Rep. King Defends Past Support Of IRA; Current Focus On Muslims

Since a Washington Post story over the weekend pointed out that in the mid-1980s Rep. Peter King (R-NY) "was one of the most zealous American defenders of the militant [Irish Republican Army] and its campaign to drive the British out of Northern Ireland," there's been a growing buzz on the Web about whether he's being hypocritical by planning to hold a hearing Thursday on what he says is the growing danger of "Muslim radicalization" in the U.S.

Today, the AP reports that King:

"Told The Associated Press that radical Islam is a distinct threat that must be investigated regardless of whose sensibilities are offended. The congressman, a Republican, pointed to his support in the 1990s for hearings into right-wing militias, on grounds that they were the danger of that time.

"He supported the Irish Republican Army's political wing in the 1980s and 1990s, a time when the IRA was involved in violence in Northern Ireland. He says now that the IRA and al-Qaida are very different and that the IRA never attacked America. The IRA, he says, was a narrowly focused homegrown movement.

"Of the current situation, he said in an interview, 'You have a violent enemy from overseas which threatens us and which is recruiting people from a community living in our country. That's ... what this hearing's going to be.' "



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from