Rep. Peter King's hearings, "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community's Response" opened today.
A statement in opposition to the hearings for religious leaders is here. An extract:
We gather together to affirm that we stand united with all Americans in urging our elected representatives to act—not against a single, unfairly maligned group, but against all forms of violence and extremism that endanger our security. As spiritual leaders and people of faith, we call on the United States Congress, elected officials at every level of government, and all American citizens not to perpetuate damaging false witness against our neighbors. Instead, we encourage all communities of faith and people of good will throughout this country, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in communities of growing awareness, trust and hope.
The rationale for these hearings rests on an assertion that the American Muslim community has failed to support American law enforcement in its efforts against terrorism. This assertion is false. A study by Duke University indicated that “the largest single source of initial information” in helping prevent terrorist attacks were members of the Muslim community. In fact, the American Muslim community is deeply engaged in preventing terrorism. We regret that the Committee on Homeland Security held such a hearing today with specific focus on the Muslim community, and in the future we encourage its Members to listen not only to the voices of Muslim Americans and the law enforcement community, but also to witnesses from other faith communities, leaders who can stand up for the good character and ethical behavior of their Muslim brothers and sisters. It is unfortunate that Chairman King did not call any law enforcement experts to testify to the claims he has made.
Some reports of today's hearings from religion writers, TV critics, and scribes from the politics bets.
Plenty of drama, less substance - Washington Post
Emotions Run High - Politics Daily
Peter King hearing shows 'sharply polarized' attitudes toward Islam - Christian Science Monitor
Fingerpointing and tears - NYT
How the American right demonizes Islam for political gain - Religious Dispatches