Bigoted Islam Hearings Ditch GOP Values

Peter King's prejudiced stance embraced by party, writes Peter Beinart
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 7, 2011 12:13 PM CST
House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The upcoming House hearings on American Muslim terrorists showcase a bigotry that has seeped through the GOP, writes Peter Beinart for the Daily Beast. Rep. Peter King “isn’t holding hearings on domestic terrorism; he’s holding hearings on domestic terrorism by one religious group,” and that group is not even responsible for most US terrorism, writes Beinart, pointing to the likes of Timothy McVeigh and Jared Lee Loughner. The fact is that King’s “anti-terror credentials are spotty”—he long sympathized with the Irish Republican Army, for example—while his “anti-Muslim credentials are excellent.”

And he’s not alone in his prejudice: Many in the GOP—leaders who have slammed the so-called “ground zero mosque” and members who are concerned about Sharia law in the US—have embraced King’s way of thinking. Once, writes Beinart, "the respect America offered people of all faiths was part of what [the GOP] championed." To wit, George W. Bush courted the Muslim vote by coming out against religious profiling. As such, King's Islamophobia doesn’t just "threaten the values of secular liberals": It threatens key GOP values, and "undermines the claim that a religiously informed party need not be a religiously bigoted party."

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