A week after British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a cogent and impassioned speech on the perils of political correctness and multiculturalism in combating Islamic extremism, Rep. Peter King (R.-N.Y.) refused to kowtow to pressure by Democrats and outside organizations that tried to force him into holding more “politically correct” hearings next month on the threat of Islamic extremism within the United States.
Critics of the scheduled hearing wanted King to broaden the list of those who are going to testify to include non-Arab and non-Islamic witnesses. Further, they wanted King to focus on non-Islamic groups such as radical environmentalists that these critics feel also pose a threat to the United States.
On Tuesday, King wrote to the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D.-Miss.), who had written King to ask him to expand the hearings to include “a broad-based examination of domestic extremist groups regardless of their ideological underpinnings.”
King wrote back, “In short, the homeland has become a major front in the war with Islamic terrorism and it is our responsibility to fully examine this significant change in al-Qaeda tactics and strategy. To include other groups such as neo-Nazis and extreme environmentalists in this hearing would be extraneous and diffuse its efficacy. It would also send the false message that our Committee believes there is any threat equivalency between these disparate groups and Islamist terrorism.”
Further, King wrote, “Very simply, the Committee cannot ignore the fact that al-Qaeda is actively attempting to recruit individuals living within the Muslim American community to commit acts of terror. Pursuant to our mandate, the Committee will continue to examine the threat of Islamic radicalization, and I will not allow political correctness to obscure a real and dangerous threat to the safety and security of the citizens of the United States.”
King’s refusal to back down came on the heels of what may become a seminal speech in Western-Islamic relations.
Last week, in Munich, Germany, Cameron told the audience, “We won’t defeat terrorism simply by the actions we take outside our borders. Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries.”
Cameron at first said that “we need to be absolutely clear on where the origins of these terrorist attacks lie—and that is the existence of an ideology, ‘Islamist extremism’ ” and promptly made it clear he was distinguishing Islamist extremism from Islam.
“Islam is a religion, observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people. Islamist extremism is a political ideology, supported by a minority,” Cameron said.
Then Cameron delivered his argument against multiculturalism and for greater assimilation.
“Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream,” Cameron said.
“We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values, Cameron continued. “So when a white person holds objectionable views—racism, for example—we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices have come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them.”
Cameron called for aggressively standing up to those who advocate for the multicultural agenda.
He said that too often some “organizations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism” and that the passive acceptance of these groups without any accountability is comparable with “turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement.”
Second, Cameron said that stronger societies and identities had to be built to encourage assimilation and “frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism.”
According to Cameron, a liberal country, unlike those that stand neutral between different values, believes in “certain values and actively promotes them.”
Such a society, Cameron said, “says to its citizens: This is what defines us as a society … to belong here is to believe in these things.”
Cameron was both praised by those who see multiculturalism, especially its coddling of Islam, as a tremendous threat and criticized by those who claimed Cameron was targeting and scapegoating Muslims.
While many across the pond in America see lessons the United States must learn from Europe’s fiscal and debt crisis, perhaps the greater lesson Americans should learn from Europeans is what their passive tolerance of multiculturalism has wrought.
As America gets more demographically diverse, tremendous pressure will be brought—as evidenced last week by those groups that tried to pressure King into broadening the witness list at his hearing—by those with a multicultural agenda to impose ethnic studies, tolerate radicalism in the name of Islam, and argue that Western civilization is the root of all evils and not superior to any other culture.
In his address, Cameron said that it was time for the British to actively fight those trying to impose such multicultural agendas.
In the years ahead, politicians in the United States will likely call for similar acts of aggression in the name of preserving the republic.