Answers to Peter King’s Claims About the American Muslim Community

Sheila Musaji

Posted Mar 15, 2011      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Answers to Peter King’s Claims About the American Muslim Community

by Sheila Musaji

Rep. Peter King has made a number of claims about the American Muslim community as justification for holding hearings with the title “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response.”

The very title of the hearings seems to infer a foregone conclusion.  And, it is not only Muslims who fear the implications.  Rep. Michael M. Honda (D-CA) said  Rep. King’s intent seems clear: To cast suspicion upon all Muslim Americans and to stoke the fires of anti-Muslim prejudice and Islamophobia. By framing his hearings as an investigation of the American Muslim community, the implication is that we should be suspicious of our Muslim neighbors, co-workers or classmates solely on the basis of their religion.

Denis McDonough, Presidential Assistant said  “We must resolve that, in our determination to protect our nation, we will not stigmatize or demonize entire communities because of the actions of a few. In the United States of America, we don’t practice guilt by association. And let’s remember that just as violence and extremism are not unique to any one faith, the responsibility to oppose ignorance and violence rests with us all.”

Rep. Jackie Speier said  To pinpoint Muslims as if they’re the only category—- it’s wrong, it’s discriminatory, it’s racist and inappropriate. Hearings aren’t supposed to be judged before they’re held. They’re supposed to be illuminating.

Many other elected representatives and government officials have spoken out against the premise of these hearings **, as have many interfaith, civic, and civil rights organizations **


Rep. Peter King has said:

—    “85 percent of American Muslim community leaders are an enemy living amongst us”
—    “no (American) Muslims cooperate in the war on terror”. 
—    “I would