Do Not Demonize Muslim Americans: Letter to CongressPDF Version
March 7, 2011
Honorable Representative Peter King, Chairman
House Homeland Security Committee
339 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative King:
We are organizations that support the fundamental American values of civil rights and civil liberties for all. We write to strongly object to the House Homeland Security Committee’s plans to hold hearings on the “radicalization” of American Muslims. Our concern is that these hearings will serve to further promote the demonization and scapegoating of millions of American Muslims, while providing little valuable insight into the prevention of domestic terrorism.
While we all take the threat of terrorism seriously, we see no productive outcome in singling out a particular community for examination in what appears to be little more than a political show-trial. American Muslims, like all Americans, want to keep our country safe, and to cooperate with law enforcement when they are aware of criminal activity. Yet many elected officials have chosen to demonize all American Muslims, denigrating their religion and questioning their patriotism. We fear that these hearings will only add to this toxic climate of suspicion toward American Muslims and may hinder the important efforts to maintain trust and mutual respect between American Muslims, law enforcement, and public officials.
We commend your interest in exploring the roots of violent extremism, but we urge you to do so in a way that does not demonize millions of Americans for no reason but their faith.