Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

A Congressional Hearing on the “Radicalization of Christians”?

June 25, 2012 2:24 pm 0 comments

Congressman Al Green. Photo: wiki commons.

During a Homeland Security committee hearing last week on the “Radicalization of Muslim-Americans,” Texas Congressman Al Green (D) criticized the hearings as biased and unfair to Muslims, suggesting that the only way to justify them is if Congress would also conduct a “hearing on the radicalization of Christians.”

Though his position may seem balanced, in fact, it reveals a dangerous mix of irrationality, moral relativism, and emotionalism—all disastrous traits in a U.S. Congressman. Consider some of Green’s assertions:

I don’t think that most people oppose hearings on radicalization. I do not, not — N-O-T — oppose hearings on radicalization. I do oppose hearings that don’t focus on the entirety of radicalization…. [W]hy not have a hearing on the radicalization of Christians?… People who see the hearings and never hear about the hearing on the radicalization of Christianity have to ask themselves, “Why is this missing?”

Fair question—”Why not have a hearing on the radicalization of Christians?” Before responding, we must acknowledge that the word “radicalization” simply means “to go to the root or origin of something,” in this case, religion: a Muslim radical goes to the root teachings of Islam; a Christian radical goes to the root teachings of Christianity. Accordingly, there are certainly “Christian radicals” in America. The question is, do they pose the same risks to America as Muslim radicals?

Green and all moral relativists naturally do not want to pursue such a question, opting to pretend that any form of “radicalization”—regardless of the “root teachings”—is evil. They are certainly not interested in determining the fundamentals of Christianity and Islam, and whether they are equally prone to violence, terrorism, conquest, etc. While this is not the place to contrast modern Christianity’s apolitical and largely passive nature with modern Islam’s political and largely aggressive nature—a theme elaborated here—suffice it to say that, while thousands of modern-day Muslim leaders are on record quoting Islamic scriptures to justify violence and hate, one is hard pressed to find examples of modern Christian leaders preaching violence and hate—and justifying it through scripture.

The Saudi Grand Mufti, the highest religious official of Saudi Arabia, Islam’s holiest nation, called on the destruction of all regional churches, quoting Islamic texts. Can Green find an example of an equally authoritative Christian leader calling for the destruction of mosques—and supporting it through the Bible?

Green went on to ask “Why don’t we go to the next step and ask, how is that a blue-eyed, blonde-haired, white female in the United States of America can become radicalized to the point of wanting to do harm to this country? We don’t have that type of hearing. That’s the problem.”

Thus, not only does the Congressman irrationally conflate the teachings of all religions together, he also conflates religion with race (and gender) implying that the only reason there are hearings on Muslim radicalization is because Muslims are not white, whereas those “equally-dangerous” blue-eyed, blond-haired female Christian “radicals” are apparently getting a free pass to terrorize America.

This logic is flawed on many levels. Islam is not a race; there are Muslims of all colors, just like there are Christians of all colors. Moreover, there are indeed “blue-eyed, blond-haired” terrorists in the world, including females—yet these, too, are overwhelmingly Muslim. It is dishonest for Green to try to take the focus off of Islamic radicalization and pin it on that all-purpose bogeyman, “racism.”

Regardless, this argument of Islam as a race is popular and was, for example, used by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who also called these hearings “racist.” Likewise, a former American soldier discussing the Fort Hood shootings lamented that “When a white guy shoots up a post office, they call that going postal. But when a Muslim [namely, Nidal Hasan] does it, they call it jihad.”

Notice the confusion; as if a “white guy” and a “Muslim” represent different races. Of course, if a person of any color goes on a random shooting spree, it would be racist to pin it on his race. But if a person of any color goes on a shooting spree—while waving the Koran, screaming the jihadi paean “Allahu Akbar!” or otherwise rationalizing his actions in Islamic terms, as did Nidal Hasan—then we are talking about a shooting spree motivated by a learned ideology or worldview that has nothing to do with the murderer’s race.

