Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stirring Up Hatred: Rep. King's "Muslim" Hearings and the Afghan-Pakistan War

(U.S. Rep. Peter King as beauty pageant contestant.)

The news around the U.S. and in other parts of the world is beyond depressing today. I've gone through waves of anger and depression all morning, and plan on stepping out of the news cycle for the afternoon to take in some fresh air. Among the more ridiculous is the Congressional Hearings on Islam in the U.S. - lead by master ring leader and bigot Rep. Peter King of New York. As this article points out, the dude's story about "radicalization" in the U.S. is not only fictional, but is actually going after the wrong targets.

When asked why he is singling out the Muslim American community and refusing to investigate other forms of terrorism, King has responded by saying that “it makes no sense to talk about other types of extremism, when the main threat to the United States today is talking about al Qaida.”

Yet as a January 2011 terrorism statistics report — compiled using publicly available data from the FBI and other crime agencies — from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) shows, terrorism by Muslim Americans has only accounted for a minority of terror plots since 9/11. Since the attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, Muslims have been involved in 45 domestic terrorist plots. Meanwhile, non-Muslims have been involved in 80 terrorist plots.

In fact, right-wing extremist and white supremacist attacks plots alone outnumber plots by Muslims, with both groups being involved in 63 terror plots, 18 more plots than Muslim Americans have been involved in.

Meanwhile, the same people leading the witch hunt herein the U.S. seem to make zero connections between the continued war in Afghanistan, the undeclared war in parts of Pakistan, and events like the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, formerly the only Christian member of Pakistan's government cabinet. Pakistan is a key U.S. ally, and is set to receive more than $3 billion in aid - including over $2 billion in military aid. It's government is in complete shambles, and terrorism in various forms has become commonplace, both against religious minorities and majority Muslims. In addition, fascist legal changes like the draconian blasphemy law, are being used to silence any dissenting voices to extremism, including Muslim voices.

After Bhatti's assassination, President Obama remarked:

Minister Bhatti fought for, and sacrificed his life for, the universal values that Pakistanis, Americans and people around the world hold dear - the right to speak one's mind, to practice one's religion as one chooses, and to be free from discrimination based on one's background or beliefs,"

Nice words, but the government's actions demonstrate more interest saving face by continuing imperialist war efforts.

So, Rep. King and Co. are using the floor of Congress to stir up hatred and ill-informed suspicion. The Obama Administration is fighting an endless war in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, while sending billions annually to increase Pakistan's military "presence." And all the while, people continue to die, hatred and ill will continue to increase, and piles of money continue to be wasted on feeding destruction and corporate greed.

What a horror-show!

Oh, and then there's Wisconsin. Don't get me started on that one.

It's time to head outside. May humanity wake the hell up before it's too late.

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