Bashing the Muslim faith has become all too common in this country. In South Florida, there is U.S. Rep. Allen West, who has often indulged in Islamic-baiting and in a town hall meeting in Pompano Beach last month told a Muslim-American in the audience who was challenging his attacks on Islam to “put that microphone down and go home.” Needless to say, the questioner, who was born in the United States, never got a satisfactory answer.
Yet the facts do not back Mr. West’s attempts to link one faith to terrorist acts in the United States.
In fact, Muslim-inspired domestic terrorism in the United States had declined sharply, from 18 plots in 2009 to 10 in 2010. A study, sponsored by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, also found that tips from the Muslim-American community provided the information that led to plots being thwarted in 48 of 120 cases involving U.S. Muslims.
Their record of cooperation, especially in high-profile cases, is undeniable.
It was the father of the Muslim-American terrorist who tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit who first alerted authorities about his son’s bizarre behavior and suspect activity. A Muslim-American vendor in New York’s Times Square helped to thwart that plot before it claimed any lives. In Oregon, a young man who plotted to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony was turned in by his own Muslim father.
Instead of trumpeting this good news, however, U.S. Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, has called an ill-advised hearing on Thursday that, Muslim Americans fear, will demonize Islamic believers and fuel ethnic and religious hatred.
Rep. King insists he has no political motivation, but his comments on this topic over the years give Mr. King’s detractors plenty of reason to fear the worst.
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