In order to assess the sincerity of Mr. King's efforts or the lack of it, it is important to look into his past activities and statements relating to terrorism. Here are a couple of statements regarding the Irish Republican Army attributed to Mr. King by the New York Times:
“We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women (of the Irish Republican Army) who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.” Peter King 1982
“If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.” Peter King 1985
For those unfamiliar with the Irish Republican Army's reign of terror unleashed upon the Irish and the British people, here is a brief snapshot of some of their deadly attacks on civilian targets:
* Bloody Friday: a 1972 attack in Belfast in which 22 bombs, set off in just over an hour, killed 9 people and injured 130.
* In 1979, the IRA assassinated Queen Elizabeth II's uncle and former governor general of India, Lord Mountbatten, and three others by blowing up his boat.
* In 1998, an IRA car bombing killed 29 people in Northern Ireland. The attack was severe enough to provoke threats by the Irish government that paramilitary groups must declare a cease-fire.
King has never regretted his past support for terrorism. The IRA, he still says, was “a legitimate force” battling British repression — analogous to the African National Congress in South Africa or the Zionist Irgun paramilitary in British-ruled Palestine. “It was a dirty war on both sides".
People familiar with King's career know that he is an opportunist. It was King's support from the Irish-Americans that helped him make the leap from Comptroller of Nassau County, New York to member of the House of Representatives. That support was in part predicated upon King's support for the Irish Republican Army.
Knowing his past, it's clear that King sees another opportunity here to build his political career and consolidate his position with the radicals in his party by making the outrageous assertion that 85 percent of leaders of American mosques hold extremist views and that Muslims do not cooperate with law enforcement. He is simply grandstanding on national television to spew hate against America's Muslim minority.
King's reckless assertions and these hearings bring back memories of the Communist witch hunt in the 1950s which was spearheaded by Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy made accusations of Communist infiltration into the State Department, the administration of President Harry S. Truman, Voice of America, and the United States Army. He also used charges of communism, communist sympathies, or disloyalty to attack a number of politicians and other individuals inside and outside of government. The McCarthy era finally ended on December 2, 1954, when the Senate voted to censure Senator McCarthy by a vote of 67 to 22, making him one of the few senators ever to be disciplined in this fashion. McCarthy died in Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 2, 1957, at the age of 48.
The hysterical Islamophobic rhetoric of King's supporters, such as Brigitte Gabriel of Act for America, conflates all Muslims with terrorists and it amounts to outright fearmongering. It deserves to be denounced, not dignified with congressional hearings on national television. Unfortunately, Representative King has invited witnesses with records of making outrageous claims about Muslims, such as Walid Shoebat. Shoebat asserts that "Islam is of Satan". It's noteworthy that King has not invited any law-enforcement official or other experts to discuss his claim that 85 percent of leaders of American mosques hold extremist views and that Muslims do not cooperate with law enforcement.
In addition to inviting the only Muslim-American Congressman Rep Keith Ellison to testify, the Homeland Security Committee’s top Democrat, Representative Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, has invited Leroy Baca, the sheriff of Los Angeles County, who has praised Muslim assistance to law enforcement, and Representative John D. Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, who has many Muslim constituents.
As these hearings get underway, it's important for all right-thinking Americans to expose Congressman King's hypocrisy to help ensure that the injustices of the past committed against specific minority groups in America, such as the African-Americans and the Japanese-Americans, are not repeated yet again.
Here is a video report on the eve of the King hearings:
FBI Entrapping Young Muslims
Duke University Study on Muslim Americans
Early Anthrax Probe of Pakistani-Americans
Violence Against Indians in Australia
First Haji in US Congress
Inside the Mind of Times Square Bomber
Home-grown Terror Plots Seen as FBI Entrapment
Milgram's Experiments on Obedience to Authority