Politico offers some new insights into Rep. Peter King’s Homeland Security Committee hearings next month on radical Islam in America:
In a move that will come as a relief to Muslim leaders, King told POLITICO that he’s not planning to call as witnesses such Muslim community critics as the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Steve Emerson and Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer, who have large followings among conservatives but are viewed as antagonists by many Muslims.
Typically, Politico doesn’t bother to explain why many Muslims — and many non-Muslims — might view Emerson and Spencer as problematic figures: because they’re not so much “experts” as they are entrepreneurs whose product is fear of Muslims and Islam.
It will still be important to watch for whether the more presentable affiliates of the “Creeping Sharia” crowd are called to testify — people like Claire Lopez or Andrew McCarthy. This, however, is troubling:
Possible witnesses, according to King, include Dutch critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali and M. Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of Arizona-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Jasser is a sharp critic of leading American Muslim groups, whose agenda he calls “Islamist.”
Hirsi Ali — a Somali Dutch immigrant and activist — believes, among other things, that “Islam is a cult,” that “there is no moderate Islam,” and that “we are at war with Islam.” What will Ali add to the hearings, other than general hostility toward Muslims and their faith?
Cross-posted on The Wonk Room.