Congress Studies ‘Muslim Radicalization’ in US

Posted June 15th, 2011 at 9:50 am (UTC-5)
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A U.S. congressional committee is meeting once again to investigate Islamic radicalization in the United States – a topic that has drawn criticism from Muslims and other groups.

The congressman who heads the panel, New York Republican Peter King, says he called the hearings because al-Qaida is actively trying to radicalize young Muslims in the United States. Wednesday's session, the second meeting on the same topic, is to review the alleged radicalization of U.S. prison inmates, hearing testimony from law-enforcement officials and others.

Critics say the hearings unfairly target Muslims and result in guilt by association for the entire Muslim community in America.

When King's committee met three months ago for its first hearing on “Muslim radicalization,” emotions ran high on Capitol Hill. Testifying before a large crowd of reporters, activists and spectators, the first Muslim American elected to Congress, Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, broke down in tears as he testified.

Critics dispute the hearing's focus on so-called Islamic radicalization. They say Congress should investigate a broad spectrum of domestic terrorist threats, including anti-government hate groups and white supremacists.