Congressional hearings may reignite McCarthyism
9 Mar, 2011 20:11
As Congressman Peter King gears up for his highly-publicized hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America, critics argue Americans should look no further than Senator Joseph McCarthy for his inspiration.
“Muslim leaders are not doing enough to cooperate with law enforcement, there have actually been imams instructing their followers to not cooperate with law enforcement,” Representative Peter King (R-NY) told FOX News. King is the Chairman of the Congressional Homeland Security Committee. “We know how evil this enemy is and we have to confront it,” King told the organization ACT! For America. “And to me it's offensive to all Muslims when we don't single out Islamic terrorists, it's almost like we're afraid to offend Muslims because we're targeting the terrorists that are in their midst.” King has dismissed critics who say the hearings unfairly single out Muslims, which worries critics like history professor and McCarthyism expert Ellen Schrecker. “We’ve always had our scapegoats, today its Muslims, in the 1950s it was communists,” Schrecker said. “Focusing on people’s associations, in this case religious rather than political, but calling them up in public and exposing them to some kind of sanctions, whether it’s just nasty emails, dismissals or workplace sanctions.” Others have criticized King’s narrow focus. According Department of Homeland Security study, lslamic terrorists are seen as a threat in 31 states, while Neo-Nazi and white supremacist cells—groups left out of King’s Homeland Security hearings—are seen as a threat in 46 states. “When we talk about terrorism in the united states who have been the terrorists? Some poor pathetic nut in Arizona, Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City, these are the people who are killing Americans, not Muslims,” Schrecker said.