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February 21st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

My Take: Cancel bigoted hearings targeting U.S. Muslims

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

According to a new poll, a slim majority - 56 percent - of Americans support upcoming congressional hearings into alleged extremism in the U.S. Muslim community. However, nearly three-quarters - 72 percent - think Congress should not look for religious extremism only among American Muslims.

These hearings on "the radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorism” are being overseen by Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York and the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. They are slated to begin March 7.

On February 1, a group of 51 faith-based, human rights and civil rights organizations, led by Muslim Advocates, called on House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to urge King and his committee to address all forms of religious extremism rather than focusing on Islam.

After King refused to broaden the scope of his hearings, more than 80 religious leaders from Long Island - an area King represents - called on the congressman on February 17 to cancel his hearings, on the theory that “the singling out of the Muslim community undermines fundamental American values and is counterproductive to improving national security.”

Although King has refused to investigate other religious extremists in his hearings, he has seemed to moderate his anti-Islamic rhetoric, prompting Pamela Geller of Stop Islamization of America to complain that his lineup of possible witnesses includes too many people who are too soft on Islam. “It appears that this will be a show trial,” Geller writes.

I couldn’t agree more, but I disagree with Geller about what sort of farce the U.S. Congress will be putting on.

In their letter to King, Long Island’s religious leaders urged their representative to “remember the lessons of history”:

During World War II, Japanese Americans were deprived of their rights and forced into internment camps because of blanket distrust of their commitment to our country. The McCarthy hearings became a shameful national spectacle that falsely impugned the loyalty and destroyed the lives of many Americans. Catholics were once demonized as threats to democracy beholden to a foreign power. Jews and African Americans have faced centuries of suspicion and prejudice.

Given this history, American citizens should be vigilant about opposing any effort to target groups on the basis of their race or religion. And our elected representatives should be especially careful to avoid any appearance of using their power for similar attacks. King’s proposed hearings do not meet this test.

I have no problem with the U.S. Congress listening to testimony about the “radicalization” of Islam in America. As I have written repeatedly, I believe that the world's religions, Islam included, are both toxic and tonic, powerful forces for evil as well as good.

The problem with King's approach is his refusal to listen to testimony about, for example, the “radicalization” of American Christianity. Throughout America’s history Christian extremists (in the form of the Ku Klux Klan, for example) have posed a far greater threat to our nation’s health than extremists of any other religion.

Only time will tell whether we are living in the midst of a new McCarthyism. I certainly hope we are not. But the proposed hearings are bigoted in design, and should be either canceled or reworked to avoid the appearance that the U.S. Congress - whose members are 90 percent Christian - is using its power, contrary to clear meaning of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, to promote Christianity at the expense of other religions.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Culture wars • Islam • New York • Opinion • Politics • Polls

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soundoff (501 Responses)
  1. KASHIF

    SEND ALL WHITES BACK TO EUROP N PRISON THE KIDS FOR STEALING THE INDIANS LAND GET A REALITY CHECK DUMBO THIS IS NOT YOUR COUNTRY THESE WHITE THINK THIS IS THERE COUNTRY LMAOOOOOO BETTER WAKE THE HELL UP N LOOK AROUND U

    February 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Dallas5superrings

      Kashif, you sound like an dirty diaper head....

      February 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      If you want to return everyone to where they come from then the Native Americans have to go back Mongolia. Or we all have to go back the The Great Rift valley in Africa. I think there is a statute of limitations here or it gets ridiculous. The thing to do is value all persons regardless of race, culture, or religion with an emphasis on not propagating any race, culture or religion that wants to harm any other.

      One question in determining what is acceptable: Is it life enhancing or at least causes no harm? Teaching children to ignore real science is not life enhancing as it cripples the child's ability to get a higher education or a job. Killing abortion supporters is killing. Thou shalt not do this. Abusing children cognitively, emotionally, physically and spiritually is not good for the kids nor for our society at large.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  2. CEL1

    Congress needs to look into and investigate religious extremism ins ALL religions in the US. There are Christian and Jewish groups that are proponents of extremism that equals anything US Muslims do. Investigate all of them. Put an end to extremism, until somebody PROVES what they teach and preach instead of saying "have fith" which is just another way of saying 'trust me'. TRUST NO ONE until they are made to prove what they say.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  3. CryBigotAndLetSlipThePoliticallyCorrect

    Don't worry, people. If you disagree with facts, all you have to do is call the other person a bigot. Logical arguments elude you? Just call them a bigot!

