An Amnesty International official who survived an IRA bombing has criticized Congressman Peter King for his support of the IRA and his attacks on Muslims as radicals.
Since Rep. Peter King assumed the chairmanship of the House Homeland Security Committee and his promotion of hearings on Muslim “radicalization,” there has been a surge in coverage of his long time support of the IRA.
King’s links to the IRA have been criticized by many, especially Tom Parker, an official with Amnesty International in Washington who blogs with The Huffington Post.
"I have no problem with his support for a unified Ireland. What really bothers me is the hypocrisy of the man," says Parker, who is the acting policy director for terrorism, counterterrorism and human rights at Amnesty International USA.
The Republican’s comments describing WikiLeaks founder as a terrorist prompted the Amnestly employee to go public with his views on King. He himself is critical of Assange, "but to call him a terrorist when you have supported people who actually blow stuff up, it seemed to me that that was really beyond the pale," he says. "This is a guy who is happy to bully other people when he has a whole crowd of skeletons in his closet on this issue."
Parker himself experienced the effects of the troubles first hand when he attended the 21st birthday of a friend at the hall of the Honourable Artillery Company in London.
“As the survivor of an IRA bomb attack in Central London, I do have a real problem with his support for terrorism,” Parker wrote.
The IRA had planted a bomb on the roof which exploded during the party, injuring 17 people, including Parker who was scarred by the trauma.
After a five-course meal, the 40 guests at the party had moved back to the bar to continue with the celebrations, before the bomb detonated.
Parker in an op-ed piece describes his method of assessing terrorism.
“That problem is simple: if your test for whether or not terrorist violence is acceptable is whether or not you agree with the cause that it furthers, you will never have the moral authority to condemn such acts when they are carried out by others. The use of violence against innocents must be wrong in whatever form it takes. Take any other position and you are open, as Congressman King undoubtedly is, to charges of hypocrisy.”