In his recent commentary "What's radicalizing Muslim Americans?" [Dec. 19], Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), incoming chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, claimed law enforcement officials tell him "they received little or - in most cases - no cooperation from Muslim leaders and imams" on counterterrorism issues. He says he plans to hold hearings on alleged American Muslim "radicalization."
Maybe Congressman King should first check with FBI Director Robert Mueller, who testified to the Muslim community's patriotism, cooperation and support before House and Senate committees in 2008 and 2009. Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Muslim community "has been tremendously supportive and worked very closely with [the FBI] in a number of instances around the country."
King has a long history of extremist rhetoric and baseless allegations against American Muslims, including claiming that most mosques nationwide are run by "radicals." In 2004, he said 80 to 85 percent of American mosques are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists."
King's stand on terrorism itself is less than consistent. According to Salon.com, "[King] spent years openly supporting the terrorist Irish Republican Army."
Another of King's false claims is that some American Muslim leaders "acquiesce in terror or ignore the threat." In reality, the American Muslim community has strongly and consistently condemned acts of terrorism and those who commit them.
Congressman King seems determined to go forward with his witch hunt targeting the Muslim community. But our nation might be better served if he would actually engage mainstream American Muslim leaders and organizations on national security issues.
He will find American Muslims already active in protecting the United States and preserving our long-standing traditions of freedom and tolerance.
Editor's note: The writer is the board president of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties organization.
Congressman Peter King's behavior has reached a new level of paranoia. In addition to seeing terrorists around every corner, now he says as soon as he becomes head of the House Committee on Homeland Security, he's going to open up investigations of Muslims and Muslim organizations. He's become our modern-day Joe McCarthy, who abused his position in Congress in the '50s to satisfy his paranoia of Communists.
If King is intent on investigating terrorists, then to be fair to all groups. I expect him to investigate all Christian organizations, because they have members who have murdered doctors who provide legal abortions, they bomb federal buildings killing thousands, and they fly their planes into federal buildings rather than pay their taxes.
I resent him wasting my taxpayer money on discrimination-based investigations and witch hunts, when there are so many more pressing problems of homeland security to be solved.