From beginning to end, Green—like his congressman colleague Keith Ellison, whose objection to these hearings culminated in a teary-eyed breakdown—relied on emotionalism to make his point: he opened his statement by offering the Islamic greeting assalama alikum to Muslims present, dreamily observing: “Isn’t it wonderful that the grandson of a Christian minister can sit on the Homeland Security Committee and say assalama alikum?”—a meaningless point that does not change the fact that in Islam, Muslims are only allowed to say “Peace upon you” to fellow Muslims, never to non-Muslim infidels, who by nature are deemed undeserving Muslim well-wishing.

Finally, Green concluded his sanctimonious attack by saying “I do know what it feels like to look like a Muslim in the minds of some people and to be demeaned in a public venue…. I look forward to the day that we’ll have that hearing that deals with the radicalization of Christians in America”—again, all meaningless race-related rhetoric and moral relativism, the sole value of which is to obfuscate the issue at hand: the real threat of “radicalization of Muslim-Americans.”

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture First English-Language Trailer Debuts for Natalie Portman’s Hebrew Film ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ Based on Amos Oz’s Memoir (VIDEO)

    First English-Language Trailer Debuts for Natalie Portman’s Hebrew Film ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ Based on Amos Oz’s Memoir (VIDEO)

    The first English-language trailer for Natalie Portman’s directorial debut — A Tale of Love and Darkness — based on Israeli author Amos Oz’s memoir, was released on Thursday. The movie, originally filmed in Hebrew, tells the story of Oz’s childhood in Jerusalem at the end of the British Mandate and the early years of Israel’s independence. Portman, who was born in Israel and speaks fluent Hebrew, plays the lead role of Fania, the author’s mother. She struggles to raise her son as she deals with inner demons, a […]

    Read more →
  • Features As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    JNS.org – Sonnenallee, a street in Berlin’s Neukölln district, looks like it comes straight out of an Arab city — so much so that it goes by the nickname “Gaza Strip.” Kebab and bakery shops are advertised in Arabic; men sit in men-only coffee shops; and bridal shop windows showcase glittery, not-so-stylish gowns. But take a random turn, and you’ll find a swath of bars, burger joints, and Indian restaurants where hip Berliners announce that they have arrived to urban coolness. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot engages in fierce action sequences in the new Wonder Woman trailer, which Warner Bros. premiered during the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. The nearly 3-minute trailer, the first to debut for the superhero film, shows scenes of Diana, princess of the Amazons, fighting alongside men in the battle against the world’s toughest enemies. The first shot of the video shows Wonder Woman discovering a man, Steve Trevor (played by actor Chris Pine), washed ashore. The clip then takes viewers to the all-female island where Wonder Woman was born. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    Is diplomacy worthwhile, even if the end result isn’t what we hoped for? That is the question, among many others, posed by the new play Oslo, by J.T. Rogers. Making its New York debut at Lincoln Center, the play examines the secret diplomatic process that led to the historic 1993 peace accords. The character of Shimon Peres makes an appearance onstage — and he, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, tower over the proceedings. But they mainly do so in absentia. Instead, […]

    Read more →
  • Spirituality/Tradition Sports Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    JNS.org – Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition. Koufax — who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history — decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. “I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview. Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    The famed lead guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, encouraged Jewish singer-songwriter Adam Lambert to perform in Hebrew during their upcoming joint concert in Israel, an entertainment industry advocacy organization reported on Tuesday. During a recent interview with Israeli television personality Assi Azar, May was played a 2005 video of Lambert singing the popular song Shir L’Shalom, (Song for Peace). May was so impressed by Lambert’s singing of the Hebrew track that he told the American singer, “We have to do that. Let’s […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    JNS.org – Kenyan-born marathoner Lonah Chemtai is expected to compete for Israel at the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next month after gaining a last minute approval. “I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters. Chemtai, who grew up a rural village in western Kenya, first came to Israel in 2009 to care of the children of her country’s ambassador to Israel. The 27-year-old runner recently gained […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    To date or not to date? That is not the question for most Modern Orthodox singles in New York. The question is when will they find their future spouses, and when will their families stop nagging them about having babies? Inspired by the success of the Israeli show “Srugim,” Leah Gottfried, 25, decided she would create and star in her own show, “Soon By You.” “Dating is so serious already,” Gottfried said. “We wanted to take a lighter approach and laugh at the […]

    Read more →