Since announcement by Congressman Pete King of hearings into the “radicalization” of American Muslims, I constantly read stories from right wing Republicans which prove Muslims in America constitute a threat to security. One recent column noted there were over 200 investigations into alleged terrorist activities by Muslims in America. No other group in our society matches that figure. I lived through the era of Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s when statistics indicated a higher percentage of members of the Communist Party were Jewish. Jews represented a percent out of all proportion to their 5% of the population. The result was constant charges of disloyalty toward American Jews.
After years of hysteria fostered by McCarthy and other virulent anti-Communists, one could count on the fingers of both hands the actual number of American Jews who actually were convicted of espionage. Many were convicted of lying about their membership in the Communist Party before a legislative body, but that is a long way from being a spy or engaged in espionage. It is now March, 2011, how many ACTS OF TERRORISM have been committed by those who are American Muslims?
Pete King insists he is not a bigot, simply an individual who fears terrorism. When asked about his support of Irish Republican Army terrorists, he responded they were “freedom fighters” waging war against the hated Brits. He also emphasized they were not attacking America, which in his view, does not make them terrorists. An interesting philosophical question is posed by his comment. Is one a terrorist if acts of violence are not committed against the United States? If we accept that definition, then Muslim terrorists in Pakistan are not terrorists.
Ask a 100 Americans the following question: “When I say, Italian, which image comes into your mind?” I will guarantee at least 30% will respond, “Mafia.” Does this mean a high percentage of Americans regard Italian Americans as a threat to this country? I await the response of Pete King.