Peter: King Of Salem

There is a name for this dangerous obsession – it’s called McCarthyism. He has only proved what a bigoted moron he has become, and nothing else. Simply said, the hearing was an abuse of his public office - Habib Siddiqui

In the 1970s the Irish in Britain faced a harrowing time. They were victimised and demonised because of the IRA campaign. The Irish became the victims of discrimination and ostracism, while officially sanctioned coercive discrimination saw innocent men and women sent down for lengthy stretches in prison. Peter King would have been aware of this given his close relationship with both the IRA and Sinn Fein. His current witch hunt against US Muslims has led long time friend Niall O Dowd to say:

Alas, he finds himself on the bully pulpit espousing a very different take on Muslim Americans. It is a very strange situation for a great advocate of democracy in Ireland … He has now become the biggest hardliner in Congress against Muslim Americans.

King seems obsessed with Islam, seeing Muslims under every bed where Reds supposedly used to hide out. One of those he relies on to give testimony accuses Islam of being an insidiously supremacist religion. Although as Seema Jilani has rightly retorted ‘as if every other faith does not.’ Islam is hardly different from other religions in that regard. Religion by its nature can’t keep its nose out of other people’s business and forever wants to control the lives of those around it and dictate moral standards which clerics are all too wont to ignore themselves. Look no further than the child rapists of Catholicism as a salutary reminder of that.

There are indeed people of the Islamic faith who are advocates of theocracy. They long to secure widespread acquiescence in their theology of domination. Their goal is to subjugate women, gay people and those who have no religious belief. They also want to impose a regime of censorship on artists and writers. But there are Christians and Jews of like mind. They never seem to get the same degree of manufactured opprobrium that is thrown the way of Islam.

There is no justification for Peter King to pursue the stance against Muslims that we are currently witnessing. A New York Times Editorial made a compelling case against him which highlighted the bluster, bigotry and prejudice that guides his actions.

he is focusing on one group that appears to have obsessed him since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, resulting in slanders and misstatements that might have earned him a rebuke from his colleagues had they been about any other group. More than 80 percent of the mosques in America are run by extremists, he has said, never citing real evidence. Too many American Muslims are sympathetic to radical Islam, he said. Most pernicious, he has claimed that American Muslims have generally refused to cooperate with law enforcement agencies on terrorism cases. He has cited no evidence for this, either, but a study issued last month by Duke University and the University of North Carolina found just the opposite. The American Muslim community has been the single largest source of tips that have brought terror suspects to the attention of authorities, the study found. (It also found that the number of American Muslims found or suspected to be part of terror operations dropped substantially in 2010.)

These hearings are not about rooting out Islamic fascism. They are designed to feed into the amplification spiral of anti-Muslim discourse and drown out in the cacophony other discourses that challenge. The first of his hearings produced nothing. As Joe Conason pointed out, ‘this particular show turned out to be almost fact-free and laden with emotion.’ The type of things that could see a Muslim lynched by the Christians of the Ku Klux Klan.

Witnesses called were those who would tell King what he wanted to hear while those such as New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly whose attitudes and actions in the view of Conason ‘contrast starkly with King's’ were conveniently ignored.

It is not Salem in 1692 but Washington of 2011. Perhaps the religious right in America could justifiably point to this as evidence that there has been no evolution. Certainly nothing has moved on in terms of finding witches to hunt down and persecute.

The Irish Government must be in possession of a full database of incidents of the Irish in Britain being targeted for no reason other than their nationality. It must be uniquely placed to bring pressure to bear in opposition to prejudice. So far the tune has been The Sound of Silence.


  1. I don't believe Peter King was as interested in helping the IRA as he was in helping himself. If I remember correctly supporting the IRA was very fashionable at the time, especially among those with no idea of the indiscriminate nature of terrorism.

    Now is exactly the same I don't believe Mr King is really interested in American Muslims. I think he has found another corpse to feed off.

  2. Interesting post Anthony and while reading it I couldnt help thinking of Mc Guinness standing on the steps of Stormont with Batt Maggot and Pete the punt,power is a wonderful thing mo cara and some people will say/do anything to gain it.

