Unfortunately we have too many people in this country, there's too many mosques who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully, we should be finding out how we can infiltrate, we should be much more aggressive in law enforcement.Do you understand the statement to mean that there are too many people in this country (just too many people in general); and also that there are too many mosques that are sympathetic to radical Islam which law enforcement should be infiltrating and looking at more carefully? Or do you understand the statement to mean that there are too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam, as well as too many mosques that are sympathetic to radical Islam, and that law enforcement needs to be more aggressive in looking at and infiltrating groups of people and mosques that may be sympathetic to radical Islam?
My guess is that most people would read that statement and have the latter interpretation, and not an interpretation of a population crisis along with a lot of mosques that are sympathetic to radical Islam which need to be watched.
Well, that is a statement that has landed Congressman Peter King of New York in controversy, primarily because he put the mosques before the people. The quote that has people in a tizzy is:
Unfortunately we have too many mosques in this country, there's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully, we should be finding out how we can infiltrate, we should be much more aggressive in law enforcement.The congressman says that his quote was taken out of context. Politico (who apparently did the interview) "posted a fuller video" on their website "so readers can decide," but it is interesting to note that Politico only posted a fuller video, not the full video of the King interview. Why not show the video of the entire interview instead of just a fuller snippet?
The DNC, of course, has said that there is no excuse for King's language and for not retracting his statement when given the chance to do so.
There's simply no excuse a sitting member of Congress uses this type of bigoted language. In the interview, he was even given the opportunity to retract his statement when his disgusting remark was repeated back to him -- yet he refused.I would disagree that Rep. King was provided with an opportunity to either clarify or retract his statement. The interview was interrupted, but it is not clear exactly what the interruption was. The video cuts out, and when it resumes, the interviewer gives a quick recap of what was being discussed. King then continues his train of thought.
Here's a transcript that I created from watching the fuller snippet, editing out the interruption and recap.
INTERVIEWER: When we interviewed Chairman Thompson, he said that there's quote "a slippery slope between protecting civil liberties and protecting from another attack," and he feared that we're heading down that slippery slope to losing a lot of these civil liberties. Do you agree with that, or do you think this is a way for Democrats to attack the White House?The question posed was does Rep. King agree with Chairman Thompson (I'm guessing that the interviewer is referring to the current Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security) that we are in danger of losing our civil liberties due to the means that are being employed to prevent another attack. When you take out the interruption, and look at only King's response, it does appear to me that he was saying that, since a large part of the Muslim community seems to be sympathetic to radical Islam, law enforcement needs to look more closely at mosques and the Muslim community in order to protect against another attack. That doesn't mean, however, that we shouldn't watch out for civil liberties violations, but Rep. King does believe that there are precautions in place against that, and that law enforcement is doing an exemplary job.
REP. KING: No, I strongly disagree, and this to me shows a real difference in emphasis. I want the, if there's any doubt, I want the doubt resolved in favor of us going out and getting the job done. We have, unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country, there's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully, we should be finding out how we can infiltrate, we should be much more aggressive in law enforcement. [...]
I mean, I'm aware of ones in New York where, to me, that certainly raise suspicion, that should be looked at carefully. I think that there's been a lack of full cooperation from too many people in the Muslim community, and there's a real threat here in this country. And I, for instance, just use the NYPD as the example, I think we should have been giving them a medal for the job they did during the Republican Convention, not calling them down here to explain their behavior. And that, to me, so it's just a difference in emphasis, and I see the main threats coming from people who want to kill us. Obviously we have to look out for civil liberties violations, but I think there are precautions and procedures in place. And to me, certainly what, just using the 2004 Republican Convention as an example, the police acted in an exemplary way.
To me, in the full context of the fuller snippet of the interview that Politico has allowed us to see, there is no problem with what Congressman King said.
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