Rep. King: Radical Muslim Hearing ‘Essential’

Tuesday, 08 Mar 2011 09:29 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King warns radicalization is coming from within the Muslim American community — because terror groups such as al-Qaida know it’s the best way to strike at the United States — and his upcoming hearing is absolutely essential as he will have family members testify on how their children have been turned against America.

The committee is set to convene a hearing Thursday targeting radicalization among American Muslims. In New York City Sunday, a coalition of more than 100 interfaith, nonprofit, and governmental organizations held a rally against King's hearing, saying it will send the wrong message, by demonizing U.S. Muslims.

king, radical, muslims“These hearings are absolutely essential. I am facing reality, my critics are not,” King, R-N.Y., said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe. “They want to get tied up in some world of political correctness.

“The fact is . . .  al-Qaida is recruiting from within the Muslim American community,” he said. “For a long time we thought this couldn’t happen in our country, but the fact is — it is. It’s a small, small percentage, but that’s where it’s coming from. Al-Qaida has changed its tactics, they realize it is very hard to attack from the outside.”

Washington Post columnist and MSNBC contributor Eugene Robinson, who wrote in a Tuesday column that King “offers no support for his insinuation that Muslim Americans are giving aid and comfort to terrorists,” said on “Morning Joe” the New York congressman’s allegation that the community has not been forthcoming is “shocking,” and asked whether King could back it up.

“I talk to cops and counterterrorism people on the ground all the time, and they get virtually no cooperation,” King replied. “The fact is, I will have witnesses testifying on Thursday — these are family members whose sons and nephews are radicalized, and they will show how the radicalization occurred — and when they went to the local mosque, when they went for help, they were denied. And when the FBI began investigations, the imams in those mosques told the congregants not to cooperate. That’s the reality.

“I have said time and again: The overwhelming majority of Muslims are outstanding Americans,” he said, repeating that al-Qaida is recruiting from within their community. “I want to show the extent of their radicalization, how can we notice, how can we detect it, encourage more Muslims to come forward, encourage them to get a more responsive leadership.”

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