By now, you've heard of these ridiculous House Homeland Security Committee hearings, set to begin this week on the "radicalization" of Islam in the United States. The first hearing is titled, "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response." Chairman Peter T. King seems to think all Muslims are guilty of terrorism by association.
Rep. Mike Honda has denounced the hearings, calling them un-American and comparing them to both the unchecked scapegoating that led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and the anti-Communist hysteria led by Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950s.
The congressman is one of many in the Japanese American community who have stepped forward against the rising tide of anti-Muslim prejudice and Islamophobia, making it clear they refuse to let history repeat itself: Japanese Americans: House hearings on radical Islam 'sinister.'
Spurred by memories of the World War II-era roundup and internment of 110,000 of their own people, Japanese Americans - especially those on the West Coast - have been among the most vocal and passionate supporters of embattled Muslims. They've rallied public support against hate crimes at mosques, signed on to legal briefs opposing the government's indefinite detention of Muslims, organized cross-cultural trips to the Manzanar internment camp memorial near the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, and held "Bridging Communities" workshops in Islamic schools and on college campuses.The Muslims! A Peter King investigation. Make no mistake, this is a targeted effort to cast suspicion on and scapegoat a single community. It basically legitimizes being scared of Muslims -- because if you weren't fearful before, America, you will be after Rep. King gets through to you.
Last week, Rep. Michael M. Honda (D-Calif.), who as a child spent several wartime years living behind barbed wire at Camp Amache in southeastern Colorado, denounced King's hearings as "something similarly sinister."
The burden shouldn't solely be on the Japanese American community -- those who have unfortunately been down this road before -- to decry these hearings. It's up to all of us. Read the rest of Rep. Honda's op-ed piece here: Hearings on Muslim Americans is un-American.