Confidential to ABLC readers: If you’re a different manner of geek than me, you might be unaware that New York Congressman Pete King is planning a series of hearings into the “radicalization” of the American-Muslim community. For folks like me — Mideast geeks, interfaith activists, and your various whatnot — these hearings have been a source of some strum und dang, not to mention panties in a twist, since they were first announced (King’s decision to slap all Mooslins with the terrorist label is made especially — um — interesting by the fact that he was once a card-carrying member of the I <3 The IRA Fanclub – click here for details about how much King looooved Irish terrorists back in the day).
It’s my thought that Americans who are NOT twisted by bigotry might want to tell King* a thing or two about just how twisted his bigotry is, and so I present to you: A few humble ideas.
I’ve called US Rep. Pete King’s (R-NY) office a couple of times recently to try to determine exactly when he’s planning on launching these abhorrent hearings of his into the “radicalization of the Muslim community” in America. My hope was to act on the ideas that I floated here, or help others with possible responses that they were working on, and though I’ve reached out to a couple of Muslim-American organizations for leads and ideas, I’ve heard nothing back (I’ve decided to chalk up this up to people being very, very busy, because, you know: Bottom line, my credentials for this sort of thing are fairly well established, both in terms of work experience in the communication and PR industries, and my own writing skills and background).
A few weeks ago, I was told the hearings would start “in late February or early March,” but when I couldn’t figure a way into efforts to respond to this rather vivid attack on American values (I have this funny notion that “We the people” means all the people, “liberty and justice for all” means for all-all, the First Amendment means what it says, so on and so forth) and other, equally worthy work came up (not to mention: Worthy work for which I was being paid!), I let it slide.
Well, I called again on Friday, and lo and behold, it looks like the fun’s starting in “the second week of March,” last the folks in the office heard. (A good place to keep tabs is the Homeland Security Committee website, but that will only tell you what’s already scheduled, not what might-be-happening-soon).
In the meantime, I’ve learned of the “Today I’m a Muslim Too” rally in New York City on March 6 — to which I would totally fly out if I hadn’t just flown east and back this past weekend — and I will confess: I don’t know much about it, other than the statement made by the Imam organizing it: