As soon as Republicans take control of the House, Representative Peter King, a Long Island Republican, plans to get down to business "investigating" what he sees as an increasing "radicalization" of American Muslims. In a Newsday op-ed, King swears he's not conducting a McCarthyesque witch hunt; he's just worried about domestic terrorism, and says he's not going to let "political correctness" hold him back. (As you'll recall, King hates the P.C. police almost as much as the terrorists.) In the op-ed, King blasts the leaders of his local Muslim community:
As I became more immersed in attempting to unravel the radical Islamic threat to our nation and our civilization, it became more and more obvious to me that the moral myopia of Long Island's Muslim leaders and their apologists in the media was the rule - and that there were few exceptions. Federal and local law enforcement officials throughout the country told me they received little or—in most cases—no cooperation from Muslim leaders and imams. This noncooperation was perilous enough in the years following 9/11, when the main Islamist threat to the homeland emanated from overseas.
Fortunately, that aspect of the jihadist threat has subsided because of the effective counterterrorism infrastructure constructed by the Bush administration. Some Bush policies, such as sharing and receiving intelligence with and from our allies, were relatively non-controversial. Others such as enhanced interrogations, wiretapping foreign terrorists phoning into the United States, the prison at Guantánamo, and monitoring terrorist financial transactions were routinely condemned—but all were necessary and effective.
King, who will become the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, promises to invite mainstream Muslim leaders to speak at the hearing. But it's unclear if many will accept the invitation. "We are disturbed that this representative who is in a leadership position does not have the understanding and knowledge of what the realities are on the ground," Abed A. Ayoub, the legal director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, tells the Times, adding that King’s proposal "has bigoted intentions." And Salam al-Marayati, the executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, thinks King "basically wants to treat the Muslim-American community as a suspect community." Uh-oh, those two are definitely going on the blacklist!