Peter King and Radical Islam in America

Representative Peter King, is talking about the radicalization of American Muslims. Apparently he plans hearings in the Homeland Security Committee. I would argue that the radicalization of ordinary Muslims, or Arabs of any persuasion, shouldn’t be so easily assumed; the affinity between Arab culture and al Qaeda is not a natural one.

The barbarian invasion of the Roman Empire and its influence on the Christian tradition didn’t culminate with the Emperor Constantine. Islam was brought to the Arab people in a later period, but by the same means. However, it’s missionaries held beliefs condemned as heretical by the Catholic Church. The end result for the Arab people was the imposition of a culture that differed in fundamental ways from Arab culture. It seems that originally, slavery was part of the culture of the Islamic ruling class. Slavery has always been part of Anglo-Saxon culture. In America, the Union was established with slavery in mind, and Thomas Jefferson was not the only influential American who owned slaves. Muslim slave-traders provided many of America’s slaves.  It seems likely that the leaders of radical Islam have more in common with America’s ruling class than with the Arab culture.  Their hostility is simply a result of rivalry for the sympathies of the people. 

The failure to understand these relationships may be responsible for a comment made on a network news program, illustrating that racism against blacks thrives on a similar misunderstanding. In a discussion between a conservative woman and a black man, the conservative said she would never understand a culture who sells its own people as slaves, obviously assuming that every black person represents the same culture. In other words, he has no one to blame but his own people. In this way, she dismissed whatever point he was trying to make. This has to be the most viciously racist thing I have ever observed. It was probably all the more damaging because it was so insidious.

When American Muslims condemn the violence of radical Islam, there are good reasons to believe them.  They should be taken at their word.

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