Never mind the fact that Rep. Peter King’s hearings have already been sanitized of almost all potential criticism of Islamic teachings, and that the deliberate exclusion of controversial points of view will doom those hearings to be a pointlessly ritualistic display of Congress looking busy.
Even so, standard operating procedures are kicking in among King’s Muslim constituents. We see this every time Islam comes under scrutiny, particularly in the wake of an attempted act of jihad. Muslim groups aim to deflect any criticism of Islam or attention to conduct by Muslims that brings bad publicity by shifting the focus and casting Muslims as victims or potential victims of “Islamophobia.”
The implication is that all criticism of Islam that can’t be neutralized with a little one-way “dialogue” can only be motivated by hate. Seething, bilious, irrational, and unstable hatred, that makes speaking ill of Islam tantamount to incitement. It is an emotional ploy to silence legitimate and well substantiated concerns about jihad, immigration, and Sharia law.
“Long Island Muslims fear their congressman’s hearings could flame [sic] Islamophobia,” by William Wan for the Washington Post, January 24:
WESTBURY, N.Y. – They called it a summit to teach Muslims how to fight prejudice and fear. But all day long, fear was inescapable in the fluorescent-lit meeting hall of the Long Island mosque.
One begins to wonder if there isn’t a stock, Mad-Libs sort of template for these stories on the hard drives of major news organizations. Just fill in the names, places, and the grievance du jour.
The top issue on everyone’s mind this month at the Islamic Center of Long Island was this: What could be done to stop planned congressional hearings on alleged hidden radicalism among American Muslims and mosques?
The House hearings, scheduled to begin next month, have touched off a wave of panic throughout the U.S. Muslim community, which has spent much of the past year battling what it sees as a rising tide of Islamophobia. Conference calls, strategy sessions and letter-writing campaigns have been launched. Angry op-eds have compared the congressional inquiry to McCarthyism and the World War II persecution of Japanese Americans.
But for those who gathered at the Long Island mosque, the coming hearings represented not just a political issue, but a personal one. For the man organizing the hearings was the very lawmaker who was supposed to represent them in Washington – Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.). Long before he had become their enemy, he had been one of their community’s closest friends.
“He used to come to our weddings. He ate dinner in our homes,” said the mosque’s chairman, Habeeb Ahmed, a short medical technologist with graying hair sitting near the front. “Everything just changed suddenly after 9/11, and now he’s holding hearings to say that people like us are radical extremists. I don’t understand it.” […]
On the contrary, it looks like he’s bending over backwards to exclude the most substantive criticism of Islam at its primary sources.
Although no member of the Islamic Center has ever been accused of terrorism, King has singled out the mosque as a hotbed of “radical Islam” and called its leaders extremists who should be put under surveillance. He maintains that most Muslim leaders in this country aren’t cooperating with authorities, even as arrests of homegrown terrorists are rising greatly.
Now, as the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, King said he is finally in a position to do something about it.
“My first goal is just to have people even acknowledge this as a real issue,” King said. “This politically correct nonsense has kept us from debating and discussing what is one of this country’s most vital issues. We are under siege by Muslim terrorists.”
Steve Emerson and Robert Spencer would be happy to help “acknowledge this as a real issue.” They’ve been doing it for years.
Anyway, cue the violins:
For years, such statements by King have provoked anger among Muslims in his district, but with the hearings looming, there is also a sense of shame and regret. Long Island Muslims worry that what began long ago as a broken relationship between them and their congressman could soon pose a threat to the entire U.S. Muslim community.…
And there you have it. Criticism = incitement = danger: Q.E.D.