    Someday, the reality of our world is going to crash down upon a lot of naive heads.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Yuppers. Everything will go to sh1t and fall on everyone's heads not just those who disagree with you.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  4. Darren

    I can't believe these bigoted Republicans want to have a hearing on Extremism!! They are blind to the real problems!!! Do you remember that meteor that wiped out the Dinosaurs!!?? How many living creatures did that kill?? But will they convene a hearing on that!!?? Hell NO! Meteors Killed more people than Muslims!! But republicans are blinded with HATE and BIGOTRY

    February 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  5. aizen

    every religion is full of extremist, the only difference is christians are mostly caucasians in america that is why they dont see their act as evil as the muslim..all this is based on racism and bigotery...the christians has killed, enslaved, used etc people all over the world and even eradicated many cultures and customs, i dont see noone complain....the muslin have also their bad apples and have done their share of idiotic and evil things to this planet so noone has a moral high ground here, for all it matters, religions are bad for human beings..we dont need them and their denomination and all the negative things they have brought to this planet...even GOD must be tired of being tied to every stupidity in the name of religion...Jesus never named a religion or create one, mohamed is a different story, as for the rest well they have names....abolish religions and see how people might evolve and become free......religion=fear, bigotery, hate, racism etc...i dont see nothing good in religions!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Where do you get your information? Christianity is universal partly due to missionaries moving in and destroying the culture and beliefs of the countries they added to their empires. What they did to the Native Americans is beyond belief. They still go into other nations handing out Bibles and giving Heck Fire and D@mnation sermons. 4 of them just died at the hands of pirates. The only reason there are more white Christians in the US is because that is the core of the population. Christianity is very wide spread in the African American culture. Natives are trying to recover what was lost and trying to find their birth families after losing a child or parents.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  6. Jason

    How stupid is this article? Like you see a bunch of Christians or Mormons or Catholics or Jews running into a crown and blowing themselves up. Profiling works. What are the odds that an old Christian woman is going to take over a plane? I think it is zero% Terrorists take over planes and 99.999999% of those happen to be Muslims. The US has become way to PC. It is just moronic as the author of this article. My question is, has a non-muslim ever highjacked a plane for terrorist purposes? DB Cooper (the 1 non-muslim I can think of ever) did hijack a plane, but he just needed transportation. It was not his intention to kill anyone and he didn't. THE ENTIRE PLANET NEEDS TO WAKE UP!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • LuLz

      Nope, instead you see them sign up for the military to go blow other people up with – and get this – justification.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • BurtDirken

      DJ Cooper may have killed one person during the hijacking – himself.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  7. Yuri Von Slot

    Sne back all the damn mother PHUCKERS.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  8. Ryan

    I'm curious – is the interviewing being done by Congress just to see if there is radical Islam here and widespread in the United States so they can learn more about it, or are they trying to root it out by interviewing people they believe may be radicals? The article was a little unclear.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  9. Supra

    NEWSFLASH – Humans never change. History will always repeat itself since we're too dumb to learn...

    February 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  10. B

    Muslims have earned any bigotry headed their way! Unlike skin color, the Muslims have made choices and continue to try to change the American way of life. Yes, I am bigoted against Muslims as a whole. Yet, I will judge each individual according to the character I see and the feeling in my gut!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      If the laws were different, Fundamentalist Christianity would get rid of everyone who follows a different path including mainstream Christians.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  11. WayOutThere

    I call on them to also look at anti-religion extremism. Let everyone be accountable for hate and violence – whether they hide behind God or not.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • LuLz

      Anti-religion extremism. Is that like how all of us atheists tell you religious people your morons and you get offended?

      February 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • idiot

      WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

      What is "anti religious extremism"? Logic????

      February 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Franly Speaking..

