June 10th, 2011
10:15 AM ET
Second hearing on American Muslims scheduled
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
Congress will hold a second hearing on “radicalization of the Muslim-American community,” next week, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King announced on Thursday night.
King’s first hearing on American Muslims, in March, sparked international controversy and attracted huge attention by the news media.
King, a New York Republican, said next Wednesday's hearing will focus on what he called “the threat of Muslim-American radicalization in U.S. prisons.”
“At this hearing, we will look specifically at the extent of the dangerous problem of radicalization in U.S. prisons,” King said in a statement Thursday. “We have seen cases in which inmates have been radicalized at the hands of already locked-up terrorists or by extremist imam chaplains.”
“We will focus on a number of the serious cases in which radicalized current and former inmates have planned and launched attacks or attempted to join overseas Islamic terrorist organizations,” King’s statement said.
King’s March hearing was condemned by many Muslim and civil rights groups, which alleged the congressman was unfairly singling out one religion and which urged him to look at the issue of domestic terrorism more broadly.
But King and others said a rise in domestic terrorism at the hands of Islamic radicals necessitated the hearings.
King did not release a list of witnesses for the hearing but said it would include U.S. and international experts.
“This radicalization hearing, like the one in March, will be a deliberate and thoughtful examination of an issue that is too important for our security to ignore,” King’s statement said.
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