Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has a long history of demonizing American Muslims. So it’s no great surprise that his hearing earlier this week on the radicalization of Muslims fell under attack as both a waste of time — Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI) commented that his time would be better spent discussing how to protect water resources for his constituents — and yet another example of King congratulating himself for his previous hearings attacking Muslims. But appearing on Fox News yesterday, King continued his factually challenged attack on Muslim Americans:
What I am very concerned about is that while the overwhelming majority of Muslims are good people, the fact is even though Muslims are 1 percent of the population, almost 90 percent of the terrorist crimes are carried out by the Muslim community. And there are not enough people in the community willing to step forward and speak out against this and cooperate with law enforcement.
While the scope of King’s assertion is unclear, the reality is that a small percentage of terrorist attacks and plots in the U.S. are the result of Islamic extremism — 56 percent have been perpetrated by right-wing extremists, 30 percent by ecoterrorists and 12 percent by Islamic extremists:
And King’s claim that Muslims are simply unwilling to pushback against extremism appears to be refuted by recent reports of aspiring Muslims terrorists finding difficulty in raising funds in New York. Last year, a Gallup poll found that Muslim Americans are more likely (89 percent) to reject violence than any other U.S. religious group and nearly all Muslim Americans (92 percent) have no sympathy for al-Qaeda.
King also claimed that “it’s so important that the NYPD focus on [the Muslim community]. That’s why it’s important that the NYPD and law enforcement not give into political correctness.” But that claim ignores the FBI’s concerns about the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim businesses, Mosques and student groups in New York and New Jersey.
FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge Michael Ward complained in March that the NYPD’s spying was making the FBI’s job harder, telling reporters, “It’s starting to have a negative impact. When people pull back cooperation it creates additional risks. It creates blind spots. It hinders our ability to have our finger on the pulse of what’s going on around the state.”
Surprisingly, as House Homeland Security Chairman, King appears to absorb little information from the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the Department of Homeland Security.