      Agreed

      February 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  12. Vivian

    There is goodness in all the world's religions. There are also fanatics in all of them that tarnish the names of their religions. However, while there are certainly Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Sikh groups that have committed acts of terrorism, no religious group compares to Islam in the number of terrorist acts and the number of terror groups. Is there a Christian equivalent to Al Qaida? A Hindu equivalent to the Taliban or a Sikh equivalent to Abu Sayyaf or Jamaah Islamiya. If there are such equivalents then the media are not reporting them.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • idiot

      MORAL RELATIVISM IS SUICIDE

      February 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Franly Speaking..

      too quick to judge eh ? There is no equivalent of Al Qaeda in christianity coz they were far worst massacaring millions if not billions (the nazis, kkk, Lords Liberation Army and a lot lot more)..As for hinduism you obviously wouldnt know but they have RSS, Shive Sena, BJP who massacared muslims and christians while the rest of the nation silently watched (some in horror, others in agreement)..

      I hate extremism but I dont waste my time comparing ne bigotry to another..

      February 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  13. Big LEbowski

    The dc hearings are total BS. I would rather let muslim terrorists come bome us and put christian republicans on trial for wanting to keep the USA safe.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Vivian

      What?

      February 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  14. jack

    Let's see, who knocked down the World Trade Center and a wall or two of the Pentagon? Oh yes, Jesuits, no, no, let's see...Quakers...no, no, I don't think it was them. Maybe a radical group of Catholics from Northern Ireland....no I don't recall them being involved...let me see...oh yes radical Islamics..yes. And who continues to threaten the US, Christians, Buddists, Catholics, a seniors group from the Shinto shrine in Ido...no. Now tell me again why he has to address all the religions' radicals. Stupid article.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Ben

      This is an absurd argument, who knocked down the towers, foreign nationals. It's hard not to compare this to the McCarthy hearings, I mean look at our current climate. If you want to insult someones patriotism, you call them a Muslim, as people did and still do to president Obama. Some people have simply taken to calling him a Muslim sympathizer, much like people were called commie sympathizers not that long ago. And when arguing that other extremist aren't as important, what about Christians that bomb abortion clinics, or the westboro baptist church and their protesting at military and childrens funerals? Bad people come from all religions.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      I meant Fundamentalist Muslims, the radicals, not all of them. Most Muslims are decent and peaceful people as are main stream Christians. The problem is the non-radicals will not stand up against the crazies.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  15. Greg s

    The Waco Disaster was The US govt burning those Christians to death If I remember it correctly, Mc Veigh well He was labled a Christian but he didn't blow up that Building in the name of God, And Come on The Crusades, Ahh guess what folks that was 1500 years ago. The Muslim religion is designed to subvert all other religions, Turning the other Cheek to Muslims isnt working for Christian in the Middle East who are being killed and tortured across that region. Eventually The Muslims will succeed to blow something up to the point 10,000 will die in the US and then the gloves will be off and all of you turn the other cheek folks will be hollering why didn't the Govt do something.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • LuLz

      12,000 people died to gunfire in the US last year. Who's the real threat?

      February 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Chuck

      Greg s, Cut me some slack! Maybe you were on another planet when "Waco", as you call it, happened, but I was right here in Texas–glued to the television. No matter how I looked at it (and I am a conservative Christian) that pervert set his own place on fire to escape being put in jail. He also made sure those children died just so he could try to make the gov't look bad, so don't go there with Waco; that is nonsense.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  16. bluesky

    Underlying the willingness to profile Muslims in this way is the unstated and probably unrecognized assumption that the other group's extremists somehow represent the entire group, while extremists in your group are obviously unhinged, mentally unbalanced individual outliers.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  17. jbmar1312

    IzWithStoopid, Eric Rudolph was the only crazy int that litany of looney toons that was a crime based on religion. The Branch Dividian had not blown anything or anyone up. They abused themselves. They were an extremem cult that the government tried to head off at the pass. So your exaggerated comparison is without merit. I was in Sadr City when we wrested it from the hands of Maqtada Al Sadr. The Muslems I worked with hated what He and Hussein and others like them had done to their country..their children. But they themselves admitted and understood that it was Muslims committing crimes against humanity all over the world. No other culture in recent history has been so destructive, approved of the enslavement of woman so openly or denied the rights of others so aggressively. Go ahead and stick your head in the sand like so many did when Nazi Germany (could be defined as a belief or relgion) was allowed to come to power and almost dominate the world. It is people living in denial like you that have caused this country to get it's nose bloodied before we would enter WW1 and WW2. Please stay out of the way if you don't have what it takes to protect our freedom.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  18. Rob C.

    A bigoted view by the author of the results as well..
    The question was "Should Congress focus on just US Muslims?"
    A lot in play here- I think the focus SHOULD ONLY BE ON MUSLIMS to not dilute it. But if you asked me 'just US muslims" I would say 'no'- we need to have hearings about muslims EVERYWEHERE. What a stupid polling company!
    Keep these hearings on muzzies- hold other hearings for any other group and then a separate hearing that wraps them all up.
    Geesh people this is stuff that only take a 3rd graders brain!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Irony

      how fortunate for you, then

      February 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • LuLz

      And you've got the 3rd graders brain to prove it!

      February 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  19. Nicky

    The IRA? I absolutely don't defend the tactics by the IRA or the Republican Army, but I don't recall the IRA ever attacking the US

    February 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Rob C.

      awesome comeback- the focus is WHO HAS ATTACKED the US and wreaked havoc and at least 2,000 deaths in the US the last 15 years?? kind of cuts down the people we need to focus on.....let the UN worry about the rest of the world...they won't do anything anyway

      February 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Baman

      The nut who wrote this article, and those of his ilk, would never have uttered a peep when congress held hearings on the KKK. Muslims are far worse. They are not only extremely racist and bigoted in their views of both foreigners and other religions, but they treat their wives, mothers and daughters just as badly.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Chuck

      I am astounded at the fact that anyone would be all up in the face of those who want to investigate the Muslim presence which, in many places in the USA, advocates violence and negativity toward the US while enjoying all the advantages of being here. Why is it so horrible to say we don't want any more bombs, no more planes hijacked, or even worse, our country hijacked? The very real threat of being shoved into becoming a muslim country (their words) and eventually under shari'a law just doesn't do it for me. I'd rather have someone step in and stop it before it goes further.

      I don't know how many times I've heard Tim McVeigh referred to as a Christian, just because he wasn't a muslim or a buddhist; is everyone just ignorant or refuse to actually research their info somewhere besides a far-right website or a muslim website? There are factual places to get information about all these issues, including casual conversations with muslim "friends" and acquaintances.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  20. Bill

    BACKGROUND: According to a recent NEWSWEEK article at least 25 American citizens—both born in the U.S. and naturalized—have been charged with serious federal terrorism violations since the beginning of 2009, according to information compiled by federal authorities. “These cases clearly suggest that an increasing number of U.S. citizens, both native-born Americans and naturalized citizens, appear to be getting involved in the terrorist cause. The list includes:

    *Faisal Shahzad, the accused perpetrator of the recent failed Times Square car bombing. Also on the list are Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin, naturalized Americans born in Afghanistan and Bosnia, respectively, who allegedly conspired with Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-born permanent resident of the U.S. in a plot to bomb the New York City subway system last September. Zazi, the alleged mastermind, is not listed as one of the 25 American citizens arrested for terrorism in the last 18 months

    It appears that so far none of these home-grown terrorists have lost their citizenship. In fact, it appears that only one home-grown terrorist, Yaser Esam Hamdi, even came close to losing his citizenship. He was captured in Afghanistan in 2001. The U.S. government claimed that he was fighting against U.S. and Afghan Northern Alliance forces with the Taliban. He was named by the Bush administration as an "illegal enemy combatant", and detained for almost three years. On September 23, 2004, the United States Justice Department agreed to release Hamdi to Saudi Arabia on the condition that he give up his U.S. citizenship, a deal later revoked by the courts after Hamdi’s refusal to give up his citizenship.

    It is time for this to change. Naturalized U.S. citizen’s convicted of planning, financing or committing terrorist acts against the U.S. or our allies should be stripped of their citizenship immediately on conviction of their involvement in terrorist activities. If you agree, send this to your friends and encourage them to pass it on to others.

