Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Peter King (R-NY) recently announced he is convening a third hearing on the supposed radicalization of Muslims in the U.S. More details can be found here but in short, this will be a hearing into the group “Al-Shabaab,” and its recruitment efforts in the United States. In a singular sense, this hearing does not seem troubling at all– who would be opposed to hearing about efforts to fight a group that might be trying to recruit terrorists? However, in the context of the previous two hearings, Rep. King’s path is certainly disconcerting.
To perpetuate such a series of hearings is to threaten religious freedom. As State of Belief host and Interfaith Alliance president Rev. Welton Gaddy has said, domestic terrorism needs to be investigated. However, focusing such hearings on one American faith community and making sweeping generalizations is detrimental to our national security and our religious freedom. By repeatedly targeting the American-Muslim community, Rep. King seems to be creating a new dimension of McCarthyism, and alienating an important section of the American population.
Instead of investigating a religious community, how about if the House of Representatives could pass a resolution saying it should take steps to combat anti-Muslim bigotry and hatred? There actually is a resolution on that exact topic in Congress right now, so please, take a moment to send your Representative a note and ask him or her to support it today!
For more on Peter King’s hearings, and the common misconceptions America has with the Muslim community, check out this discussion with Rev. Michael Kinnamon and Farhana Khera on State of Belief. (Please note, these are extended versions of the interviews originally broadcast nationwide.)