Ever since the Boston bombings, the GOP has been using the attacks as a platform to fuel its anti-Muslim agenda. Over the weekend, two from the Republican camp, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have been beating their chests in a bigoted battle cry to profile the Muslim community.
On an episode of Meet The Press, King said, “the threat is coming from the Muslim community.” Then he tried to save face by slipping in the “compliment” that Muslims are “outstanding people.” By asserting the outrageous notion that law enforcement needs to zero in on a certain community, King wants to take away the Constitutional rights afforded to all Americans regardless of their race, religion, etc. His intention is a glaring contradiction to his words as he attempts to defend his case by saying “we’re talking about following the Constitution.”
Sen. Graham (R-SC) wants to take a more indirect approach by having the FBI monitor traffic going through “Islamist” websites. Graham has even formed a group with the likes of Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). This group intends on pressing Congress to redefine “terrorism” so those with “suspected” ties to “radical Islam” tagged as “enemy combatants,” thus robbing them of legal rights.
This ubiquitous uprising of the GOP’s “anti-rights” dogma has not gone uncontested, however. Democratic leaders have stood up for the Constitution and the individual rights of Muslims in the wake of all this anti-Islam rah-rah. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Muslim, went up against King on Meet The Press and “compared King’s strategy to the similarly misguided policies…adopted towards Japanese Americans during World War II.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) also took on King with rationale and candor saying that she believes “the important thing is to get all the facts…I don’t think we need to go and develop…hatred on television about it.”
These GOP leaders are fostering intolerance and are wanting to implement a plebeian, slapdash solution to a complicated problem. Something like this requires finesse and a solidly rational view while leaders from the GOP are, again, wanting to throw individual, Constitutional rights under the bus.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.