I got a chance to listen to about half of the hearing on Muslim radicalization that Rep. King held, and found it disappointing to say the least.
It's not a bad idea at all to have a hearing to investigate Muslim radicalism. It could have been productive to have law enforcement personnel, and perhaps members of the Muslim community involved in combating radicalization come in and review the status, and activities of radical groups here, and perhaps in comparable communities abroad (such as UK, where I gather this is more of a problem). It would have been nice for law enforcement to brief the House on the run-up to the various terrorist attacks (Ft. Hood shooter, Times Square bomber, etc.), and other incidents. It would have been nice for law enforcement to testify on different protocols that are in place to deal with domestic radicalism if it were to strike. Any of this would have made for a very productive hearing on Muslim radicalization.
That wasn't what happened. The whole discussion was a discussion of whether it's appropriate to talk about radical Islam. What a waste of time! The conclusion was Muslim Americans are good Americans, radical Muslims don't represent American Muslims, and Muslims should cooperate with law enforcement. Rep. King and his fellow Republicans protested repeatedly that they were not anti-Muslim, and Democrats continued to be frustrated with the fact that the hearing was even going on. I don't know if King is anti-Muslim, but I can understand the frustration of the Democrats. Rep. King may not be anti-Muslim but he certainly shows no interest in actually addressing real questions of radical Islam. It seems reasonable to conclude, then, that he just wants to talk about the idea of talking about radical Islam. That discussion has a higher political payoff for him than actually doing something productive - something that presumably both parties would actively participate in. Far better for Rep. King's election prospects to have a bombastic title and then spend the whole time talking about whether we can talk about something. Can you blame a few of the Democrats for being frustrated? King may not be anti-Muslim, but he sure is cynical and apparently unconcerned with addressing real threats.
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