This morning, noted IRA supporter Rep Peter King (R-NY)--who once remarked that "we have...too many mosques in this country"--held a hearing on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response." King admitted to the hearing's purpose as carefully staged political theater and used his opening statement to hit back against pre-hearing criticism:
This Committee cannot live in denial which is what some would have us do when they suggest that this hearing dilute its focus by investigating threats unrelated to Al Qaeda. [...] Al Qaeda is actively targeting the American Muslim Community for recruitment. Today's hearing will address this dangerous trend.
King complained about "a lack of full cooperation from too many people in the Muslim community," but I wonder: are the gun nuts and Christianists, the militia groups and neo-Nazis on the Right known for their cooperation with federal law enforcement organizations? David Neiwert writes that right-wing domestic terrorists should also be the subject of hearings, but pundits such as Bill O'Reilly can't understand why:
"Are you kidding me? The radical right? The last terror act assigned to them was the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. [...] How many people have the radical right killed?"
Well, Bill, just to get you up to speed: There have been many, many more right-wing terrorist acts on American soil since 1995 -- including the bombing of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, just for starters. [...] We've documented, to date, 22 cases of domestic terrorism since July 2008 involving right-wing extremists of various stripes, all inflicting (or attempting to inflict) violence on a variety of "liberal" and government targets.
ThinkProgress notes that non-Muslim terrorists are nearly twice as common in the US. In the post-9/11 era, "Muslims have been involved in 45 domestic terrorist plots. Meanwhile, non-Muslims have been involved in 80 terrorist plots." While Muslim-originated domestic terrorism is disproportionately high given their small numbers, violence committed by right-wing extremists (combining anti-government/anti-tax radicals with KKK/NeoNazi/White supremacist movements) is much more frequent. The Right's violence targets broad areas of modern civilization (in service of their sexism, racism, xenophobia, and homophobia), but let's look at just one: their anti-abortion attacks. Over the period from 1977 to 2009, anti-abortion activists have been responsible for:
216 arsons and bombings
97 attempted arson or bombing
643 bomb threats
184 incidents of assault and battery
416 death threats
14293 incidents of hate mail or hate phone calls
(That's in addition to 9 murders and 4 attempted murders; all by firearms.)
You'll almost never hear the phrase Christian terrorism used in the (conservative) corporate media, though, because right-wing extremism is rarely examined--they'd rather keep rehashing the Sixties. (For one example, see the uproar over the DHS report on right-wing extremism.)
Although I can't countenance Islam's bigoted irrationality, I'll gladly stand with Muslims against the Peter Kings of the world--particularly if the hearings degenerate into questions like "Are you now, or have you ever been, a Muslim?" The Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness & Housing protests in NYC last weekend had the right idea: