Bob Costa posted yesterday on the King hearings, which are the subject of my column this morning. As I note there, Pete King is a good friend and those of us who care about the security of the country have to be grateful that he has the courage to shine a light where Congress has been too timid to go before. But I fear the hearings may turn into a non-event, in large part because they are not hearing from all the right witnesses — experts like Steve Emerson and Robert Spencer. These experts have been excluded, evidently due to fear of the predictable reaction of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American grievance network. Even more significantly, though, the hearings are proceeding on a false premise: namely, that Muslims are being “radicalized” by some aberrant ideology that is a perversion of Islam.
The regrettable fact is that there is nothing “radical” about the aggressive, anti-Western interpretation of Islam. As I outlined in a column last week, which detailed a new “mapping sharia” study by David Yerushalmi and Mordechai Kedar, this form of Islam — complete with its endorsement of jihadist violence — is propagated in over 80 percent of American mosques. Not coincidentally, it is also the Islam of 80 percent of the Middle East, and even enjoys a majority following in reputedly “moderate” countries like Indonesia.
As Bob’s post recounts, Rep. King asserts, “I have repeatedly said the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans are outstanding Americans.” That may well be true. But it doesn’t follow that because most Muslims may be good Americans that Islam — the doctrine — is either good or pro-American. If Congress is not willing to face up to that reality, the hearings stand little chance of advancing our understanding of what is happening in the Muslim community, or of what patriotic American Muslims are up against from the imams who run their mosques and community centers — which are heavily influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. (By the way, why hasn’t there been more coverage of the fact that, while Rep. King’s witnesses fret that the Brotherhood is being “demonized,” and the Obama administration masquerades the Brotherhood as a moderate, “largely secular” political organization, the Brotherhood’s supreme guide in Egypt recently declared war against the United States?)
What “radicalizes” Muslims is Islam — the mainstream interpretation of it. The “radicals” propagating it do not need the “captive audience” provided by the prison environment. The “radicalization” is happening in plain sight.