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Religious Leaders Speak Out on King Hearings, Ctd.

March 10, 2011, 4:28 pm | Posted by Kristin Ford

The drumbeat continues, with more and more faith leaders speaking out to send a message to Rep. Peter King on today’s Homeland Security Committee hearings: an attack on one faith is an attack on us all:

Rev. Bob Roberts, evangelical megachurch pastor in Dallas, in Christian Post:

As I see it, we don’t need to spend our time and money of holding hearings about what we already know: yes, there are a handful of dangerous radicals among the millions of American Muslims. What we really need to focus on in these hearings is how we connect with the Muslim community in healthy ways that respect the law and don’t lead to profiling. We have a responsibility to figure out how to keep our nation safe from the violent few without targeting the peaceful many.

Joanna Brooks, Mormon scholar, in Religion Dispatches:

As a Mormon, I find the King hearings particularly objectionable. Because Mormons of all people know what it feels like for an entire religion to be publicly demeaned for the objectionable deeds of its fringe minorities. And because our religion too was once put on trial by Congress.

Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, as reported by Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

A wide-ranging exploration of radicalism writ-large is necessary, and we would welcome it. But today’s hearing is not that exploration. It is a narrow, myopic investigation into the American Muslim community which unfairly targets one group of citizens in congressional proceedings.

The Anti-Defamation League:

Homegrown Muslim extremists pose a real threat to the United States, but the issue is one that may be difficult to explore seriously in a hearing that has engendered an unfortunate atmosphere of blame and suspicion of the broader American Muslim community. We need to be careful not to single out an entire community for special scrutiny or suspicion.

Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners, in God’s Politics:

Make no mistake, we have to overcome terrorism. I’m grateful that we have not been attacked physically on American soil since 9/11. But our country is under theological attack every day in the polarized debate of the West vs. Islam, and that narrative must be changed. And Congressman King’s hearings are more likely to reinforce, rather than transform that narrative.

Lisa Sharon Harper, Executive Director of New York Faith & Justice, in Huffington Post:

Darkness also looks like Rep. King listening to Jesus say, “I am the truth” (John 14:6) and then embracing lies. King has said the Muslim community is sympathetic to radical Islam and does not cooperate with law enforcement. Not true. American Muslims have been America’s first and best defense against Islamic terrorist activity. Many Muslim-Americans migrated half-way across the world to flee from repressive extremist governments. They love America. They love what America stands for and they are committed to the safety of their new homeland. To boot, Islamic mosques are proven deterrents to extremist activities.


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