Last week an investigating committee of the U.S. Congress began hearings on the Muslim faith in America, questioning the loyalty of Americans who belong to that religion. There have been a handful of Americans over the last decade who were Muslim adherents and got involved in terrorism. This became the pretext for probing an entire religious community. Strangely enough the chairman of the committee who instigated the investigation (Rep. Peter King) has been a supporter of a terrorist organization in the past, the Irish Republican Army. Perhaps this his only claim to any expertise, although it seems that he may have been a political opportunist then and now.
Does not the freedom of religion guaranteed in the Bill of Rights prohibit such an escapade in political intimidation and prejudice? My guess is that it does, but unless the Congress actually produces a law on the topic, the Supreme Court has no way to get at the situation and enforce the Bill of Rights. This is another example of how politicians play games with the system. These hearings will not actually accomplish anything other than posturing and the distribution of propaganda.
Why has it become so popular for some Americans to express anger and prejudice against their Muslim neighbors? These are almost all people who came to the United States because they wanted to live in a country with the kind of freedoms that exist here. Despite the handful of extremists who promote such issues as Sharia Law, clearly more than nine out of ten Muslim Americans do not care to live in a country where church and state are allies in enforcing religious beliefs and practices. Are those non-Muslim Americans who popularize this anti-Muslim propaganda equally loyal to the basic values of America? Or, is this another way for them to espouse the cause of a "Christian America" that would do away with the Bill of Rights guarantee of religious liberty?
To me, Congressman King and his allies are suspect. This whole exercise smells of a hidden agenda. The people most likely to destroy the Bill of Rights in America are not the small minority of Muslims. They are those in power with such extreme notions of nationalism and twisted ideas about the Christian faith. They remind me of the "German Christians" movement in Europe in the 1930s. It is possible for a movement that starts out Christian to become so involved in nationalistic political goals that they are no longer real followers of Jesus. He taught is followers to "turn the other cheek," to be humble and caring, to "love your enemies." Jesus never approved of the Crusades. They were sin in His eyes. I am sure that God's heart has been broken by the long, bloody history of conflict between those who claim these faiths. He does not approve of investigating Muslims in America today, so far as I can see. Nor, as a practical matter, will these hearings actually accomplish any prevention of future terrorism.