Civil and Human Rights Coalition Expresses Concern over Security Hearings Focused on American Muslims

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter to Chairman Peter King expressing concern about the upcoming hearings scheduled in the Committee on Homeland Security on the “radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorists.”

In light of recent anti-Muslim discourse and Chairman King’s charged rhetoric surrounding the hearings, The Leadership Conference fears that these hearings will spark widespread backlash against Muslim Americans, escalate fear, and further intensify anti-Muslim sentiments.

“In addressing violent extremism, any congressional inquiry should be broad in scope to include all forms of domestic terror threats, and it should include violence motivated by all extremist beliefs. We should strive to identify terrorists by their behavior rather than by their religion, race, or ethnicity,” the letter said.

The Leadership Conference encouraged Chairman King to postpone, reformat, or cancel these hearings.  It urged him to meet with a representative group of civil rights leaders, including Muslim Americans, for alternative and constructive discourse.