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Posted at 2:55 PM ET, 02/16/2011

Does public support Pete King's hearings into Muslims? Yes and No.

By Greg Sargent

The other day, a number of groups called on Pete King to broaden his planned hearings into Muslim extremism to include other extremists, including ones of the home-grown variety. King scoffed loudly at the demand, dismissing it as "political correctness at its worst."

But it turns out that according to a new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, a solid majority of Americans hew to the "politically correct" view, and think it's a better idea to broaden such hearings so they don't single out Muslims:

kingchart.JPG

Now, it's true that a majority, 56 percent, thinks hearings into Muslim extremism is a good idea. But a far larger majority, 72 percent, thinks the hearings shouldn't single out just Muslim extremism. So the first number may largely reflect the public's desire to reckon with extremism in any form.

What's more, this suggests that the public is rejecting one of the most basic of assumptions underlying King's push for hearings: That broadening the focus beyond Muslims risks sending some kind of self-defeating message that we aren't overly preoccupied with the threat of Islamic extremism. King himself has been very explicit on this point. But it appears the public disagrees.

There is another finding that plays in King's favor. Forty six percent agree that American Muslims have not done enough to combat extremism within their own communities, versus only 33 percent who disagree. This idea is another core assumption underlying King's push for hearings, and a plurality supports it. Twenty percent don't know either way, which means they're up for grabs.

Bottom line: While a huge majority rejects King's insistence on focusing the hearings just on Muslims, the public just might receptive to their obvious, if implicit, intent: To put you on notice that ordinary Muslims in your midst just might be looking the other way while evil ones are plotting to kill you.

By Greg Sargent  | February 16, 2011; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers  
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Comments

Perhaps Peter King would like to roundup all American Muslims, and put them in Concentration Camps, since he clearly believes in Collective Guilt.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 16, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

yeah Liam, maybe he should emulate the way FDR treat the nisei right?

How silly.

What I find even more amusing is Mr Sargent's endless supply of polls. Just like Mr Serwer, Greg can find a poll that will support just about any position he takes.

I frankly don't much care about the public opinion on this. Congressman King should hold his hearings, even if that means that the tender sensibilities of Americans PC lefties are deeply offended.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 16, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Since last thread's tangent is this thread's topic, I'll repost

When you are the leader of the most powerful military force in history and feel you have to say "Bring it on," to cave dwellers you are in psychological trouble and you are going to make many, many innocent people die to make yourself feel better.

But to extend this tangent, ObL built his theory on Reagan's hasty retreat from Lebanon and Clinton's from Somalia. Apart from the aforementioned, the post 9/11 idea was to take war to Muslim lands and not because that way they would fight us there, not here, that is laughable.

The deep structure of the idea was simple and harsh. It was to show the Muslim world that Osama was wrong, we can kill (and torture) and kill and kill and that we would have our own children die in the process of killing hugely disproportionate numbers of Muslims - because we can. It was a message sent not to the terrorists, it was a message to Muslims everywhere, the most primitive message of war: don't tread on me.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 16, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Skip sailing has just referred to a big majority of Americans as "PC lefties." Thanks, skip!

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 16, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Also in typical GOP fashion, skip doesn't care about public opinion unless the public agrees with him.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | February 16, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

As someone who knows lots of regular muslims who truly decent people, I find the hearing truly offensive. I suspect King does not really know muslims personally. Villifying muslims is just a means to political stardom for him.

I will do what I can in my corner of the world let folks know that the hearings only represent a small, sad, hateful and pathetic part of America.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 16, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

So you say greg.Did you post the internals of the poll?
I didn't think so.

I stand by my contention. Mr Sargent can find a poll to support any contention he makes. So what? does that make for effective policy?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 16, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Greg, if you thought that was funny, skip is on fire today, how about this on your blog?

"The budget war is a perfect opportunity for us to impose our will on our government. If we cannot do this via the levers of democracy as it is currently constituted in our republic, then other more radical means of withdrawing our consent will be used. It is just that simple. First, they came for our lightbulbs..."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 16, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"does that make for effective policy?"

Persecuting innocent people is effective policy?!! How utterly ____ed up.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 16, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The best estimates of the number of Muslims living in the US is 2.5 to 3 million, so about .05 to 1% of our total population. And of that, about 30% are native born African Americans, and not immigrants.

Most non-Muslim Americans have probably never met a Muslim and would have no way of knowing or judging what American Muslims have or haven't done to cooperate with law enforcement in weeding out extremists, save what they hear from people like Peter King.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 16, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: You badly misrepresent the poll results whjen you assert, "A solid majority of Americans... think it's a better idea to broaden such hearings so they don't single out Muslims."

The poll does NOT ask if the King hearings should be broadened. It asks two entirely separate questions: Are the King hearings a good idea? (Yes) Should we investigate religious extremism everywhere and not just focus on Muislims? (Yes) The questions are not exclusive.

Bad, Greg. Bad!

Posted by: sbj3 | February 16, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: And King was rejecting the inclusion of the neo-Nazi movement or gun groups. The poll you cite is talking about "religious extremism" only.