  3. Islam has become the new witchcraft in America. And Peter King has offered himself as the new saviour of the good people of the nation

    Down with all witch hunters!

  4. AM-

    Just to oppose a race or a people
    like the american Muslim's because
    it might help the vote is wrong-
    and it is always right to highlight
    political abuse- i don't think that peter king is as bad as mcCarthism or as evil as salem- but that is no excuse- if someone is wrong then they are wrong-

    Hello Pippakin- i missed you trying
    to keep me right.

  5. pipakin,
    Wrong. Peter King helped the IRA when it was NOT fashionable and he has never apologized to date for his stance. However, that being said, as for his "witch hunt" regarding Muslims, I don't understand it and I don't necessarily agree with it, but I also know, as an American citizen, very little condemnation of any type of extreme Muslim "terrorism" against the American public has been forth coming from the Muslim community in general? That alone, has given the American public a great deal to be concerned about.

    I can remember back to the time of the troubles when the IRA was very active during their campaign that most times they would apologize for any civilian casualties. That has not necessarily been the case from the Muslim community in the USA, in general, over the years. Perhaps that is one of the reasons driving Peter King?

  6. Helen, it was a lot more fashionable to help the IRA in the past than it is to help Islam today. The vast majority of Muslims are law abiding citizens wherever they may be. That you haven't seen much public criticism from that community of "terrorism" probably has more to do with what you read. I know in Britain, for example, the Muslim community is very vocal in its condemnation.

    Americans should beware of false prophets seeking to build political careers of the back of vunerable communities by linking them to "terrorism" for which they are not responsible.

  7. Helen

    Your memory is wrong. The IRA were very fashionable, here there was Ken Livingstone, the entire protest movement and many actors and celebrities. Be honest Gerry Adams fed on that support for years.

    Michael Henry

    I occasionally comment here, good to hear from you.

  8. Helen is correct, King was a good friend to the PRM when it was far from fashionable and we should not forget so was Muammar Gaddafi.

    As to Kings current muslimophobia, he is simply reflecting the views of most of the USA political elite and a large slice of the population.

    When a people are vilified in the MSM as deeply and as often as Muslims have been in the US at the hand of outlets like fox news, prejudice is bound to run deep. Sadly far to few politicians have out rightly condemned Kings stance and committee.

  9. Helen
    I have a feeling the muslim extremist tactic is akin to the British [Dresden]and American [Heroshima Nagasaki]in WW2 and the loyalists in the North..ATAT all taigs are targets. The muslim operates on a much smaller scale. Regards apologies, I read somewhere the USA to this day recieves restitution from Vietnam for the war they inflicted upon that country. How do we square that? Perhaps if the IRA had been less pussyfooters and media oriented they'd not have ended up in Stormont with criminal records. I read in todays Irish news Jim Glibney saying ex prisoners were criminalised with their records in jail whilst brits are regularly commended for their service.

    Wonder how michaelhenry might square that with 'victory'. Also,
    u see Glibney talkin bout therapy, post traumatic stress disorder? what did he actually do? anyone know? i'm in the dark...i've a feelin his stress was brought on by the fear of being discovered like Donaldson!

  10. My post should have read, than it is to help Muslims today. Because Peter King helped the IRA back in the day did not tell us much about the man and his politics. What we are seeing now is ethnic based politics which will prove to be counter productive in the long run.

    To pursue all Muslims because a few extremists inflicted the greatest single act of terrorism in American history is immoral.

  11. Larry hughes-

    I also read Jim Gibney in to-days
    Irish news- he wrote about what the
    x british army receives in terms of
    dedicated counselling and retraining programmes compared to
    Republicans not trusting any-thing
    that could help them because of security concerns outside of their
    " military culture "

    Most Republicans stayed quiet even
    during the peace process even when
    they needed help- saying that the brit army with all that help still
    as a high suicide rate- so much so that the m.o.d now refuse's to say
    what that dead rate is or to even
    comment on it or admit it-

    Wonder how Larry might squre that with his brit victory.

