In my eyes, Peter T. King is a jerk
. (Ok, not a total one)
In January 2004, he had published a book Veil of Tears, a book which is described as "Half-truth and half-fiction," discussing a hypothetical terrorist attack on New York City, with the IRA and Muslim terrorist teaming up to strike again. In February 2004, he went on Sean Hannity's radio show1, where I heard him complain that "no [American] Muslims are cooperating" with law enforcement officials to combat terrorism. He added: "I would say, you could say that 80-85 percent of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists. Those who are in control. The average Muslim, no, they are loyal, but they don't work, they don't come forward, they don't tell the police inaudible... Talk to a Steve Emerson, talk to a [Daniel] Pipes, talk to any of those. They will tell you. It's a real issue…I'll stand by that number of 85 percent. This is an enemy living amongst us."
During his interview, he became particularly critical of a certain unnamed mosque in Westbury, N.Y., which he accused of failing to adequately condemn terrorism. He said that the leader insisted that the accused 9/11 hijackers were alive, and repeated this claim about the mosque in numerous other shows and letters. Let me tell you something, I visited this mosque last year, it's a half hour from my house. This specific mosque is known to be the most liberal one on Long Island, so much so that my more "traditional"/orthodox friends have shunned it. I think about the place and know that King's claims are impossible, any extremist charge is ridiculous. Perhaps when he was there he didn't see enough American flags in the parking lot.
King also said that while most American Muslims are loyal to this country: "They won't turn in their own. They won't tell what's going on in the mosques. They won't come forward and cooperate with the police."
I was sufficiently outraged that after CAIR pointed him out and I listened to the broadcast, I sent Peter T. King a nasty e-mail2 using CAIR's letter-writing template. I was angry, how dare he say that me and my community isn't combatting terrorism. Does he not know that the Lackawanna Six were arrested because other local Muslims called the police on them? Did he hear the FBI say that the Arab and Muslim community were cooperating with law enforcement? When he says "NO Muslims are cooperating," is he including me? If I was angry, Long Island Muslims were seething; here was this Congressman who visited the mosque a few times, who probably met Muslim families who also lost relatives on 9/11, and he accuses them of insulting the victims of 9/11. To top it off, this Jerk is in MY district, badmouthing the Muslims who live in it. Has he really listened to the Muslims, or is he just talking past them?
Well, he sent me a letter back3, what looks like a scripted letter in reply to the many thousands he received as part of CAIR's letter writing campaign. He even gave me bad statistics that he mentioned in his interview and I saw on Fox News Channel's the O'Reilley factor. FYI, Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes, the sources he gave, are regarded by Muslims as America's leading Islamophobes. Daniel Pipes is the real dishonest man (ask me about his forging letters from my local mosque) who claimed that up to 15 percent of all Muslims are "potential killers" and that the "enfranchisement" of American Muslims presents "true dangers" to the United States. Emerson is just out on a hunt to find the Wahhabis hiding in the US.
So despite being condemned by the Democratic National Committee, CAIR, the Interfaith Alliance, Senator Jon Corzine (D) and Rep Bill Pascrell (D) from New Jersey, and even the Advisory board of the Police Commissioner of Suffolk County (his own district), King is unrepentant.
PS- He sent me a real letter in response to my email (using the Franking Privilege?)
3. Page 1: http://homepage.mac.com/mr100percent/King1.jpg
Page 2: http://homepage.mac.com/mr100percent/King2.jpg
CAIR's alert to condemn the remarks: http://www.cair-net.org/asp/article.asp?id=160&page=AA
Peter King was recently mentioned in Newsday, as trying to intervene and stop the deportation of an Afghani refugee woman, who would be separated from her family and children by the deportation. I decided to send Mr. King a Thank-you letter, cordially thanking him for such a kind act. I don't have a copy of it, but I believe I told him I was wrong about him, he is not a total jerk after all.
About a month later, and thanks to the Franking Privilege, I received yet another letter in the mail: http://homepage.mac.com/mr100percent/King3.jpg
Now, this one sounds a bit snippy. I was prompted to write an angry reply email once more. As my friend put it best through IM; "OMG, im delighted taht u high and almightiness thinks m not a jerk" Does this sort of response make him a jerk now? Am I the laughingstock of his Massapequa Park office?