Bill Bennet: Don’t denounce learning experiences on Islam, have more of them

By: Bill Bennett

“If a presidential candidate running for office in 2012, or for that matter in years past (say, 2004 or 2008), said “there is no radical Muslim threat in America,” it would immediately disqualify that candidate.

It would be a worse gaffe than President Gerald Ford saying, “There is no Soviet dominance of Eastern Europe.” The candidate would be seen as unserious, out of touch, not up to the task or just plain wrong.

The campaign would be over. And yet, for the weeks and months leading up to the hearing that took place at the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday, critics have cried foul.

“Most Muslims are not fundamentalists, and most fundamentalists are not terrorists, but most present-day terrorists are Muslims and proudly identify themselves as such.

Understandably, Muslims complain when the media speak of terrorist movements and actions as ‘Islamic’ and ask why the media do not similarly identify Irish and Basque terrorists and terrorism as ‘Christian.’ The answer is simple and obvious — they do not describe themselves as such.” – Dean of Islamic and Arabic studies Bernard Lewis

King’s hearing answered a lot, but it left open the need to investigate and ask yet many more questions, the kinds of questions too many have not been asking. So, rather than denounce such learning experiences, shouldn’t we actually have more of them?

Listen here:

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