- The Washington Times - Friday, March 11, 2011

Opponents of New York Republican Rep. Peter King’s hearings on domestic Muslim extremism have tried to make the controversy into a civil rights battle. The more the left obfuscates the issue, the more dangerous the threat becomes.

One line of argument is that the House Homeland Security Committee hearings are unfairly discriminatory because they don’t address other domestic terror threats, such as from purportedly violent militia groups. Rep. Al Green, Texas Democrat, bizarrely contended that failing to investigate the Ku Klux Klan somehow amounted to a defense of that organization. “Over a hundred years of terrorism, why not investigate them too?” he lectured The Washington Times’ Kerry Picket. But - perhaps unbeknownst to Mr. Green - the KKK and related groups have been and continue to be investigated thoroughly by the FBI and have been the subject of congressional inquiries dating back to the days of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

In 2009, a spate of documents from the Department of Homeland Security singled out race-focused groups - as well as military veterans - as the Obama administration’s primary investigative focus. These organizations have been so thoroughly infiltrated by law-enforcement authorities that - as the old joke goes - at a typical cell meeting, the undercover FBI agent and undercover ATF agent are waiting for the undercover U.S. Marshal to arrive. A hearing on the threat of Islamic extremist groups in America is simply giving equal time.

Others liberals echo the White House line that Muslims in America are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, asked rhetorically, “Where are the uncooperative Muslims (at this hearing)? … I am overwhelmed by the lack of factual basis for this hearing.” Such grandstanding is the equivalent of asking those not present to raise their hands.

If Ms. Lee wants to find Muslims who are not part of the solution, she need look no further than the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Last month, CAIR’s San Francisco chapter posted a graphic on its website urging Muslims to “Build a Wall of Resistance” against government investigators and “Don’t Talk to the FBI.” If CAIR is seeking to organize a resistance movement inside the United States, it’s reasonable to ask what they have to hide - perhaps information that would have strengthened the “factual basis” for the hearings.

The reason hearings like this are necessary is to bring public attention to a problem the White House and congressional Democrats have been trying to keep a lid on for years. The Obama administration has steadfastly refused to admit that a domestic Islamic violent extremist threat exists. Every time a terror attack takes place or is attempted - in Detroit, at Times Square, in Little Rock or at Fort Hood - President Obama will deplore violence generically but remain mute on its religious cause.

On Thursday, Army Secretary John McHugh announced that nine officers would be reprimanded for “administrative and leadership failures relating to the career” of Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. It’s unclear whether the Army is yet willing to admit that jihadism was the primary motive in the shootings. However, it is easy to understand why officers would turn a blind eye to Hasan’s obvious Muslim extremism. Every signal, every statement, every order issued from the Obama team since 2009 told the bureaucracy that Muslims are a specially protected class of people who are off-limits. It’s time to tear down Mr. Obama’s wall of resistance to reality.