Mary Slossen, a fellow at the USC Annenberg School for Communication Journalism blogs at their site, The Scoop, that recently proposed government hearings on the radicalization of American Muslim communities will only hinder the established cooperation these communities have with law enforcement groups, both local and federal. In addition to needlessly singling out Muslim Americans, the hearings could pose a threat to the safety of those identified as Muslim American. The hearings have been called by Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. But in calling the hearings, King has been unable to clearly state a need for them. Slossen cites an editorial from last Thursday at The Los Angeles Times titled “Targeting Muslims”:
“[W]hile ordinarily no great harm is done when a hearing is based on inadequate evidence, the proceedings to be chaired by King are different. They appear to attribute danger and disloyalty to one particular religious group — a group that is, not incidentally, relatively unpopular at the moment.”
Unpopular indeed. Already, as Tim Murphy writes at Mother Jones, 16 states in the U.S. have introduced or, in the cases of Tennessee and Louisiana, instituted laws that ban Shari’ah from use in courts. (Oklahoma did as well but the law was overturned in the courts.) Has Shari’ah ever been cited in the state courts, ever? Nope. With no evidence that Shari’ah or radical Muslims pose a threat to national security, certainly not any that warrants such hearings and legislation, it’s still not hard to imagine what is driving the laws.
Bob Smietana wrote at The Tennessean last October during a court case aimed to stop the building of a mosque in Murfeesboro:
What started as a zoning issue has turned into a fight over theology and the role of government in recognizing religion. Mosque opponents say that Islam is not a real religion. They argued in a Rutherford County courthouse last week that the world’s second-largest faith, with its 1.6 billion followers, is actually a political movement.
The first line of Smietana’s article is, “My God is better than your God.”
Andrew Breitbart and the, um, creepy site Creeping Sharia have been beating the Islamophobic drum for some time. With article titles like, “Sharia vs. Free Speech,” and “Kroger, KFC Submit to Sharia” (when a local free weekly was dropped by the two chains because of anti-Islamic articles) they’ve equated the censorship of hate speech against Muslims with Shari’ah law, essentially declaring Islam unAmerican. We’re a Christian nation, they assert. Religious freedom, apparently, is only for the Judeo-Christian kind.