King’s Crusade: The Police State Gears Up Against Muslim Americans
Photo by RIDZDESIGN
Statesmen and politicians have repeatedly, throughout history, relied on a bogey-man de jour to validate increased state repression and otherwise unacceptable legislation to restrict the rights of citizens. In this case, Rep. Peter King’s own misguided bias, and lack of political wisdom and savvy, may backfire when dealing with the ‘radicalization’ he accuses others of, and seriously impact the lives of all Americans; Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, etc, alike.
Peter King, former aide to Joe McCarthy (no kidding), who once stood publicly with the IRA (Irish Republican Army) “against British imperialism and colonialism” – something that, by the way, other Republicans like Huckabee charge as a serious problem with Obama since Republicans can’t abide an anti-colonialist President to lead their country that rebelled against British colonialism – seems to have a different set of rules for people who haven’t actually committed, or even supported, terrorist activity but share a tenuous religious or cultural tie with some individuals that have. As long as those individuals are not like individuals who are like Peter King.
If radicalization were actually kings target, why would he target a generalized group of American citizens that simply share a tenuous religious tie (tenuous because such is the tie between the majority of any religious adherents and that religion’s fundamentalist fringe) with a group of fundamentalists who happen to be ranked #11 after the KKK, White Supremacists, Christian Nationalist Fundamentalists, and Domestic Militia organizations, as identified domestic threats to American National security?
Perhaps his own ignorance of the radical and violent teachings within the Christian Bible confuse his ability to understand that he cannot indict an entire group of people based on his literal translation of their religious text. The Bible is just as exclusive, just as misogynistic, and just as Imperialistic as the Qur’an. And, likewise, the majority of those who follow either religion are equally as moderate, compassionate, peaceful and tolerant. Mr. King’s ignorance of both religions, and his bias for one and prejudice against the other, seems to be the driving force behind his crusade.
Unless of course you consider his close ties to, and frequent appearance at events for, and submissions on the website of, AIPAC (the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) and his recent vocal support of the USA’s unilateral UN veto of a resolution against illegal Israeli settlements and expansion in Palestine. Perhaps there is a deeper motivation behind these hearings for Mr. King. Perhaps the motivation is ethnocentric. Perhaps it is theological. Or, perhaps it is financial and political.
Perhaps it’s as simple as Catholics=OK, Jews=OK, Christians=OK, and Muslims=BAD for Mr. King. He certainly doesn’t come across as a deep thinker. Regardless, the broad and serious impact that will be created by his narrow-minded agenda will reverberate through our society and effect us all.
The absence of any wisdom, reason, or logic in this multi-million dollar inquisition, will, in all likelihood, assist in the ostracization and subsequent vulnerability to radicalization of the people he is accusing of being radicalized. His own campaign to satisfy a paranoid and ignorant constituency may only serve to create the Bogey-man they imagine.
In the end, the only thing that will be accomplished is the division of American society, a public offense to the Muslim community, and justification for the increased implementation of the freedom-suffocating, privacy-violating, rights-stripping, Patriot Act.
America’s WWII internment camps for Japanese Americans, and Germany’s WWII internment camps for the Jewish Germans, should be a stark reminder of where men like Peter King, and his mentor Joe McCarthy, are capable of leading a frightened and misinformed public. We all know that to trade our freedom, and the freedom of our fellow citizens, for the appearance of security, leaves us in a situations where we will neither deserve nor have either.
King’s crusade is not only an affront to the entire Arab and Muslim community in America, it is an affront to all Americans. He doesn’t only offend their freedom and rights but the rights of us all. To conduct a congressional inquisition based on ‘Guilt by Association,’ where he is the one defining that association based, not on ones actions, but, on ones constitutionally protected freedom of religion, is abhorrent.
The Arab and Muslim communities will suffer as the result of King’s actions, and so will the rest of us. Suspicion and mistrust will spread through society like a malignant growth and the mechanisms of state surveillance and control will be amplified to meet the hysteria. King’s mentor, McCarthy, brought us the ‘Red Scare.’ King’s idiocy will bring us the days of the ‘Muslim Terror.’
Nothing good can come of this. We’ve taken a turn down the wrong road and King is driving the bus. As the uprisings throughout the Arab world take notice of this nonsense it will have potentially grave effects on American foreign policy and ability to cooperate with these new democracies as they emerge. Anti-American sentiment over King’s charade will foment anger against those seen as unjust oppressors. Again King may find yet another way to create the bogey-man he fears, and all of it will end up as an excuse for increased surveillance, monitoring, and control of the American people.