Rep. King Highlights Muslim Service Members at Hearing
In a brief aside during his hearings on radicalization in the military, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) praised the 6,000+ Muslim U.S. service members have served overseas since 9/11 and the 14 Muslim troops who have been killed in the line of duty.
King went on to explain that “there’s no desire on anyone’s part to denigrate the contributions of the Muslim community. We’re talking about a small, small minority.”
Even though it may seem unnecessary, kudos to King for clearly and publicly articulating this point. Unfortunately, while nobody on the committee may be motivated by a desire to demean American Muslims, the same can’t be said of the conservative community at large which tolerates anti-Islam sentiment that has naturally led to calls for Muslims to be banned from the military.
Hopefully Rep. King will continue to recognize Muslim Americans’ contributions to our national security and make clear to his fellow conservatives that those who propose such bans do not reflect American values and have no place in mainstream political discourse.
If Rep. King is looking for an example, he could do no better than to emulate former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who shared a moving story of a Muslim soldier who was killed in action and condemned anti-Muslim attacks against then-candidate Obama in a 2008 Meet the Press appearance: