King Undeterred on Hearings while Shari’ah Law Bans Abound in States

Yesterday House Homeland Security Committee Chair Peter King announced he would not be deterred by “political correctness” and would proceed undeterred with his March hearings on “the threat of Islamic radicalization.” Bennie Thompson, the ranking member of the Committee, had asked King to expand the probe to “a broad-based examination of domestic extremist groups regardless of their ideological underpinnings.” A coalition of interfaith and civil rights groups has denounced the hearings as divisive and McCarthy-esque.

But for King, who believes 80% of American mosques are “controlled by radical imams,” and has ignored warnings from retired miltary brass and scholars at esteemed institutions like West Point that anti-Muslim rhetoric “feeds into the messages of al Qaeda propagandists,” insists that “the al Qaeda attacks of 9/11 and the ongoing threat to our nation from Islamic jihad were uniquely diabolical and threatening to America’s security, both overseas and in our homeland.” As a result, he rejected both Thompson’s request and the warnings about his hearings being “misguided and counterproductive.

Meanwhile, as the intraconservative feud over the level of anti-Muslim rhetoric continues, Republican lawmakers in the states are proceeding with attempts to ban shari’ah law. By Think Progress’ count, now at least 13 states have made such an effort.

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email