Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shades of McCarthyism

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, plans to hold controversial hearings Thursday on Islamic radicalism. King jokes that these hearings may make him famous "for a week," but he has already become well known for an assertion he once made that "80 to 85 percent" of the mosques in the United States are controlled by radical imams.

King now dismisses the comment as inconsequential.

"I don't think it matters that much" because, according to Islamic leaders King said he has spoken with, imams do not have as much influence among the faithful as do priests or rabbis and because a relatively small percentage of American Muslims attend mosques.

Since his initial statement, King correctly noted that there was a single source and that it dates back to 1999. But then he went on to say the "number seems accurate," lending credence to the figure and giving a misleading impression that there is more to back it up.

The Fact Checker was inclined to award King quite a few Pinocchios before he essentially took it back (his statement). But they noted that King "has a responsibility to clear the air and say that, in the absence of other evidence, he no longer thinks this 12-year-old "fact" has any relevance".

Factchecker finding:

Two Pinocchios

(Significant omissions and/or exaggerations.)

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the House, said that while it's proper to investigate radicalization, he thinks it is wrong to single out a religious minority.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment