Muslims in America

By Stern, Jessica | The National Interest, May-June 2011 | Go to article overview

Muslims in America


Stern, Jessica, The National Interest


On March 10, Representative Peter King (R-NV), who has alleged that the vast majority of U.S. mosques are run by extremists, held a hearing on radicalization of Muslims in America. The event generated an astonishing reaction--from just about everyone. Demonstrators, both in favor of his position and against, gathered outside Mr. King's offices on Long Island. The congressman requested additional security, and Capitol police were deployed to protect the hearing room as well as his workplace in Washington. Some pundits praised Mr. King for speaking the unspeakable on a topic usually beleaguered by political correctness. The Tea Party Patriots' Facebook page urged supporters to call and stand behind Congressman King for his courage. But there were others who lambasted him for his lack of political sensitivity, pointing out that non-Muslim domestic terrorists are greater in number than Muslim ones. And Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) held up a copy of the Constitution while arguing that the hearing could well violate laws against religious discrimination: "this hearing today is playing right now into al-Qaeda, around the world." Meanwhile, Keith Ellison (I)-MN), one of two Muslims in the House, was unable to hold back tears as he recalled a Muslim paramedic who died while responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11.

Certainly Mr. King has had quite a lot to say about Muslims in America--much of it seemingly inflammatory.

"There is a real threat to the country from the Muslim community, and the only way to get to the bottom of it is to investigate what is happening."

"Over 80 percent of the mosques in this country are controlled by radical imams. Certainly from what I've seen and dealings I've had, that number seems accurate."

"85 percent of American Muslim community leaders are an enemy living amongst us"; "no (American) Muslims" cooperate in the war on terror.

"The average Muslim, no, they are loyal, but they don't work, they don't come forward, they don't tell the police."

"When a war begins, we're all Americans. But in this case, this is not the situation. And whether it's pressure, whether it's cultural tradition, whatever, the fact is the Muslim community does not cooperate anywhere near to the extent that it should."

How do we disentangle truth from provocation in this list of "observations"?

The congressman is right about the growing threat of violent Muslim extremism. The problem is he mischaracterizes the source. American mosques are not at the heart of the threat any more than is the Muslim community. Just as there is a difference between those who oppose abortion on religious grounds and those who target and kill abortion providers, there is a difference between the Muslim community and Muslim terrorists. But it is also wrong to claim, as some have suggested, that because they are greater in number and commit more crimes, white-supremacist and antigovernment groups pose more of a threat to national security than do Muslim extremists. Indeed, it is precisely because the threat of violent Muslim extremism is so serious that Mr. King's rhetoric is so dangerous.

The al-Qaeda movement has deliberately attempted to tailor its message to attract American youth, even encouraging them to act on their own, at home. Most of the American Muslims who are joining this jihad were not brought up to believe in the Salafi teachings that undergird the al-Qaeda ideology. Instead, the idea of jihad has become an extremely dangerous global trend. For a very small segment of young people across the world, it is a cool way of expressing dissatisfaction with a power elite--whether that elite is real or imagined; whether power is held by totalitarian monarchs or by liberal parliamentarians. And like all fads, this one too shall pass. But the threat is likely, in my view, to get worse before it gets better, both on our shores and further abroad. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Muslims in America
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.