Flag and 15 yards.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 16, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

You are correct. Muslims should not be singled out for investigations of extremist, hateful activities. Pete King ought to find some non-Muslims who are just as rotten as they are. King should round up some Ku Klux Klanners, some neo-Nazis, some ACORN, street thugs, some Black Panthers, and some Communists to investigate.

Have I left some out???

Posted by: battleground51 | February 16, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, Is holding hearings on your sexual orientation a good thing? Why don't you contact Rand Paul and Michele Bachmann, and urge them to conduct such hearings. After all many Republicans view your lifestyle as being a danger to American Society.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 16, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"The Federal Reserve called for growth of 3.4 percent to 3.9 percent this year, up from 3 percent to 3.6 percent, even though unemployment will remain painfully high."

Republican response: Well, only painful for the unemployed. So long suckers! Republicans mustn't forget, objects in that mirror are larger than they appear.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 16, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of cars, this guy needs to stop driving.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/02/16/sports/AP-CAR-NASCAR-Daytona-Earnhardt-Wreck.html?hp

Posted by: shrink2 | February 16, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Hold hearings on Roman Catholic extremism also Mr. King. Lots of Altar Boys want you to do so. You can also look into all those corrupt Vatican bank dealings with The Mafia.

When are we going to see popular protests in Vatican City to oust the Theocratic Dictator of That State?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 16, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@Liam: "Is holding hearings on your sexual orientation a good thing?"

What in the heck does that have to do with Greg misrepresenting these poll results?

Posted by: sbj3 | February 16, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"The deep structure of the idea was simple and harsh. It was to show the Muslim world that Osama was wrong, we can kill (and torture) and kill and kill and that we would have our own children die in the process of killing hugely disproportionate numbers of Muslims - because we can. It was a message sent not to the terrorists, it was a message to Muslims everywhere, the most primitive message of war: don't tread on me."

Was that a different message from what FDR and Truman sent to the Japanese and Germans?  Thanks in advance, should you (or anybody) choose to read my comment. :-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 16, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, I don't have a problem with the message you mention, but I doubt this was what Mr Bush intended. Did you have a counselling session with him? If so, you have violated HIPAA. If not, on what basis do you make your assertion?

I have a video done by members of a Marine unit that depicts their role in the assault on Fallujah. In one scene a marine has a patch on his ruck that says "don't F with us". I have no problem with that message at all.

If the muslims find the hearing truly offensive that's a shame. It is their religion, that makes it their problem. Among the few things that the citizens should expect from the gummint is a that it make a significant effort to assure our physical security. Why else would have it? Mr King's point cannot be ignored, we have a slew of incidents now wherein Muslims residing among us have engaged in acts of terror. Should we ignore this because other muslims will be offended? What if it were oh say Baptists burning Lutheran churches, would we tread lightly because most Baptists are decent people and we don't want to offend them? Or would we investigate as necessary? What if it were whites burning black churches? Would the liberals here be posting comments about the number of decent white people they know?

if the decent muslims are doing their part, and I believe they are, then why be offended? Everyone knows of the sorrow and woe visited upon the world in the name of Allah, even the decent muslims.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 16, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

What in the heck does that have to do with Greg misrepresenting these poll results?

Posted by: sbj3 | February 16, 2011 3:57 PM
.............

Trying to pretend now, that you did not come out in support of Peter King's Star Court Inquistion against all Muslims are you?

Nice try. He probably thinks you too are a danger to America, so you better not be so eager to persecute a group that you do not belong to, or there just might be no one left to defend you, when they come for your group.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 16, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Troll, I am hope you are not offended by my responding to you, or the use of the word "but", but (sorry!) I got the impression, sorry for reading anything into your remarks that you didn't intend but (sorry) it seemed like you thought (again, sorry for the insinuation, I mean, no not mean, I don't want you to think I am attributing anything in particular to you) but (sorry again) we're you thinking (sorry again!) that I thought sending a primitive message to Muslims everywhere was a bad thing? I wasn't saying that, so I am sorry if you thought that. I was saying I thought that is what some wars are about. I apologize for responding to you so directly and I hope you appreciate how much effort it takes to mock the humility act you have affected. All the best to you and yours. I like you a lot, not that that matters, a worm like me, who cares what I like and don't like, not that I mean to say I didn't mean it, or that I can say whether or not you care. No not mean, I am trying to say please don't be mad at me and I am not calling you mad, nor crackers.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 16, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Shrink, I don't have a problem with the message you mention, but I doubt this was what Mr Bush intended."

Skip, I didn't say I have a problem with it and I am certain of what I said; whether or not he was aware of his intentions, or would have spoken honestly of them no one knows but that does not matter. Message was sent, message was received.

The Arab street has turned against its dictators and the Death to America crowd is nowhere to be found. Now let's get out of Afghanistan. I like cef's plan B, but it isn't worth the blood.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 16, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, hilarious!  My first guffaw of the day!  I thank and salute you... Salud!  