  12. michaelhenry
    I read before Adams smiled/smirked when commenting that the drink problem amongst ex prisoners hadn't affected him yet. Knowing SF top dogs for what they are I have mnore than a suspicion Glibney+co. are angling at compo' like the ex RUC guys a year or two ago. I saw Glibney and Adams at an ice cream van at bodenstown the year they delivered the surrender speech. He looked a bit nervy that day I remember, now we all know why. They were not much in evidence when kieran Nugent was hitting rock bottom. And yes michael, you are correct, it was a Brit victory.

    Re the USA, they and the Brits are in permanent need of a 'bogy man' it oils the wheels of their military economy, literally. The brits are in 3 countries now and we are set to welcome the Queen. I used to be proud of this wee country, now it's just a nation of theives in shirts and ties.

  13. Larry,

    whatever we may think of Gibney's views today, he was a very conscientious and committed activist. He was at the coalface when it was risky and certainly never lacked bottle.

  14. Larry a cara the compo has been paid out, the Northern Bank, Makro,the problem is it was just enough to keep a few well heeled.

  15. AM
    never knew Gibney only saw him briefly during the supergrass trials. At this stage i have ZERO interest in knowing him.

  16. I suppose Jim Gibney had very little choice other then to dedicate his column to the problems surrounding ex-prisoners.
    The research, its findings and recommendations are being launched today at Queens and on show to the publc.
    Jim has fairly changed his tune from his 'ex-prisoners never had it so good' ramblings not too long ago.
    In fact, Jim argued that, Peter Robinson was a political prisoner as was his side-kick Mc Guinness. Ridiculous as it would seem, he was seriously weaving the spin that, if these two ex-prisoners achieved this status, then so could you.
    This recent research is staring them in the face so they have little choice but to embrace it, and although it could have went somewhat further into exposing the limitaions of these prisoners groups it will however make interesting reading.

  17. Larry,

    I was one of his co accused at the time.


    Jim's Irish News columns are woeful. He is probably the worst columnist in Ireland and that is a view widely held. The pity is that he is not a bad writer but has abandoned all critical faculties to push the line. Some of the stuff he comes out with is pure bull.

  18. Totally agree Anthony when he first started writing for the Irish News his column was readable this last couple of years he has become a ass licking propagandist not only for psf ,Adams in praticular,but the catholic church as well, I dont even bother reading his crap anymore.

  19. now now folks
    give the guy credit where it's due, he correctly asserted that ex prisoners are crims while ex RUC are good guys. Thats the verdict of the GFA they negotiated.

  20. Larry,
    "I read somewhere the USA to this day recieves restitution from Vietnam for the war they inflicted upon that country. How do we square that?"

    Hi Larry, just trying to catch up with some posts.

    I thought they never paid a dime after the pullout by the US in 72? The oil (that President LBJ really started that war over) is offshore off the Mekong Delta and will eventually be developed by (my guess) the Chinese.

    The US helped to rebuild (mostly western) Europe after WWII (The Marshall Plan) and Japan (MacArthur, during his term as military governor of Japan, spent lots to help rebuild the country) part of the reason the Japanese were building cars with essentially new factories while GM and Ford and Chrysler plants were still using 1930's technology well into the 70's and 80's. Korea I know we helped after the Korean war ended in the truce of 1953. Lots of military aid to the South Koreans and also Formosa now Taiwan.

    WWI we sort of stayed out of when that ended in 1918. I read that Herbert Hoover, before he became president in 1928, spent lots in US aid to feed the starving Russian peasants. I am not sure I know of other countries involved in any of these wars spent the kind of money the USA did to rebuild and give back to these war torn countries?

  21. Osama bin Laden would not have been captured and killed if it were not for the initial information we got from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after he was waterboarded.” —Peter King, a Republican congressman from Long Island

    Read more

    Wow I think he was confused as to which side he should have been on during the struggle.He would have been a star in Castlereagh

  22. Section 408

    ‘Osama bin Laden would not have been captured and killed if it were not for the initial information we got from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after he was waterboarded.” —Peter King, a Republican congressman from Long Island’

    Is there no end to it?