faith and reason. The belief of this evil emperor was that precisely in the manner that it differed from what had gone before, Islam was evil.
Kingâ€™s main premise for holding the congressional hearing on Islam and Muslim Americans is that the Muslim community does not cooperate with law enforcement agencies, an accusation that is spread by evangelical Christians. An easy way to determine the accuracy of this allegation was to ask law enforcement agencies all over the country to define their relations with the Muslims. From 2001 until 2010 December, at least 500 town hall meetings involving Muslims and law enforcement agencies have taken place in most of the 50 states. During this period, FBI agents have addressed Muslims in more than 200 masajid all over the country. Scores of Muslims have attended the FBI or Police citizen Academy training programs. On situations related to Somalia, Lebanon, Palestine, Pakistan, FBI has interviewed thousands of Muslims who cooperated with whatever information they could share. Thousand more Muslim Americans have been stopped at the airport without incidents of non-cooperation. All the terrorist plots busted by FBI relied on the information given mainly by Muslims.
Muslim Americans are part of this country and if and when they become aware of any one thinking of using violence to hurt fellow citizens, they happen to be the first one to alert the law enforcement agencies, a fact that would be testified by law enforcement agencies.
So why have this congressional hearing? Peter King and his Republican supporters are trying to ride on the wave of Islamaphobia created by extremists and religious fundamentalists so that in the coming elections Christian ranks and file can be mobilized to come out in support of a radical anti-Muslim agenda that he supports. As evidence of this groundswell of hateful and plainly unconstitutional anti-Muslim bigotry consider the anti-Shariâ€™ah legislation in states around the country.
The presence of individuals in law enforcement agencies who are allied with this radical agenda cannot be denied. After all it was our former attorney general John Ashcroft who reported once remarked argued that Islam sends children to kill.
William â€œJerryâ€ Boykin, an Army general, also sparked controversy by speaking against Islam in the most ignorant and bigoted terms, equating Muslims with idol worshippers, among other vile lies.
It is to these ignorant, depraved, and mendacious individuals that Peter King means to swing open the doors of public attention through his hearings. And, as a representative of those evil people, it can only be expected that King would open those doors. Like the Greek champions who hid inside a horse so that at the first opportunity they could throw open the doors of Troy, ripping away the defenses from the many who would be slaughtered–in just this way King has managed to throw open the gates of public debate to liars and men with evil intent.
With Peter King as chair of the committee, the â€œobjectivityâ€ of any such hearings is non-existent. Obviously, the hearings and their results are pre-determined. The hearings will indict the entire Muslim American community and will certainly help to feed into a climate of intolerance, and will certainly lead to violence against Muslims.
The Muslim strategy should be based not on the opposition to the hearing but on exposing its proponents. Muslims have nothing to fear. Their record is clear and known to their neighbors.
Muslim criminals are in fact few and far between. The guilt of Muslims is the red herring that King is using to further his fascist agenda, in the manner of pre-Nazi German anti-Jewish propaganda, by telling vile lies founded in his utter contempt for and ignorance of Islam, King hopes to spread the very same climate of fear and hatred against Muslims that once existed against Jews in Hitlerâ€™s Germany.
This game of King is well understood by the interfaith community all over the country.
By strengthening this interfaith movement and by developing programs of mass contacts, Muslims can defeat the hate.
The leadership of national Muslim organization should organize a national goodwill tour visiting smaller towns responding to the fears created by the Republican hate mongers.