I want to share a column by Ruben Navarrette with regard to the congressional hearings into the Muslim American community. You can read the entire story here, Ruben wrote:
I agree that the hearings are a bad idea, even a dangerous one. King would have been better off scrutinizing all sorts of groups and not just one. And yet, the more I think about it, the more I appreciate King’s passion for the cause of ferreting out radicals. So I’ve got an important assignment for him. Read more.
In reading Navarrette’s column, my interest peaked when he wrote he had an assignment for King. I wanted to know what assignment he had, and he made some good points.
I meant to write my feelings on the hearings earlier, because I was emotional when Keith Ellison testified to the tune that Muslim Americans are patriotic, too. I suppose I was somewhat emotional because some extremists have also accused Latinos of not being patriotic, so I can empathize with Keith to this regard and understand why he was sincere.
I am in support of the “terror hearings”, just as Keith Ellison is. However, I am not in support of hearings that are aimed at one specific ethnic group. We should conduct “terror hearings” that will point to all of the other ones that exist, too. As I watched the terror hearings last week, I honed in on Congressman Keith Ellison’s testimony. He made a good point with regard to the FBI/Law Enforcement, where he said:
This brings me to my third point. What should we be doing to address violent extremism and keep America safe?
The best defense against extremist ideologies is social inclusion and civic engagement. FBI Agent Ralph Boelter, head of the Minneapolis FBI, illustrates my point. He led a large scale probe into counterterrorism involving local Somali-Americans heading overseas to fight with a terrorist organization. He is now coming to D.C. to become the Agency’s deputy assistant director in charge of counterterrorism.
Boelter’s strategy: To fight extremism, the Agency needs to establish sincere relationships with the community. “We had to be able to show people they could trust me, trust us,” Boelter said of the local community.
FBI Agent Boelter “showed a side to the FBI that people don’t see,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan. “They needed that. They needed a little more to make their case. And it paid off because of the connections he made. People came forward. He became somebody that they were willing to go to.”
You see, I know Keith is speaking the truth here. A former business partner of mine who happens to be Muslim American told me that if the government ever needed his help in translating to combat Islamic terrorism, he would be more than happy to do so to help protect our nation. He told me intelligence departments should create a strong relationship with Muslim Americans to counter the real bad guys.
Rep. Peter King’s strategy is damning to the image of our country we have to other parts of the world. The billion$ we give in aid toward earthquake/tsunami responses, and other forms of crisis situations…gives a message to the whole world that we (United States) bring light to their darkness. However, the hypocrisy of the Peter King hearings serve to snuff out some of the light we give, and unbeknownst to him, he is cracking that door to the Dark Ages.
Muslims come here to flee corrupt government, and when they experience freedom in America, they testify of their American experience to their families across the globe. It’s the greatest testament there is, and in fact, this is how “the American gospel” is spread like religion. When Muslim Americans, Chinese Americans, Persian Americans come here, they tell their families how much better our government is. Then their relatives who live in China, the Mid-East, Iran and so forth put pressure on their own governments to be “more like America”. Other government leaders don’t want to feel the pressure from their own citizens to become more like America, because they want to continue to dictate, and they don’t want their citizens — “the people” to influence the direction of their countries.
When we isolate and target a group such as King did this past Thursday with Muslim Americans, it gives middle eastern leaders a reason to tell their people that “America hates Muslims”. This is why I don’t believe in King’s strategy because it is the wrong way. It’s divisive to what was intended for our Union.
How can the whole world view us as a beacon of light, when we have become isolationists with regard to policies within our own continent? Who are we to tell others that they should spread democracy throughout the world when we shut the door to those who seek it fleeing their corrupt government?
As such, when we become anti-immigrant, it gives other leaders like Putin and Kim Jong Il, a footing to tell Moscow and North Korea why the so called “American beacon to the immigrants” has failed as they point to our hypocrisy. Without America, and our testimony….the world has no hope.
Peter King should have carried out a full blown hearing that targets all terrorist and extremist groups regardless of RACE, RELIGION and COLOR.
This is only one “King” problem in America. We have another “King” problem, and his name is Rep. Steve King.
Isolationists like Rep. Steve King should come to the realization that America is not at a healthy replacement rate with the upcoming retiring baby boomers and the burgeoning Social Security entitlements that will bankrupt our nation within 15 years if we don’t find ways to resolve this issue. Since the United States is in the business of “killing our own”, we have no choice but to rely on immigrants. A pro life leader puts it eloquently on why pro growth ideas are necessary to sustain the American economy below:
Roe v. Wade’s legacy: 52 million abortions and counting
To visualize the significance of 52 million abortions…With the solvency of Social Security and Medicare under debate, consider the effect on those programs if millions more citizens participated. That’s more Americans buying homes, cars, clothing, groceries — creating an economic stimulus unattainable by legislative fiat.
There you have it. Both Kings — Peter and Steve are taking us down the wrong path. They hurt the image of the United States and the GOP, because you have one “King” who is hell bent on targeting the Muslims without looking at other extremists (such as Minuteman Shawna Forde, who killed innocent Mexican Americans), and you have the other “King” who has a dangerous isolationist view during a time when America should embrace growth.
So much for the works of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peter King and Steve King are taking us backward. Americans are sick and tired of divisiveness. Is it really that hard to solve problems that will keep the good American people cohesive regardless of race, religion and color? We are supposed to be “United”, remember? Not look for wedge issues that will only serve to divide our country.
More than ever, we need a President like Ronald Reagan who had the true American Spirit within him. If only more Americans could remember his Shining City Upon a Hill speech. I can’t imagine Reagan doing what Peter and Steve do. What a shame.