I was educated as a social scientist; and as a social scientist, learned that if I wanted to understand a phenomenon and recognized a variable common to many examples of it, I would be remiss if I did not investigate it. It would be foolhardy to claim that a supposed defense of Islam has not been common to many terrorist events or to claim that there is no such thing as radical Islam. Now, if the political correctness crew wants to rename it something like "radicals-who-claim-they-represent-Islam-but-really-don't-and-certainly-cannot-be-used-to-call-all-Muslims-terrorists," they are welcome to do so; but for the sake of brevity, I will call it radical Islam, and they can consider it short for their mountain of PC qualifiers.
To hear a bevy of usual suspects tell it -- from the White House and Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) to hip hop mogul Russell Simmons -- Congressman Peter King (R-NY) should be outfitted with a white sheet and hood for daring to hold hearings on the threat of radical Muslims in the United States. Ellison criticized King for singling out a religious minority. Okay, well let's see. When was the last time a Christian "terrorist" flew an airplane into a skyscraper, killing thousands? Or how about an Irish one (since Ellison specifically warned us not to single out the Irish)? When was the last time those big, bad Jews strapped on a suicide bomb vest and blew themselves up in a Pakistani shopping mall? If Ellison and his PC compatriots want to offer us some balance by investigating the threat posed by Conservative Christians or Orthodox Jews, I suppose he can find a way to do it. He certainly has a ready-made venue in MSNBC. These were also the same people who claimed after 9/11 that our own actions caused the attacks by angering "Muslims." Today, however, they find the very same linkage offensive -- a linkage they blithely made.
More to the point, however, is the question of what Ellison and the others have to fear from King -- who after all, as the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is being quite serious about carrying out his responsibilities. In fact, we might consider him derelict in his duties if he did not investigate this threat after foiled plots over Detroit and in Times Square; not to mention plots like the Ft. Hood massacre that unfortunately was not stopped. They claim that the hearings themselves create divisions among Americans; but judging from the reaction of most Americans to the proposed Ground Zero mosque, it appears that ship has already sailed. Besides, they never chide the administration's purveyors of "identity politics" for doing that very thing.
Are they afraid that King's inquiry might turn up something ominous? What if they found most American Muslims good people, but determined that their leaders have failed to uproot radical "charities" or mosques within their midst? Perhaps the Obama White House fears that hearings might find that it is more concerned about political correctness than it is about protecting the homeland. From their incessant opposition to such things, they seem to believe that admitting any modicum of terrorism in the name of Islam damns the entire community -- which I do not think has ever been King's position. There was a German Fifth Column operating in the United States during World War II, but it did not mean that the German-American community was disloyal. Somehow the PC brigade has a tough time with that intellectual operation.
Beyond that, we should understand that the left's head-in-the-sand policy is more than annoying; it's dangerous, and we have a case study that demonstrates it. I just returned from an extended stay in India, a nation with the world's second largest Muslim population. The government's rigid adherence to secularism has given rise to what many Indians call "pseudo-secularism": a policy that in its fear of giving offense to the Muslim minority actually gives it preferential treatment instead. For a while, this meant things like oddball allocation of funds. For instance, I have been in India during two budget debates, which resulted in the government giving subsidies to Muslims going on hajj, but not a penny for the countless Hindu refugees from Islamic oppression living in abysmal conditions. In fact, if you ever find yourself at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, you might notice that the government built a special terminal to be used exclusively by Muslim pilgrims going on the annual pilgrimage noted above.
More recently, India's PC policy has given rise to far more sinister effects. I have been going there for four years and have yet to be there when there was not a terrorist attack that resulted in the loss of innocent life. Most westerners have heard about the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, but discussion of the arson (set by Muslims) that burned 59 Hindu pilgrims to death was out of bounds in the public arena. Just last month, however, a court found that the arson was set deliberately by members of the Muslim community, acquitted about two thirds of the defendants, and sentenced another eleven to death. While the deadly arson does not justify a general riot against the Muslim community, it shows that the entire incident was not a problem of "radical Hindus," as the left and apologists claim, but one of inter-community violence, which if confronted head-on back then might not have the strength it still does today. It should be noted that the government long ago arrested those it accused of the riots-including a member of parliament -- but justice took nine years for the arson victims and their families.
Worse still, India's PC refusal to confront these issues has led to a situation in which, as I wrote recently, "Jihad has come to India." There are uninvestigated and significant demographic shifts along India's open borders (another topic they -- and we -- do not wish to address) with Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, which has made formerly mixed Hindu-Muslim towns Hindu rein. The numbers have been documented thoroughly, but the human impact of this policy is more dramatically seen in the faces of hundreds of Hindus I have interviewed as they talked about their fear, the inability of their women to move outside of the home without being harassed or worse, of their children being abducted and other attacks that the authorities do not prosecute for fear of angering the Muslim community or being called anti-Muslim.
Whether we call it Islamic terrorism or just plain terrorism (carried out by Allah-knows-whom), there is no question that the same process which now threatens the world's second largest country and a nuclear power to boot, is -- progressively -- finding its way to our shores. Whether or not Congressman King is afforded the freedom of speech and free inquiry to hold effective hearings will signal to us whether we can expect to face the same PC-generated terror that India does.