    "The Protection of American Citizenship Act of 2011" (Proposed)
    This law applies to naturalized American citizens and their immediate family members.
    1. Any naturalized American citizen convicted of planning, financing, or conducting terrorist activities or operations against the U.S. or its allies shall be immediately stripped of their American citizenship and have their passport revoked.
    2. An individual stripped of their American citizenship under this law, will be immediately deported to their country of origin on release from prison.
    3. Individuals stripped of citizenship may not reapply for American citizenship. Their citizenship will only be restored in cases where their conviction is overturned.
    4. The immediate family members (parents, siblings, spouse, and children) of an individual stripped of their citizenship by reason of conviction for involvement in terrorist activities or operations, shall, if they are naturalized citizens, also be stripped of their citizenship, and immediately deported to their country of origin.
    a. An exception to this paragraph shall be granted in cases where individuals notified government authorities of their family members involvement in suspected terrorist activities in sufficient time to allow the government to prevent them from carrying out any terrorist actions.
    b. A further exception shall be granted to family members who a natural born American citizens.
    5. Any naturalized American citizen found to be guilty by a U.S. or foreign court of encouraging terrorist actions against the U.S. or its allies through any means, shall be stripped of their American citizenship and have their passport revoked. If outside of the country, they shall not be allowed to return. If inside the country, they shall be deported to their country of origin.
    6. A naturalized American citizen convicted of a non-terrorism related violent felony shall be immediately stripped of their citizenship on conviction and deported to their country of origin on completion of their prison sentence.
    7. A non-U.S. citizen who is convicted of involvement in terrorist actions against the U.S, and is a legal resident of the U.S., shall have their legal residency status revoked and be deported to their country of origin on completion of their sentence.
    8. No individual stripped of their citizenship under this law shall be allowed to return to the United States or its territories.
    Its time to revoke the citizenship of people who are plotting to cause harm to our country. They and their families don’t need to be citizens if they are plotting to destroy the country.

    February 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • JasonB

      I can't believe I actually read that. Part 6 is just plain wrong and counter to the point you made in your into. Part4 is also pretty terrible. Both of these paragraphs are denying the citizen the rights of citizens. I don't think they would ever hold up in court. Part 5 has a major typo. I couldn't get past part 7. Good luck with that.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Stanleyrw

      Will never happen. Once you are a citizen you are a citizen period.

      The only way to lose citizenship is conviction of High Treason.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • jboh

      Sounds like nazis. Does this also include concetration camps?

      February 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • BostonBill

      It's something to consider except the deportation of family who very well may have had no knowledge of the family members activity. there's a problem with punishment with only the assumption of guilt.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Matt

      Wow, what is this, 1930's Germany? That is some scary stuff right there. Any American who would support something like that doesn't know what being American means.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • mattmchugh

      Can't believe I'm replying to this but... it makes absolutely no sense to strip a U.S. citizen convicted of a crime under U.S. law of U.S. citizenship - essentially turning them into a foreign detainee, opening up a pathway for them to challenge their conviction under international law. You want the people in your jails - particularly the treasonous ones - to be your citizens.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • AndyBlue

