Andrew McCarthy On King Hearings: “What 'Radicalizes' Muslims Is Islam”

In a June 16 National Review Online blog post, Andrew C. McCarthy criticizes Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) hearings into the radicalization of American Muslims. While Muslim, civil rights, and interfaith groups have panned the hearings as “divisive,” McCarthy has a different problem: The hearings aren't anti-Islam enough.

According to McCarthy, “the hearings are proceeding on a false premise: namely, that Muslims are being 'radicalized' by some aberrant ideology that is a perversion of Islam.” He explains:

What “radicalizes” Muslims is Islam -- the mainstream interpretation of it. The “radicals” propagating it do not need the “captive audience” provided by the prison environment. The “radicalization” is happening in plain sight.

McCarthy bases his claims on a study by David Yerushalmi and Mordechai Kedar which states that more than 80 percent of U.S. mosques feature texts that promote or support violence. Several right-wing pundits who specialize in attacks on Muslims and Islam previously highlighted the report earlier this month.

As we noted at the time, this study is undermined by Yerushalmi's history of extreme anti-Muslim and racially charged rhetoric. The Anti-Defamation League has highlighted Yerushalmi's “record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry,” specifically highlighting his reported statement that “African Americans are a 'relatively murderous race killing itself” and suggesting that “racial differences included innate differences in character and intelligence.”

The ADL also reports that a think tank founded and led by Yerushalmi “called on Congress to declare war on the 'Muslim nation,' which it defined as 'Shari'a-adherent Muslims,' and further asked Congress to define Muslim illegal immigrants as alien enemies 'subject to immediate deportation.'”

Yerushalmi has written that “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization” and that “The Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.” This is probably not the kind of person you want to rely on for unbiased data.

Of course, Andrew McCarthy thought the proposed Park51 Islamic center several blocks from Ground Zero represented “Islamist supremacism” and his most recent book recycles numerous smear to paint President Obama as an “Islamist,” so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.