22 September 2007

Just another day of violating his oath of office...

Yesterday Representative Peter King (R-NY), said there are too many mosques in the U.S., and we should infiltrate them so we can monitor them.

In case you didn't know, all elected officials take an oath of office in which they swear to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. Apparently King thinks the oath makes an exception for the First Amendment right to freedom of religion.

Isn't it just like a Republican--those small-government, keep-the-guv'mint-off-our-backs, it's-about-time we-started-following-the-Constitution-again types--to cavalierly dismiss the importance of civil liberties? King needs to do three things: 1) Fess up to being wrong, 2) apologize sincerely, and 3) shut the f**k up.

I was at a mosque in Perrysburg, OH, a few weeks ago, to listen to a friend talk about the Pew report on Muslims in America. He talked about a recent trip to England, where he met young Muslim men who truly were radical, mostly because England still doesn't allow them to fill a normal place in English society. If King really wants to infiltrate mosques, and keep Muslims under surveillance as second-class citizens, he'll have spun a self-fulfilling prophecy, because we will radicalize young Muslims. But at the mosque in Perrysburg, my friend was listened to with thoughtful concern by a distinctly non-radical group of Muslims. The potluck that was served after the talk reminded me vividly of the many Protestant church potlucks of my youth (without the fried chicken, however), and my lasting impression was that these folks weren't only American, they were downright Midwestern!

If Peter King would like to meet some American Muslims, I'll be happy to introduce him.

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