Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is planning to hold hearings on the "radicalization" of American Muslims when he takes over the chair of the Homeland Security Committee next year, the New York Times reports.
King told the Times he's concerned that Muslim-American leaders are increasingly reluctant to help out with the government's terror investigations.
"When I meet with law enforcement, they are constantly telling me how little cooperation they get from Muslim leaders," King said.
"It is controversial. But to me, it is something that has to be discussed," he said, adding that he had been "denounced" for the suggestion by the current Democratic leadership.
King, who denies being anti-Muslim, has nonetheless repeatedly cast suspicion on American Muslims as a whole since the 2001 terrorist attacks. He has helped mainstream the idea that 80 percent of mosques in America are led by radical clerics. The statistic has been cited over and over by those who believe American Muslims are raging a "stealth jihad." He has called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, saying Holder isn't sufficiently aware that "our enemy today is radical Islam." He's also, not surprisingly, opposed to the planned Islamic community center near Ground Zero and has called it "very offensive and wrong." (He did, however, say Newt Gingrich went too far when he called the center's developers akin to Nazis.)
But King told the Times that he plans to invite Muslim leaders and advocates so his inquiry will not be one-sided. The question is, will he listen?
"They try to tell me that it is not as bad as it seems," he said.
Tensions between the Muslim community and law enforcement have reportedly heightened after a couple of undercover stings in which FBI agents gave young Muslims fake bombs. But Muslim-Americans have also time and again tipped off law enforcement to suspected extremists in their midst, including the would-be bomber caught in an Oregon sting and the FBI informant-posing-as-radicalist we wrote about last week.
Republished with permission from TalkingPointsMemo.com. Authored by Rachel Slajda. Photo via AP. TPM provides breaking news, investigative reporting and smart analysis of politics.