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US legislator plans hearings on Muslim radicalization

December 21, 2010 - New York

Incoming Chairman of the US House Committee on Homeland Security, Peter King, has said that he will call for hearings into the radicalization of Muslim Americans when he takes over in the new congressional term in January.

"We have to break through this politically correct nonsense which keeps us from debating and discussing what I think is one of the most vitally important issues in this country," Fox News quoted King, as saying.

"We are under siege by Muslim terrorists and yet there are Muslim leaders in this country who do not cooperate with law enforcement," he added.

King further cited foiled terror plots to bomb Times Square and the New York Subway, the 2009 Fort Hood shootings, and arrests of who he calls "homegrown Muslim terrorists" in Texas, as examples of the type of radicalization on which the hearings would focus.We have the reality that Al-Qaida is trying to recruit Muslim-Americans, and yet we have people in the Muslim community who refuse to face up to this," he said.

Meanwhile, Muslim leaders have expressed strong opposition to King's statement, saying that it would unfairly cast suspicion on an entire group.

"King has dedicated years of his career peddling extremist rhetoric and baseless claims concerning the Muslim community and its leadership," said Faiza Ali, community affairs director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"Instead of promoting counterproductive strategies that risk alienating partners within the community, King would better serve our nation if he actually engaged mainstream American Muslim leaders and organizations on issues related to national security," she added.


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