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Islamism in America

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

ARTICLES & COMMENTARY

Why won’t media – or Muslims – address Islamism in America?
By Peter Skerry and Gary Schmitt
Christian Science Monitor
March 10, 2011

How worried should we be about Muslims in America?

That question lies at the heart of this week’s controversial hearing about radicalization in America’s Muslim community chaired by Rep. Peter King (R) of New York. Supporters call it a timely investigation. Critics call it a witch hunt.

But as Arab uprisings raise prospects for broader Islamist governance in the Middle East, both sides should use the hearings to reflect on how US policies toward Islamists overseas could inform the way we address Muslim activists here at home. Despite obvious differences, there are some parallels worth pondering.

Whether overseas or at home, we have typically muddled along, often pursuing the path of least resistance.

In Egypt, this meant supporting a dictator who kept the Islamists at bay. Here in the US, our approach has been more multifaceted, but ad hoc and opportunistic nevertheless.

Consequently, the day may come when we wake up, as we have in Egypt, to the realization that our aversion to more-demanding, far-sighted approaches leaves us with fewer and less-palatable options here at home than we would like.

Read the rest at the Christian Science Monitor.

Peter Skerry is professor of political science at Boston College and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Gary Schmitt is resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

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