PRESS RELEASE: King Hearings Generate Pushback on Rep.'s Anti-Muslim Agenda
(CHICAGO, 6/15/11) - The Chicago Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today said Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) false allegations and his 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, CAIR-Chicago said:
"No official from the Federal Bureau of Prisons testified today to legitimize King's agenda-driven hearing. This absence is another reason interest in King's trials of the American Muslim community has diminished after his first hearing.
"Rep. King's first hearing was widely criticized. More than 250 organizations signed letters to King expressing concern. With this second hearing, we find American's cannot count on King as a serious leader in discussion on domestic security. There is no room for King's broad-brush indictments of an entire religious minority."
The only 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. "My core argument, then, is that U.S. prisons are not systematically generating a terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland," he said.
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."
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.
CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of 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.