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Originally published Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 4:23 PM

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Smearing a faith for political attention

The Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee held an odious hearing on Muslim Americans. Where does Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., go next with his religious and cultural inquisition?

THE once righteous defender of the murderous Irish Republican Army went after Muslim Americans in a hearing Thursday. Demonizing religion might be all the congressional career Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., imagines he needs.

King has no point to make, other than faux scrutiny of a religious minority as a security risk. His repugnant mission is to inflame cultural bias for political gain, and perhaps get some extended airtime on Fox News.

Of course if King is serious about protecting Americans from radicalized religion he might have to extend his hearing schedule. Does the congressman intend to next go after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia? A bishop is in trouble for apparently ignoring a grand jury report about as many as 50 priests sexually assaulting children.

Maybe King will take his show on the road to Spokane. Did radical fundamental Christianity play any role in the philosophy of a suspected white-supremacist plot to blow up people attending a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade?

The congressman is a fraud. He lauds the IRA — perfecter of the car bomb as a weapon of mass destruction — but he would not invite Attorney General Eric Holder to testify. King knew the AG could challenge every phony point the committee strained to make.

Smearing minorities is as old as politicking. Blatant attacks on religion go hand in hand.

If the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee wants to be useful, he might find out if the intelligence failures that preceded 9/11 were fixed. Otherwise he is simply giving the stone killers who plowed two planes into New York City a religious veneer the wholesale slaughter of innocents does not deserve.

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