After September 11, it was put forward to us that the problem was not Islam, but the radicalization of some Muslims. And yet the defenders of that formulation also refuse to discuss Muslim radicalization as a tangible reality, rather than a convenient excuse for shelving the topic.
Congressman Peter King’s attempts to hold hearings on Muslim radicalization have been met with attacks from the very people who should be welcoming the hearings. If the problem really is a minority of extremists, then why not hold hearings that delve into how this radicalization occurs and what can be done about it?
Instead Congressman King has been smeared and his hearings have been hijacked on the most ridiculous pretexts. During the latest hearing, Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond complained that while Muslims might be responsible for 90 percent of the terrorist attacks. “The problem see is that we’re only talking about the 90 percent. It’s the 10 percent that we’re not talking about that keeps me up at night.”
Democratic Congresswoman Janice Hahn began rambling about being troubled by “radical Christians” and her colleague, Democratic Congressman Al Green said that he didn’t oppose hearings on radicalization, just hearings that didn’t “focus on the entirety of radicalization”.
“Christians who become radicalized, they become a part of Islam,” Green stuttered. “Why not have a hearing on the radicalization of Christians?”
Well why not? The answer to the question is as apparent as the reason for the hearings. The United States is not suffering from a plague of Methodist suicide bombers. Terrorism Denial is a refusal to deal with the question. And at the hearing, it came in many forms.
Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson insisted that Islamic terrorism was no longer a factor because Osama bin Laden, Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, a minor figure, had been killed. “Despite a changing world which requires us to look forward, this committee seems to want to look back.”
Islamic terrorism was now something in the rearview mirror and there was no reason to look back at it. But the highlights of the hearing came from the only witness called by the Democrats whose Terrorism Denial broke new ground.
Faiza Patel denounced the hearings for perpetuating “the notion that it is what American Muslims believe that leads to terrorism” and insisted that, “You cannot look at ideology as a predictor of violence.” Not only did Patel reject the very idea of Muslim radicalization, but she insisted that terrorism somehow exists apart from religion and ideology. And added that Muslim terrorists are actually secular.
Committee Democrats insisted on treating Patel as an expert, while belittling and denigrating Muslim witnesses like Asra Nomani and Zuhdi Jasser who, unlike her, actually came to talk about the subject under discussion.
When King suggested that there had been enough experts and that perhaps the committee might want to hear from actual people, Congresswoman Laura Richardson announced that she was offended. Richardson has made a small career out of being offended. When she was investigated for ethics violations, she was offended and claimed that it was only due to her race.
But there is an entire industry dedicated to being offended. Some of the professionally offended are Muslims, some are Dhimmis, but all are ready and waiting to be offended at any hour of the day. When the 3 AM phone call comes in, they can be out of bed and dictating a press release to convey the full measure of their ‘offendedness’ in the blink of an eye. And what offends them is any discussion of the intersection between Islam and terrorism.
Their arguments run as follows. Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, which they prove by pointing out that the majority of Muslims in America have never killed anyone. Talking about terrorism offends and alienates Muslims, which they imply may radicalize them into becoming terrorists. Therefore we shouldn’t talk about Muslim radicalization because it doesn’t exist and because by doing so we risk radicalizing Muslims.
What the Democratic assault on the hearings really showed is that Muslim radicalization, once the fallback position on Terrorism Denial, has now been placed outside the realm of discussion. You cannot talk about it, unless you take a TSA position, that the hearings should involve the radicalization of absolutely every religious group under the sun—so long as they aren’t Muslim.