3-3-2011By C. Dixon Osburn
Director, Law and Security Program
Congress is preparing McCarthyism 2.0.
Rep. Peter King, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee—the person in Congress who is in charge of our safety at home—plans to hold hearings next week about the threat we face from our fellow Americans.
Rep. King has said that 80% of religious leaders in mosques are radicalized. Not true. He has said that American Muslims do not cooperate with law enforcement. The police and FBI disagree.
What counter terrorism experts tell us is that alienating and isolating communities makes us less secure. Focusing on groups of people, not on indicators of threats, makes us less safe. They tell us that radical clerics tell the world that America is at war with Islam, and Rep. Peter King is playing right into their hands.
General David Petraeus, U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, said that vilifying American Muslims and burning Korans could “endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort here…. [I]n fact, images from such activity could very well be used by extremists here and around the world.”
We need to make sure that our national security experts are not trumped by the politics of fear.
President Barak Obama said, “I’ve got Muslims who are fighting in Afghanistan in the uniform of the United States Armed Services. They’re out there putting their lives on the line for us. And we’ve got to make sure that we are crystal clear, for our sakes and their sakes, they are Americans and we honor their service. And part of honoring their service is making sure that they understand that we don’t differentiate between them and us. It’s just us.”
Help us stand united. Say no to the new McCarthyism. Write your representatives today.