Commentary Magazine


Rep. Peter King Shuts Down Critic at Radicalization Hearing

At today’s House Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on radicalization in the prison system, Rep. Peter King vigorously defended himself against charges of discrimination, and said his critics were unwilling to discuss the issue of Islamic radicalization because of “political correctness.”

His forceful defense came after Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson accused him of ignoring radicalization among gang members and white supremacist groups.

“I do not disagree that radicalization occurs,” said Richardson. “What I disagree with is the scope of this committee’s only focusing on one particular group. I actually feel that the focus on one particular group on the basis of race or religion can be considered discriminatory.”

King shot back that he “disagree[d] 100 percent” with her accusations.

“Your party had control of this committee for four years and not one hearing on skinheads, Nazis, Aryan nation,” said King. “If we find the neo-Nazis are allied with a foreign power, we will investigate that…We are not going to spread ourselves out to investigate everything, which means investigating nothing.”

King added it’s the responsibility of the judiciary committee to investigate gang issues, and there are already procedures in place to identify and curtail gang recruitment in the prison system. However, there are no methods in place to combat Islamist radicalization in penitentiaries.