Representative Peter King, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, thinks that Muslims aren't doing enough to stop the scourge of terrorism in their own community. And so on Thursday, he'll begin a series of hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America, or as Muslim congressman Keith Ellison calls it, "a witch hunt." King has defended his crusade by saying he's not trying to single out Muslims, telling CNN, "When we've gone after the Mafias, we looked at the Italian community; the Westies, the Irish community. In New York, when they went after the Russian mob, they go into the Russian community in Brighton Beach and Coney Island." But on Tuesday night's The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart took a closer look at King's vocal backing of terrorist activities by Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army.
King rose to power as a Long Island politician in the eighties in part thanks to strong support from Irish-Americans. Back then, King didn't see it as a community's job to police terrorists in its midst. In fact, he didn't seem to be morally perturbed by the consequences of the IRA's activities at all — despite the fact that the group was bombing and sniping at the British Army and Protestant paramilitaries, as well as the occasional pub or civilian public space.
“We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry,” Mr. King told a pro-I.R.A. rally on Long Island, where he was serving as Nassau County comptroller, in 1982. Three years later he declared, “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.”
But King's involvement didn't stop there. A judge in Belfast threw him out of a murder trial because he was an "obvious collaborator," Irish journalist Ed Moloney told the New York Times, adding that King complained he was being investigated as a "security risk" by the Secret Service. We're sure King will get around to hearings on his own radicalization and failure to denounce himself any day now.