Assalamu alaikum/greetings, I saw the, well, I guess it was the press conference after Peter King’s hearings on “Muslim radicalization”, yesterday. And though I didn’t see any of the hearings (and frankly don’t want to), I found the press conference to be a bit, well, interesting, to say the least. I don’t know the three other guys they had speaking with Rep. King, but one of them, IMHO, could barely speak English and made no sense to me, the other one, kept talking about how “Muslims were hard working people” etc., which, well, to me kinda defeated the purpose of the hearings, and the other guy kept talking about “reform in the Muslim world” and how “there isn’t a separation of mosque and state in Islam”, etc.
Now keep in mind, I did not see all of the press conference nor did I see the hearings themselves, but I was quite disappointed by the three “witnesses” I did see, that Rep. King had called to testify and who were with him during the press conference. I was at the time more engaged in enjoying my stir fry I was eating than really focusing on the hearings/press conference but I kinda thought “gosh is that the best he can do”? And I also commented to my husband “why is this guy talking about no separation of mosque and state”, in many Muslim-majority countries, I actually thought of The Gambia in particular, while personal status law and disputes of that nature is handled by kadis/Islamic judges, criminal law and other legal code is based on English law. And I confirmed this with my husband. To which he responded to my “what is this guy talking about?” question with a “this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
I have to say that based on what I’ve read about Peter King and this whole “Muslim radicalization” thing, it seems to be more about Peter King’s personal vandetta against the local Muslims of his community, for something said after 9/11 by one of the local Muslim leaders that made him angry, than really about rooting out “Muslim radicalization”. And I found this to be sad, to drag a whole entire community through the mud because of a vandetta or a personal grievance or an ax to grind with Muslims of your local district.
So anyway, I’m not “worried” or “scared” or anything like that. I am vigilant though, and I really feel sorry for the Muslims who are willingly making themselves pawns in this Islamophobic witchhunt, along with the members of Congress who actually think this is a wise use of our, the taxpayers’, time and money, especially as it’s many of these same people that feel the budget is in such a mess that corporate bigwigs get tax breaks while the elderly and poor go without heating assistance and other social services. And I feel sorry for the American people at large, whose money coulda been better spent on something else, hmm, I don’t know, like health-care or something.
And of course, I’m concerned about the Muslim community at large, being painted with such a broad and mostly wrong brush. IMHO, “Muslim radicals” aren’t usually sitting in the masjid planning their next “jihad” with the masjid leadership. Muslims can tell me if I’m wrong if they want to, but aside from the usual grievances about Palestine, etc., I’ve just not seen this. Muslim “radicals” if they are, are usually on the Net or sitting in someone’s house or some other place planning their next plot, or of course, getting “entrapped” by the FBI. And even though Muslims in many cases have actually been cooperative with law enforcement, I guess it doesn’t matter to Peter King. He gets to sympathize with the IRA (which I know used to be if not still is considered a terrorist organization), while Muslims have to constantly prove their loyalty and even then it’s still not good enough. We’re still all terrorists to Peter King it seems, he still thinks there are too many mosques in this country (even if now he wants to act as though he never said such a thing), and we’ll still be potentially subjected to things like having tracking devices planted on our vehicles without our knowledge.