In his March 18 column in the Lawrence Journal-World, Leonard Pitts writes, "Then there is the fact that King has a history of Muslim bashing. He claims, for instance, that 85 percent of mosque leaders in this country are extremists. It is a 'statistic' based on nothing."
That's not true.
On Fox News, King told Martha MacCallum the following: "Martha, let me just first say, to me, it's a badge of honor to be attacked by CAIR, which was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terrorist financing case. Number two, I said in 2004 that up to 80 percent of the mosques in America were controlled by Islamic radicals. I based that on the testimony of Sheikh Kabanni, a national Muslim leader, who was testifying at a State Department hearing in 1999. That was his testimony, saying that the imams in this country were out of touch with the Muslim community. So I was basing my statement on what a national Muslim leader had said."
I found Kabanni's 1999 comments after just a few seconds, and assume Pitts could have done likewise. Kabanni's argument was that Islamic extremism posed a national security threat to the U.S., and he made it two and a half years before 9/11. He wasn't taken seriously by the left then, and it appears that the left is dismissing the threat again in 2011.
As he so often does, Pitts lied in his column.