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 Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Author of New Book on Connection Between Jews, Punk Rock Describes Bands Flinging Gefilte Fish, Bagels at Audience (INTERVIEW)

    Some punk rockers integrate their Jewish identity into their music through food, the author of a new book on the topic told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. Michael Croland, author of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, described the way different musicians express this connection. “One band is known for throwing gefilte fish in the mosh pit, and people at its concert slide around on it while dancing,” he recounted. “Another used to drink Manischewitz [sweet kosher] wine out of a shofar [the ram […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    Scottish Soccer Club Manager Hails ‘Fantastic’ Jewish-State Visit After Victory Over Israeli Team (VIDEO)

    The manager of Scotland’s Celtic soccer club lauded Israel, after his team won a match against the Jewish state’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night. Brendan Rodgers said at a post-match press conference: On behalf of the players, the people of Celtic and Scotland, Israel’s been fantastic for us. We came out here on Sunday, [and from] the hotel, the staff, we’ve been very, very warmly received. The atmosphere at the game was amazing and, obviously, one team has to lose, but you have a wonderful team here, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    Second Jaffa Jazz Festival to Reunite International, Israeli Musicians

    For the second time, Israel will host the Jaffa Jazz Festival, according to Broadwayworld.com. The festival will unite 43 Israeli musicians and eight international artists for a three-day event. The program will include a special performance by an ensemble of top jazz students studying at Belgium’s Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, the Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia, Israel’s Rimon School of Music and the jazz program of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. There will also be a jazz show for children led by Israeli saxophonist […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    Israel’s First NASCAR Driver Revved Up to Win

    JNS.org – As a young boy growing up in Ashdod, Israel, Alon Day got his first go-kart at age 9. By 15, he was racing them. Less than a decade later, Day has become the first Israeli professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit. He made history by competing in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13. “Driving a race car is not like any other sport,” Day told JNS.org. “You are actually almost flying […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    The writer of a popular children’s television series will premiere an off-Broadway solo show called “Not That Jewish,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Written and performed by Monica Piper — the Emmy Award-winning showrunner of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” — the show is described as “the autobiographical telling of a Jew…’ish’ girl’s life.” “Not That Jewish” explores Piper’s Bronx upbringing in a show-business family, her comedy-club debut and her “almost” night with former Yankees legend Mickey Mantle. “Audiences can expect to leave laughed-out, a little teary-eyed and […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scotland’s Celtic soccer club will fly to Israel with the same private jet Madonna used while on tour, The Scotsman reported on Monday. According to the report, the team is heading for the Jewish state to compete against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night, and will be transported in the customized, luxurious Boeing 757-200 that the pop icon used in New Zealand for her six-month Rebel Heart tour, which wrapped up in March. The plane is on loan from Greece-based GainJet Aviation and can accommodate 62 passengers. The […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Jewish actor Jonah Hill revealed on Wednesday morning that he had officiated the wedding of good friend and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The “War Dogs” actor, 32, was a guest on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show when the conversation turned to Levine’s July 2014 wedding to Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo. Hill said that after he was asked to officiate the nuptials, he started getting worried about the type of speech he was going to deliver. “I’m writing all these things, and then I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Music Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish indie singer Ezra Furman released a song on Wednesday that he said was dedicated to his grandfather, who escaped Nazi persecution. Furman told the website Consequence of Sound that the new track, called “The Refugee,” is his “first song entirely concerned with my Jewish background and present, a song dedicated to my grandfather who fled the Nazis, as well as to all of the refugees desperate for a home today.” He added, “May all the wanderers find the homes they seek, and […]

    Read more →