Muslim Americans must do more to combat Islamic radicalization as al Qaeda targets them to help carry out terrorism plots, a lawmaker said on Thursday as he convened hearings critics said unfairly singled out Muslims.
Peter King, the chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee who convened hearings to examine Islamic radicalization, has accused the Muslim community of refusing to cooperate with law enforcement and charged that preaching in some U.S. mosques was leading to radicalization.
The hearings spotlight increasing concerns about the threat of home-grown terrorism and attempts by al Qaeda to recruit from mosques in the United States to carry out attacks in this country and abroad.
Some lawmakers said King’s approach unfairly demonized a single religious group, tarnishing them in their communities and instilling a sense of fear that deters them from coming forward to help.
King denied accusations that the hearings were “radical or un-American” and said there was no comparison between the threat from al Qaeda and that from neo-Nazis, environmental extremists and “isolated madmen.”