Sunday, April 19, 2009

Racial Issues: Council on American-Islamic Relations calls on officials to repudiate NY Rep.'s anti-Muslim remarks

NEW YORK, April 17 -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on American Muslims and all people of conscience to urge their elected representatives to repudiate Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) bigoted response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report released earlier this week about the rising threat of right-wing extremism.

In an interview on MSNBC, Rep. King stated in part: "[Napolitano] has never put out a report talking about look out for mosques. Look out for Islamic terrorists in our country. Look out for the fact that very few Muslims come forward to cooperate with the police. If they sent out a report saying that, there would be hell to pay."

SEE: Republican Rep. Peter King: DHS Should Be Targeting Mosques

"We urge elected representatives to distance themselves from King's bigoted remarks," said CAIR-NY Community Affairs Director Faiza N. Ali. "Sweeping generalizations about Muslims and mosques have no place in serious national security discourse."

Ali said King's assertions are directly contradicted by FBI Director Robert Mueller, who on April 23, 2008, told the U.S. House Judiciary Committee: "And every opportunity I have, I re-affirm the fact that 99.9 percent of Muslim-Americans or Sikh-Americans, Arab-Americans are every bit as patriotic as anybody else in this room, and that many of our cases are a result of the cooperation from the Muslim community in the United States."

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 25, 2009, Director Mueller said the Muslim community "has been tremendously supportive and worked very closely with [the FBI] in a number of instances around the country."

She said King has a long history of rhetorical hostility toward the American Muslim community. He has stated that there are "too many mosques in this country" and has endorsed racial and religious profiling.

SEE: King Endorses Ethnic Profiling

Ali also said: "Muslims will continue to work with law enforcement authorities to take proactive measures to keep our homeland both safe and free."

Ali recently coauthored a critique, entitled "Counterterrorism Policy: MACLC's Critique of the NYPD's Report on Homegrown Radicalism," as part of a New York-based Muslim coalition effort to provide a Muslim perspective on law enforcement strategy and decision-making.

SEE: Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties group and has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil liberties, and empower American Muslims.

Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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