Muslim apathy to U.S. witch-hunt

March 16, 2011 - 0:0

When Rep. Peter King from New York's Long Island has championed a Congressional Hearing into “the extent of radicalization in the American Muslim community and that community's response” reminiscent of the McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee, isn't it about time that the Arab League or the OIC held hearings into America's un-Islamic activities?

Ten years have passed since the 9/11 tragedy when Muslims in the U.S. were rounded up in their thousands and incarcerated without access to lawyers or loved ones. Since, Muslims have been made to pay a terrible price for the actions of 19 fanatics who in no way represent Islam or its values. Afghanistan and Iraq were bombed and invaded as a direct consequence. Over a million Muslim men, women and children have been killed in those countries, untold numbers maimed, widowed and orphaned.
Innocent Muslims have been humiliated and tortured in Bagram, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Some were abducted off the streets of Europe when they were hooded and chained before being flown to third countries prepared to do the CIA's torturing dirty work. Women and young children are still being bombed by U.S. drones in Afghanistan despite the heartfelt pleas of President Hamid Karzai. Yet, instead of apologizing for its crimes against the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, Congress has launched into an anti-Islamic witch-hunt.
I wonder how those worthy gentlemen in Washington would react if, say, Egypt, where some 11 percent of the population is Coptic Christian, were to embark on a similar official demonizing of Christians for crimes committed by Americans of shared faith in Arab lands.
As Donald Rumsfeld boasted to Piers Morgan on CNN last week when asked if he had any regrets, there have been no repeat performances of 9/11. He's right. The biggest victims of terrorist attacks are Muslims themselves and, indeed.
Congress should never have blessed Peter King's divisive, hate-mongering endeavor, billed by King “to establish and show the American people that there is a real threat of Al-Qaeda recruiting and also homegrown terrorists radicalizing the Muslim community.” If there is any radicalization of Muslim communities in the West, it is prompted by America's unjust wars and slurs heaped upon Muslims by King and his ilk. Singling out one faith for investigation runs contrary to America's stated democratic values and its much-touted constitution.
Resulting from the hearing, the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy and lobbying group set up to protect the interests of American Muslims, was besmirched as “a terrorist organization” that collaborates with outlaw groups such as Hamas. That ridiculous unsubstantiated allegation was countered by Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy Baca who said, “If CAIR is a criminal organization prosecute them and bring them to trial.”
U.S. Democratic Rep. for California's 12th Congressional District Jackie Speier was hissed and booed when she condemned the hearing as being “grossly incomplete” and suggested that in addition to investigating Islamic radicalism, a Christian terrorist organization called The Army of God should also come under scrutiny.
In fact, the former activities of Peter King himself should be looked into. An enthusiastic supporter of the IRA in its murderous heyday, King announced in the 1980s “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it,” and he was shown out of a Belfast court room during an IRA murder trial for being “an obvious collaborator.”
When taken to task for his murky terrorist-supporting past, King points out that the IRA never committed terrorist acts within US borders (in other words, to hell with America's British ally) and likens the IRA to the Israeli Irgun which used extreme violence to consolidate a Jewish homeland. He would not, however, accept that same argument if it were used to defend methods used by Hamas to retrieve the stolen Palestinian homeland.
Peter King's despicable congressional hearing smacks of America's usual double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to Muslims and Arabs. As the world witnessed during the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, Arabs, whether Muslim or Christian, want the same things as their counterparts in the West -- economic, social and political change. Among all the millions of North African demonstrators there was no burning of American flags or even displays of anti-Israeli sentiment.
I was gratified to note messages left by surprised Americans under Egypt's revolutionary music video “Sout El Horiya” (Sound of Freedom) on YouTube showing people from all walks of life in Tahrir Square singing along when the uprising was in full swing. One of those messages read, “Look at those faces. Those are the kind of people I would like to get to know.”
It was interesting, too, to find protesters in Wisconsin demonstrating against a bar on union collective bargaining carrying banners that read, “Fight like an Egyptian.” Peter King and his bigoted cohorts aren't getting with the program. Labeling Muslims as freedom and democracy-hating fanatics is not only old news but is also proven to have been falsely manufactured news.
What mystifies me is the lack of reaction by Muslim and Arab leaderships to such continuous physical and verbal U.S. attacks on their own people. Predominantly Muslim countries supply America and its allies in Europe with oil and gas, host numerous U.S. bases. Collectively, they have vast wealth, huge armies and state-of-the-art warships and airplanes. Yet, they behave as if they have no geopolitical clout at all.
It seems to me that Arab states have been apologetic and obliging enough relative to 9/11 in which they had no part. Instead, they should be holding the U.S. to account for its crimes and slurs against Muslims, both past and current. Muslim people need defending. When oh when will the 22 member states of the Arab League and the 56 member states of the OIC that are supposed to promote Muslim solidarity be up to the task?
(Source: Arab News)
Photo: Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. , chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 10, 2011. (Getty Images) -