In December of 2010, Congressman Peter King announced his intention to hold hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, basically to investigate and understand the threat of homegrown terrorism and extremism. On June 20th, the 5th hearing took place regarding this matter, which has been surrounded in controversy ever since it’s inception.
Now in theory, I actually have no problem on such hearings; in fact, I think it’s a very good thing, and something that should be done. The problem with these hearings however, is that the man heading them, Peter King, does not have the right intentions behind them. Peter King is your typical Republican congressman, who has his own political and ideological agenda behind the whole saga, which is to cause fear mongering, and a demonization of the Muslim community in the west. In other words, what we are seeing are not actual hearings and testimonies regarding the root cause and reasoning behind Muslim radicalization in America, which is the supposed intention behind the hearings.
If we are to hold hearings on the radicalization of Muslims, then it should be done properly, with the facts out there for everybody to see. As I said, this is something good to have, and something that is needed. Ever since the September 11th attacks, when the phenomena of terrorism and extremism came to the forefront of public attention, there has never been any real official meaningful mainstream discussion on why such a phenomena exists in the first place. Instead of this we have been given propaganda filled reasoning and explanations by those in power, and by certain right wing propagandists with their own bigoted agenda. We have been told and led to believe that the causes of homegrown extremism is simply due to the fact that these people are crazy, and there is a crazy ideology out there that simply manages to brainwash them into a warped reality, thereby turning them into monsters.
Now without a doubt, it is a crazy ideology to believe you can go out there and cause mass murder to innocent civilians, but the point I am making, is that it is not so simple as in black and white, that these people are mentally deranged lunatics, with no logic behind them, in other words these men are not acting on an entire basis of irrationality. Rather, these men, who do become extremists, have logical and political reasoning behind their anger and extremism, one only has to look at what they themselves have said! In fact one needs to also look at what the intelligence community has to say, the very same people we task with hunting and arresting these people.
The root cause of extremism behind these men is the foreign policy of certain governments in question, in this case, we are talking about homegrown American Muslim extremists, and so the foreign policy in question would be that of the American government in regards to Muslims and Muslim countries. Foreign policy blunders such as the illegal invasion of Iraq, the sanctions against Iraq that preceded that, leaving half a million dead Iraqi children, and the continued biased support for Israel, an oppressive occupying power over the Palestinians. All of these foreign policy issues, and many more, are the actual causes of driving some Muslims into the fold of extremism; they have channeled their political frustrations through that route, rather than other civilized and legal means.
So this is what we should be investigating, this is what we should be letting everybody know, and this is what we need to be talking about. However, that’s not what’s happening, instead we have radicalization hearings being headed by Peter King, with an agenda that doesn’t want to get the truth or the real answers, and doesn’t want to do anything with examining the evidence as to why homegrown extremism exists.
Homegrown extremism is a reality, there’s no use in trying to deny it’s existence, but if we want to confront and understand the problem, then we need to properly assess and examine it, and then we might be able to address and prevent it from happening in the first place. Now if any politician is able and willing to do that, then I am all for it.