Former Mayor Ed Koch just sent out one of his regular commentaries in which he praises Long Island Congressman Peter King’s plan to hold hearings about “the radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorism.”
Koch calls the hearings, “a sensible act on his part which should be supported by the American public,” and he takes aim at a New York Times editorial that says that King’s “sweeping slur on Muslim citizens is unacceptable.”
Peter King is no Johnny-Come-Lately to the cause of protecting America from terrorists. Do recall the 2006 incident when a number of Muslims boarded a plane in Minneapolis and fellow passengers alarmed by their actions, none of which was criminal, reported their observations to the flight crew. The captain ordered the Muslims from the plane. Those evicted sued the passengers who had made the complaints against them.
It was Peter King who successfully introduced legislation, ultimately enacted into law, which protected those and future passengers who report suspicious behavior by passengers on airplanes from being the object of lawsuits. Congressman King is now seeking to protect America and the Muslim American community. How? By holding hearings on whether or not the American Muslim community is becoming radicalized and giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies.
Remember, we are at war with Islamic terrorists who, according to the U.S. government, have Al-Qaeda cells at work in 62 countries. Islamic terrorists have made it clear that they want to kill Americans – men, women, and children. If the hearings establish that the American Muslim community, like the Japanese American community during World War II, is devoted and loyal to the U.S., wouldn’t that be of enormous assistance in protecting members of the American Muslim community from the charges that have been made against them?
King’s proposal to hold the hearings have brought him an enormous amount of criticism for conducting what some fear could be little more than a witch hunt, and could sow seeds of distrust of members of the American Islamic community about their government. Rep. Keith Ellison, the lone Muslim in Congress, has called King’s proposal “scary.“
Koch goes on to call for the increased surveillance of the Muslim community:
Currently many Western countries, e.g., Great Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and the U.S., have been surprised that their own native born and naturalized citizens have been responsible for planning and executing terrorist acts, sometimes failures and other times successful. A large number of Islamic terrorist acts have been foiled by U.S. domestic security agencies that infiltrated the plotters’ small circle of activists.
U.S. law enforcement agencies have been criticized for entrapping Muslim American terrorists, a defense which, while often offered, is rarely successful. However, some Muslim organizations without terrorist connections have joined the chorus of attacking the U.S. government for its efforts to infiltrate suspected Muslim organizations.
I support U.S. surveillance and infiltration of Muslim organizations on reasonable suspicion and when court ordered, to ascertain whether or not terrorist activity is present or if there is support of such activity by providing funds, often through the use of charitable organizations.