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The Importance of Being (Peter) King
by Deborah Weiss
Poor Peter. The burdens that come with exposing the problem of radical Islam in America are falling squarely on Congressman Peter King's shoulders. This is because he, almost single-handedly, has taken up the mantle of leadership on this issue in the form of congressional hearings. This is a daunting task no doubt, and he is to be commended for both his efforts and his courage.
It was therefore a grave disappointment when last week's hearing, titled "The threat of Muslim-American radicalization in U.S. Prisons" fell flat. Indeed, it left the observer wondering what the goal of the hearing was. If it was to educate the public, it utterly failed. If it was to raise awareness, it did no such thing. To the contrary, an objective observer uneducated on this topic would likely walk away believing that the trend of Islamist radicalization in U.S prisons is minute, perhaps irrelevant, and certainly not a serious threat. It might reasonably have been concluded that prison gang violence, discrimination against poor black men, a lack of rehabilitation and social injustice should have been the subject of the hearing. After all, why is Poor Peter picking on radical Muslims and not radical Jews or radical Christians? It just doesn't seem fair. And without further explanation, it doesn't even seem constitutional.
Confining their answers to the questions being asked by the committee's congressmen, the witnesses were able to eke out bits and pieces of useful information. Yes, some people become radical Muslims in prison; yes, some Muslims in prison have formed or joined terrorist cells, and yes there are some inmates who want to supplant the U.S. government with Sharia law.
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