(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/15/11) — A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today said Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) false allegations and history of anti-Muslim comments have produced broad-based pushback against his biased agenda and generated significant questions about the veracity of his hearings, such as the one held today on Islam in U.S. prisons.
SEE: Circus Skips Muslim Radicals Hearing (Politico)
Thompson: No Need for Hearing on Radical Islam in US Prisons (Hill)
NY Groups Gather to Oppose King’s Muslim Hearing (WSJ)
Rep. King Finds a New Target (Boston Globe)
Jewish Dems Blast GOP for Singling Out Muslims (JTA)
In a statement released after King’s hearing today, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
“Reasonable people must question why no official with the Federal Bureau of Prisons testified today at Representative King’s agenda-driven hearing. This omission is yet another reason interest in King’s show trials of the American Muslim community diminished significantly after his first hearing.
“The one witness who has conducted extensive academic research on the issue was Professor Bert Useem of Purdue University, whose research was funded by institutions affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. In his written testimony, Useem concluded, ‘My core argument, then, is that U.S. prisons are not systematically generating a terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland.’
[A 2010 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said that prisons, “seen by some as potential hotbeds of radicalization, have not played a large role in producing homegrown terrorists.”]
“Rep. King’s first hearing met with broad-based disapproval. More than 250 organizations signed letters sent to King expressing concern about that first hearing.
“With King’s second hearing on the issue, CAIR finds that Americans who wish to have sober and objective discussions about domestic security cannot look to King as a serious player.
“CAIR agrees that political correctness has no place in discussions of national security. There is also no room for King’s broad-brush indictments of an entire religious minority.”
Of today’s hearing, Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said: “[King’s] actions are contributing to a climate of fear and prejudice against those who are, or are perceived to be, Muslim, and this Islamophobic sentiment has already yielded unfortunate consequences.”
SEE: CAPAC Denounces Rep. King’s Second Hearing Targeting American Muslims
For more on the broad rejection of King’s first hearing, see:
Letter to Rep. King Raising Concerns About Hearing Targeting U.S. Muslim Communities
51 Organizations Tell Congress that Hearings Targeting American Muslims are Divisive
In testimony submitted to King’s first hearing on American Muslims, CAIR outlined the chairman’s pattern of factual inaccuracies and anti-Muslim statements.
SEE: CAIR’s written statement submitted to the first King hearing
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: arubin