At last, after weeks of speculation and controversy, the hearings on radical Islam organised by Peter King of the United States House of Representatives are underway. Typically, the media are cooking up a storm on this subject, and King and his hearings have been criticised from almost every angle.
So far, despite the presence of every kind of Islamic supremacist thug, the hearings have gone well. We have seen King call out the Council on American Islamic Relations for its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and terrorism, which the media have portrayed as unfounded accusations despite the huge body of supporting evidence.
We have also seen the Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison - whose ritual pilgrimage to Mecca was paid for by the Muslim American Society, the Muslim Brotherhood's official US branch - deliver a speech that I hear brought him within a hair's breadth of beating Colin Firth to that coveted Best Actor Oscar. Despite Ellison's crocodile tears, however, what he actually said was absolute garbage, as Matthew Shaffer demonstrates here.
Ellison's phony diatribe was consistent with one of many talking points that are currently doing the rounds among Leftists and weasels everywhere: the claim that many Muslim terrorist plots in the United States since 9/11 have been prevented with the help of tip-offs from other Muslims. The source for this is apparently a recent study by the Triangle Centre on Terrorism and Homeland Security at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. This data is, however, highly contentious given that similar "findings" by Muslim organisations have been discredited as biased and unreliable.
But even if the Triangle Centre's data is accurate, what the "expert" witnesses and analysts continue to ignore is the fact that those Muslims - and there have unfortunately been many - who have committed or attempted to commit terrorist attacks on US soil have done so in the name of Islam, and in devotion to Islam, as they have said themselves repeatedly. Those Muslims who have prevented terrorist attacks have largely done so not because of Islam, but simply because they are good people who want to help others. Rep. King's hearings, for all their flaws, are intended to investigate what leads Muslims who take the Qur'an seriously to commit acts of violence in its name. Most "moderate" American Muslim advocates would apparently prefer that this investigation never took place, which makes one wonder what these groups have to say and do before people stop referring to them as moderates.
Another common talking point of King's critics are the claims that these hearings somehow represent the return of McCarthyism and witch-hunts. So the argument goes, there are many different kinds of "extremists", and to focus solely on Islam is counter-productive and risks turning people against Muslims as a whole.
The problem with this is that there is a severe and undeniable correlation that is not being addressed - despite Muslims making up 1% of the American population, they have somehow managed to account for over 80% of all convictions tied to international terrorist groups and homegrown terrorism since 9/11. That such a serious problem emanating from one specific demographic group deserves an in-depth investigation of its own is self-evident, and this investigation no more "singles out" or "demonises" all Muslims any more than hearings on the odious Westboro Baptist Church would demonise all American Christians.
Finally, King's oft-quoted statement that around 80% of American mosques are under the control of extremists has once again been presented as a hateful fabrication that he pulled out of nowhere, when it has in fact been derived from hard data pulled from several undercover investigations. In 1999, Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, a Muslim himself, testified in front of the US State Department:
The most dangerous thing that is going on now in these mosques, that has been sent upon these mosques around the United States – like churches they were established by different organizations and that is ok – but the problem with our communities is the extremist ideology. Because they are very active they took over the mosques; and we can say that they took over more than 80% of the mosques that have been established in the US. And there are more than 3000 mosques in the US.
In 2008, the initial findings from 100 mosques of the Mapping Sharia Project suggested that around 75% should be on watch-lists due to their radical teachings.
These disturbing figures do, of course, reflect the nature of the leadership of American mosques, and not necessarily the congregants, who often reject the teachings of their imams, but King never claimed that 80% of American Muslims were extremists, only the mosques, and in that he was entirely correct.
These hearings are an absolutely essential part of America's defense strategy. Improved knowledge leads to improved policy. But it is not surprising to see the usual suspects out to implement their own little "witch-hunts" against those who espouse Islamo-Realism in the West. Hopefully, as they grow increasingly desperate, the coming days, weeks and months will see fewer and fewer Americans buying their snake-oil and more of them waking up to the truth about Islam.