You are hereReuters: House panel delves into Muslims radicalization

Reuters: House panel delves into Muslims radicalization


March 10, 2011- 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.

"To combat this threat, moderate leadership must emerge from the Muslim community," King said. "Today, we must be fully aware that home-grown radicalization is part of al Qaeda's strategy to continue attacking the United States."

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 report suspicious activity.

Democratic Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in the House, wept as he recounted how a 23-year-old Muslim paramedic died when he responded to the September 11 attacks in New York City and later was smeared because of his faith.

"Some people spread false rumors and speculated that he was really with the attackers because he was a Muslim," he said.

He said the young man, Mohammed Salman Hamdani, should be recognized for giving "everything for his fellow Americans" rather than solely as a member of a religious group. Ellison tried to hide his tears behind his papers and quickly left the room after his remarks.

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