      - February 2010: An angry tax protester named Joseph Ray Stack flies an airplane into the building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas. (Media are reluctant to label this one "domestic terrorism" too.)
      - March 2010: Seven militiamen from the Hutaree Militia in Michigan and Ohio are arrested and charged with plotting to assassinat¬¬e local police officers with the intent of sparking a new civil war.
      - March 2010: An anti-gover¬¬nment extremist named John Patrick Bedell walks into the Pentagon and opens fire, wounding two officers before he is himself shot dead.
      - May 2010: A "sovereign citizen" from Georgia is arrested in Tennessee and charged with plotting the violent takeover of a local county courthouse¬¬.
      - May 2010: A still-unid¬¬entified white man walks into a Jacksonvil¬¬le, Fla., mosque and sets it afire, simultaneo¬¬usly setting off a pipe bomb.
      - May 2010: Two "sovereign citizens" named Jerry and Joe Kane gun down two police officers who pull them over for a traffic violation, and then wound two more officers in a shootout in which both of them are eventually killed.
      - July 2010: An agitated right-wing¬¬er and convict named Byron Williams loads up on weapons and drives to the Bay Area intent on attacking the offices of the Tides Foundation and the ACLU, but is intercepte¬¬d by state patrolmen and engages them in a shootout and armed standoff in which two officers and Williams are wounded.”
      - January 2009: A white supremacis¬¬t named Keith Luke embarks on a killing rampage in Brockton, Mass., raping and wounding a black woman and killing her sister, then killing a homeless man before being captured by police as he is en route to a Jewish community center.
      - February 2009: A Marine named Kody Brittingha¬¬m is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinat¬¬e President Obama. Brittingha¬¬m also collected white-supr¬¬emacist material.
      - April 2009: A white supremacis¬¬t named Richard Poplawski opens fire on three Pittsburgh police officers who come to his house on a domestic-v¬¬iolence call and kills all three, because he believed President Obama intended to take away the guns of white citizens like himself. Poplawski is currently awaiting trial.
      - April 2009: Another gunman in Okaloosa County, Florida, similarly fearful of Obama's purported gun-grabbi¬¬ng plans, kills two deputies when they come to arrest him in a domestic-v¬¬iolence matter, then is killed himself in a shootout with police.
      - May 2009: A "sovereign citizen" named Scott Roeder walks into a church in Wichita, Kansas, and assassinat¬¬es abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.
      - June 2009: A Holocaust denier and right-wing tax protester named James Von Brunn opens fire at the Holocaust Museum, killing a security guard.
      2009: A white supremacis¬¬t named Richard Poplawski opens fire on three Pittsburgh police officers who come to his house on a domestic-v¬¬iolence call and kills all three, because he believed President Obama intended to take away the guns of white citizens like himself. Poplawski is currently awaiting trial.
      - July 2008: A gunman named Jim David Adkisson, agitated at how "liberals" are "destroyin¬¬g America," walks into a Unitarian Church and opens fire, killing two churchgoer¬¬s and wounding four others.
      - October 2008: Two neo-Nazis are arrested in Tennessee in a plot to murder dozens of African-Am¬¬ericans, culminatin¬¬g in the assassinat¬¬ion of President Obama.
      - December 2008: A pair of "Patriot" movement radicals - the father-son team of Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, who wanted "to attack the political infrastruc¬¬ture" - threaten a bank in Woodburn, Oregon, with a bomb in the hopes of extorting money that would end their financial difficulti¬¬es, for which they blamed the government¬¬. Instead, the bomb goes off and kills two police officers. The men eventually are convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.
      - December 2008: In Belfast, Maine, police discover the makings of a nuclear "dirty bomb" in the basement of a white supremacis¬¬t shot dead by his wife. The man, who was independen¬¬tly wealthy, reportedly was agitated about the election of President Obama and was crafting a plan to set off the bomb.

      Seems the right wing extremists are just as dangerous and should be watched

      February 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Ken

      Where to even start with this.... Besides the obvious affront to the notion of due process in Point #4 and the completely xenophobic (and non-terrorist-related) Point #6, the question I have is "Why?" If a person is convicted of an act of terrorism, you would prefer to strip them of citizenship and deport them? I'd prefer to put them in jail with all the rest of the American citizens convicted of crimes.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • BurtDirken

      "High Treason" is not the only justification for the revocation of US citizenship. For a precedent just look at the John Demjanjuk case.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Ken

      Hey Bill:
      This is an excellent article and solutions . I will mail this to my MLA here in British Columbia, Canada and to my MP in Ottawa, and to the Minister of Imiigration for the federal government. Awesome. This country seems to be blind about Muslims and Islam. They are so effen useless. The polls they come up with are bogus for sure cause I know no one who feels good about this disfunctual religion and are much talked about in a very off color way. Very cancerous indeed.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Bill

      Is not planning, committing or financing an act of terrorism against the U.S. an act of treason?

      Why should anyone who hates the U.S. enough to commit acts of terrorism against us be allowed to remain a citizen of the very country they are seeking to destroy?

      We need to use a little common sense here. If they are trying to destroy us, why should they or their family be allowed to retain a U.S. citizenship (if they are naturalized citizens) or legal residency?

      The reason for deporting the family gets to the fact that most of these families are very tight knit and they know what is happening. If they don't care enough to prevent a terrorist act than why would we want them to remain here? Also, it may actually have some deterrent impact on these terrorists if they know little sis and the family will be deported back to Somalia rather than being able to enjoy the good life in the U.S. Besides, why should they want their family to stay in the very country they are seeking to destroy.

      This isn't Nazi Germany but we do need to get tougher on those seeking to destroy us and our way of life.

      February 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.