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Grassroots Group Pressure King on Muslim Hearings

WASHINGTON (RNS) House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King is facing grassroots pressure to cancel his planned hearings on the “radicalization” of U.S. Muslims.
“He is doing precisely what President George Washington promised would not happen: he is sanctioning bigotry and assisting persecution toward the Muslim community,” said Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Philadelphia-based Shalom Center.
Waskow’s progressive activists on Thursday (Feb. 17) launched a “Let Freedom Ring; Phone Congressman King” campaign urging the Long Island Republican to focus on the “real gaps in protecting homeland security.”
King says the hearings are necessary because law enforcement officials have complained that Muslims often do no cooperate in investigations. He has largely brushed off the critics, saying he is “too busy preparing for the hearings” to respond to campaigns launched by Muslim groups, Amnesty International, the Interfaith Alliance and others.
Also Thursday, a coalition of more than 80 religious leaders from Long Island urged King to cancel the hearings and open a dialogue with a variety of participants.
“A more constructive approach to strengthening the bonds of trust that bolster our security and protect our values would be convening a dialogue among faith leaders, law enforcement and elected officials such as yourself,” the letter said.
– RICHARD YEAKLEY, Religion News Service

  • Nikos

    Good for you Mr King- reality is relaity- and if George Washington were president in this day and age and 99.9% of Terrorist activity and acts stemmed from one group who considers America the enemy- I am sure his tune would have changed. If Muslims want equality then they need to start acting that way and they way they view the non believers.
    No religion is perfect but this religion breeds evil and hatred PERIOD! yes there are millions of good muslims- but for some reason there are also millions of radicalized Muslims that see nothing wrong with their views and hatred, from this wonderful book called the Qaran.

  • nnmns

    What millions of radicalized Muslims???
    Good for Rabbi Waskow! King is pandering to the cowardly. He’d happily divide the country so he could say “Look! The country is divided.”
    It’s conceivable there could be reason for such hearings, but my strong impression is that there is no such reason and he’s almost certainly going to produce testimony from non-experts insulting American Muslims and convincing some of them America hates them. He will radicalize some Muslims where they don’t exist. And he’ll throw more fright on the cowardly Fox watchers.

  • Henrietta22

    It would be a bad move if this turns into MaCarthy-like-hearings of years back when many in America saw communists crawling out the woodwork. Hollywood people and other show people had their careers ruined over nothing. King might want the pubilcity for his political aspirations as MaCarthy did. There are other ways to go.

  • Your Name

    Timothy McVey, Eric Rudolph, Scott Roeder, Ted Kaczynshi, Jared Loughner. When are there going to be congressional hearings on a truly dangerous group in our midst: White Males?

  • jestrfyl

    King’s argument might hold a drop or two of water IF he had any contact with any Muslims. He is simply stoking the fear fires and making people dread any and all kinds of travel more than a couple miles from home. When people are isolated they are easier to control. Controlled people can be convinced to do any number of horrid and dsepicable things, simply out of an artificial sense of self-preservation, even if the actions they take are counter to anything they might have otherwise done. This is a dangerous strategy and the man who has proposed it has shown he is not responsible enough to hold this position in Congress.

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