While the New York Times editorial board is hyperventilating over Rep. Peter King's Homeland Security Committee hearings radicalization in the American Muslim community, liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus sounded a much-needed reasonable note in her column today. Marcus recounts Attorney General Eric Holder's unwillingness to say in a congressional hearing that radical Islam is a significant motivator for terrorists:
The roots of Holder's reticence are admirable: He wanted to avoid tarring an entire faith with the sins of a few extreme adherents. But the unavoidable fact is that, however much violent terror reflects a distortion of the tenets of Islam, it is not only practiced by adherents of the religion but practiced in its name.
To ignore the religious nature of the terrorist threat is to succumb to politically correct delusion. To ignore the homegrown religious nature of the terrorist threat is to succumb even further.
But congressional hearings, even when one-sided, do serve the useful function of challenging the executive branch’s views, which more than Congress’s set the tone of government. And when dealing with Islam, the Obama administration has been incurious and dogmatic. From commendably liberal sentiments of religious tolerance—and in the president’s case, probably from his own affection for his father’s abandoned faith—the administration can’t bring itself to state the obvious: Islamic culture, in both the Old and New Worlds, has had a hellacious time absorbing modernity and has produced a large number of militants with a soft spot for violence against Americans, Europeans, Israelis, Jews, Christians, and, for that matter, Muslims deemed religiously incorrect. It has produced an impressive number of young men and women who are willing to kill those supposed unholy.
Stay tuned for coverage of King's next hearing tomorrow morning.