Wednesday Mar 09, 201109:06 PM GMT
CAIR slams King for being 'anti-Muslim'
Wed Mar 9, 2011 9:7PM
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U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has lashed out at GOP Rep. Peter King's comments in which he said his congressional hearing is not against "Islam as a religion."

 

King said Wednesday he's moving ahead with the controversial congressional hearing Thursday on the "extent of radicalization" of American Muslims. The Kansas City Star

 

"This has nothing to do with Islam as a religion," King said. Fox News

 

The comment prompted Press TV's U.S. Desk to contact CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor from Washington DC to see what the council thinks of King's claim.

 

"I think that congressman King has a long history of anti-Muslim statements," Saylor said.

 

"If he wants to show the American Muslim community that he is sincere he needs to stop making false allegations against the community," he added.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

"He needs to admit that he has no evidentiary basis for searching 88% of American mosques for extremists," Saylor told Press TV's U.S. Desk on Wednesday, adding that "we have proven that to be false and yet he keeps repeating it."

 

King made headlines by calling for the hearing, which many have described as an instance of intolerance, stereotyping or even racism.

 

Many civil rights groups and Democrats, however, are skeptical. Rep. Jackie Speier of San Mateo, a committee member, issued a statement on Tuesday denouncing the hearing as an "ideologically motivated charade." "Hearings driven by intolerance inflame anti-American sentiment," she said. "Our nation deserves better." The Kansas City Star

 

On March 6, Thousands of Americans took to the streets in New York to hold the 'Today I am a Muslim too' rally in protest at the hearing.

 

"You can say things, about this particular religion, which you cannot say about any other religion in the United States of America," said Akbar Ahmed, a professor at American University. Washington Post

 

Ahmed said the hearings could either encourage, or defuse, a growing sense of suspicion aimed at Muslims: "We were blind to it. And now that it's surfaced, and it's out there, I think we're at a very dangerous moment in America history," he said. "It's like a boil, and it needs to be pricked." Washington Post

 

FACTS & FIGURES

The hearings begin just as Political Research Associates has released an 80-page report documenting lax oversight of $1.67 million in funding for states' counterterrorism programs. publiceye.org

 

"America faces very real threats of violent terrorism, yet, trainers from the organizations in our study draw from a variety of anti-Islamic frames to teach public servants conspiracy theories about stealth infiltration of America that echo the shameful witch hunts of McCarthyism," says Thom Cincotta, author of the report. publiceye.org

 

"In the process," he adds, "they may put millions of Americans at risk both in terms of security and in terms of protecting their constitutional rights." publiceye.org

 

In the United States, 73 percent of young people aged 18 to 29 say Muslims are the most discriminated against. Washingtontimes.com

 

Although Muslims make up around 2 percent of the U.S. population, they account for about one-quarter of the 3,386 religious discrimination claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2010. Startribune.Com

 

Forty-six U.S. states do not ban racial profiling based on religion or religious appearance. Amnestyusa.org

  

In fall of 2010, opponents of a mosque planned for Murfreesboro, Tenn., tried unsuccessfully in court to claim that Islam was not a religion entitled to constitutional protections. Americangrace.org

 

Robert Putnam and David Campbell, authors of American Grace, a book on U.S. religious diversity, found that among all the faith groups, "Muslims were a stand out for unpopularity." USAToday

 

Civil liberties groups say U.S. border officials are violating the constitutional rights of American Muslims by asking about their religious beliefs and practices on their return from trips abroad. Voanews

 

It alleges that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, or CBP, has been questioning Muslims or people that appear to be Muslim about their religious and political beliefs, associations and activities.

 

These findings come at a time when a comprehensive examination on religion and public life shows that the number of U.S. Muslims will more than double in the next 20 years. Pewforum

 

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