It seems your original comment stated that Bush had a mental disorder, and that disorder led him (no offense Bernie) to send the aforementioned "message." We can and have argued whether or not our invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq were warranted, but my question is, could there have been a legitimate belief in what that it was the right thing to do, i.e., not a product of Bush "insanity?". If so, wouldn't one want to send such a message?  Might that message dissuade others in seeking attack or in harboring those that seek such an attack?  Thanks in advance. ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 16, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Liam is on fire today. His star court comment is just too funny.

Mr King is having public hearings. No one will be incarcerated in the tower of london. No beheadings are in the offing. This is just congress doing the job that the gummint is supposed to do: tend to our physical security.

And shrink I stand by my comment. The government has to get the message that they no longer have our consent to continue with business as usual. If they don't change course what other options exist

Public hearings liam. Something you smoked last night seems to have cost you some IQ points. too bad they don't grow back son.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 16, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I did not call Mr. Bush insane nor insinuate that he had a mental disorder. I said he was in psychological trouble, I believe he ended up doing what ObL had in mind and in large part because he was drawn in by what ObL had in mind.

"could there have been a legitimate belief in what that it was the right thing to do?" Absolutely, I am certain he thought it the right thing to do. There is no evidence to the contrary.

"If so, wouldn't one want to send such a message? Might that message dissuade others in seeking attack or in harboring those that seek such an attack?"

This is a question I can not answer. As I said to skip, I didn't say I have a problem with it and I am certain of what I said; whether or not he was aware of his intentions, or would have spoken honestly of them no one knows, but that does not matter. Message was sent, message was received.

Troll, if I had to guess, I would guess he did know that was why we went there. I base that on his response to the people at ground zero, "I hear you."

When my wife, who is a Muslim, came to see what was going on the morning of the disaster, I said, "Now thousands and thousands of Muslims have to die." Yes, before anyone even knew what had happened, I said that to her, it is the way of the world.

I will call the wars victories depending on what happens in the next few years in the Arab lands. If Democracy breaks out and spreads, Bush/Cheney/Rummy will be credited and rightfully so. If everything stays the same and or gets worse, it will have all been for naught. How is that for flaking out?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 16, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I believe that to be a fair assessment Shrink. Although I disagree with the definitions you use for success VS failure.

If Iraq's effort falters it will be because of a term we use in business: culture eats strategy. The folks who are entrenched in the way it is will naturally resist change. Imams' whose rice bowl depends on firely anti American statements are not likely to change their tune for example.

It is, IMHO, sad. Sad for a variety of reasons. First, the muslims themselves are mired in a culture that doesn't serve them well. Further the time that they chose for a reformation, if one happens is already quite complex and may not be the best for their needs.

I have a copy of Will and Ariel Durant's compendious history of the west. Reading about the English from Henry VIII to the advent of the puritans clearly shows that the reformation of the christian faith was a long and painful process. It was made more painful that need be because the church itself was deeply entrenched and not above war fare of its own and the secular authorities seemed to assume that they were put in charge by God to lead people to battle. It was war and more war.

could the faith of islam make a reformation without the same tragic consequence? I know one thing, nothing will change if we ignore the issue.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 16, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

skip, two days in a row, we have another point of agreement! (though, I am sorry, this line "first they came for our light bulbs" after dark threats about extra-legal methods of keeping American government in line...if you can't laugh at that, take a laxative).

Back to serious, I have used the reformation analogy myself and my liberal friends fall out of their chairs and have seizures on the floor. That tells me again that leftists and liberals are not the same animal.

I have read the Koran and I have read the Bible (not really, I skipped some stuff like Numbers 26) and the Book of Mormon (every page is hilarious, but I added that just in case you guys have Mitt lighten up the White House) and the Koran is the Old Testament. There is no Jesus in Islam. No Sermon on the Mount, no New Testament, let alone Reformation.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 16, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The public may support what they "perceive" these hearings to be about but they don't know that they are a witch hunt and will be a showcase for anti-Muslim Islamophobes. It also laughable considering King is the wrong person to lead this, he is an IRA spokesperson and now he is going to have Walid Phares, an anti-Muslim bigot, member of the Lebanese Forces, slaughterers of Sabra and Shatila participating: http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/02/rep-peter-king-to-call-walid-phares-former-lebanese-forces-militiaman-at-muslim-hearings/
"As’ad Abu Khalil of angryarab.net reported on Phares’ involvement with the Lebanese Forces as well as the Guardians of the Cedar whose slogan during the civil war was, “Kill a Palestinian and you Shall Enter Paradise,” way back in 2007."

Posted by: BocaGorda | February 16, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Congressman King's own diocese

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/04/nyregion/despite-bishop-s-apologies-sexual-abuse-issue-lingers.html?ref=williamfmurphy

I'm sure he will hold hearings LMAO

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/a-secret-shame-inside-the-latest-scandal-to-rock-the-catholic-church-1739889.html

Posted by: MerrillFrank | February 17, 2011 1:12 AM | Report abuse

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