U.S. Rep. Kirk and Bankruptcy of Racism

Response to Chicago Sun-Times’ “Kirk’s Comment A-OK”

Extremism like that expressed by Ms. Bernadine Brown and Rep. Mike Kirk is a security problem. Lo-jacking all Arabs and Muslims might make some people feel safer, but they will not be more secure.

Terrorist Timothy McVeigh was American-born. Terrorist Earl Krugel was certainly not an Arab. A leader of the homegrown Jewish Defense League, Krugel was convicted of plotting to bomb a California mosque and a district office of Congressman Darrell Issa.

Mohammed Salman Hamdani, an American Muslim, also saw the “scum” who attacked New York. His heroic act of self-sacrifice on September 11 is praised in Section 102 of the USA PATRIOT ACT. On September 10 of this year, funeral prayers were performed for the recently identified remains of two Muslim victims of the World Trade Center attacks.

While generally decent people focus on fearing the Muslim or Arab “other,” (Fear fed by “leaders” like Rep. Kirk.) extremism festers unchecked. How about recognizing that racism is a bankrupt philosophy and focussing on defeating extremists so we can all live in safety?

Corey P. Saylor
Government Affairs Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations
National Office