US lawmakers set March 10 date for Muslim hearings
Washington: A key US congressional panel
will hold a hearing March 10 into the radicalization of US
Muslims, even as some lawmakers charge the goal is to tar an
entire population as possible extremists.
The House of Representatives Homeland Security
Committee hearing has drawn heavy fire since its chairman
Republican Representative Peter King announced general plans
to hold the event.
The Newsday newspaper in King's home state of New York
reported that the witnesses will include two US Muslims with
family members who became radicalized, as well as an American
Muslim who has criticized community leaders for not working
closely enough with US law enforcement.
Democratic Representative Keith Ellison, a Muslim,
will also reportedly testify at the hearing, officially named
"The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community
and that Community's Response."
Japanese-American lawmaker Mike Honda blasted the
plans this week in a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, tying
King's hearing to the World War-II era detention of
Japanese-Americans in internment camps.
"Rep(resentative) King's intent seems clear: To cast
suspicion upon all Muslim Americans and to stoke the fires of
anti-Muslim prejudice and Islamophobia," Honda wrote.
"This should be deeply troubling to Americans of all
races and religions. An investigation specifically targeting a
single religion implies, erroneously, a dangerous disloyalty,
with one broad sweep of the discriminatory brush."