Watching Rep. Peter King’s ‘Muslim Radicalization’ hearings on CSPAN yesterday, we were convinced Bruno Mars would appear and change our TV screens back to black and white. The four-hour hearing was one of the most embarrassing seen on Capitol Hill since the 1950s and talks of ‘commies among us.’
The hearings were an ugly sight to say the least. At one point, Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), the nation’s first Muslim member of Congress and the only Muslim to join the Congressional Black Caucus, began sobbing.
A proud moment for America it was not.
While Fox News viewers may have hit the ‘Like’ button, Russell Simmons’ joint op-ed with Rabbi Marc Schneier on the recent Muslim radicalization hearings hit the nail on the head.
The two men authored a piece in reaction to Congressman Peter King’s hearings before House of Representatives pushing back against King’s agenda. Although King said he intended for the hearings to look into radicalicalization within Muslim communities in America, Uncle Russ and Rabbi Schneier said the dialogue is a polarizing one:
“…a community can only defend itself when it is joined by friends and neighbors by people of different backgrounds, cultures and faiths. Congressman King has failed to recognize this American tradition. Instead, he has forced American Muslims to stand alone defending themselves.”
King, a representative from New York’s 3rd Congressional District and the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is taking his role to a McCarthy-like level. Today, Salon’s William Saleton recapped the hearings, writing:
“Two days before the hearing, when King was accused of assuming ‘that the Muslim American community…is somehow abetting and aiding and giving shelter to this process of radicalization,’ he flatly replied, ‘It is the truth.’ At the hearing, however, King produced no evidence to support these broad allegations. His witnesses stuck to personal anecdotes about certain mosques or imams in Nashville and Minneapolis.”
Overall, the hearings did little to add to a national dialogue on terrorism in America. Instead, Rep. Peter King perversely used his leadership to further alienate the Muslim community by casting them as a threat to the country they call home.