During Rep. Peter King’s misguided King hearing on what he calls the ” radicalization of Muslim American community,” Republicans took time to speak about the purported threat of Sharia Law and myths about Muslim Americans’ lack of cooperation with law enforcement officials. Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York was right on target when she called the hearings “political theater.” One by one Republican congressmen and their witnesses, none of whom were law enforcement officials, tried to defend the hearings despite ample evidence disproving their assumption that Muslim Americans are radical and dangerous. As Sheriff Lee Baca, a witness called by the Democrats, told the hearing, Muslim Americans consistently work with law enforcement and are far from the “enemy within” that the GOP represents.
Congresswoman Laura Richardson of California pointed to the clear connection between the King hearings’ use of scare tactics, false charges, and fear-mongering and Joseph McCarthy’s ruthless investigations in the 1950s.
Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana, one of the two Muslims serving in Congress, discussed his own background in law enforcement and how by stigmatizing and marginalizing Muslim Americans, the GOP was undercutting cooperation between the community and law enforcement:
The two representatives exposed the King hearings as nothing more than a political stunt to ramp up the GOP’s drive to demonize Muslim Americans, while contributing nothing to law enforcement or national security.