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Monday, 14 March 2011

Jewish Council 'alarmed' by anti-Muslim hearings (USA)

The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) has expressed concern over the hearings on so-called radicalization of Muslims in the United States spearheaded by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

JCUA says the anti-Muslim hearings “go against American values of religious freedom, diversity and equality”.

“We are disturbed by the narrow scope of the hearings, which are singling out and stereotyping an entire community. We oppose using a discriminatory lens of religion and race to investigate threats to national security,” JCUA said in a statement posted on its website.

The group said that the Muslim community in the United States is the victim of "injustices being perpetrated on a daily basis which is not just a threat to that community, but a threat to all people striving for equality in our diverse society." JCUA described the hearings as "troubling" adding that they could further fan the flame of anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States.

Congressman Peter King, who has rationalized his past defense of IRA terrorism without a hint of self-awareness or irony, is now the self-appointed protector of America from future terrorist attacks by holding a congressional hearing on the "Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response." Guardian

King has in the past claimed there are "too many mosques" in America and that 85% of American mosques and its religious leaders are radicalized, a statement that has been thoroughly discredited. Guardian

Despite a recent study showing that 40% of all extremist plots in America were thwarted as a result of Muslim American help, King ignores this evidence and stubbornly asserts that there is a "lack of cooperation" by Muslims with law enforcement. The intent, scope and framing of King's hearing have been criticized by law enforcement officials, counter-terrorism professionals, civil rights organizations, interfaith leaders and political commentators as being misguided, ineffective and potentially dangerous. Guardian

The majority of terror plots in America since 9/11 have been committed by non-Muslims, especially rightwing extremists and white supremacists. Examples include the failed Martin Luther King parade bomber in Washington State; Jared Lee Loughner, the Arizona shooter who killed six people, including a judge, and Joseph Stack who flew his plane into an IRS building last year. Guardian

 In the first-ever, nationwide survey of Muslim Americans, the Pew research center found some rather interesting facts:

 Roughly two-thirds (65%) of adult Muslims in the U.S. were born elsewhere. Among native-born Muslims, roughly half are African American (20% of U.S. Muslims overall), many of whom are converts to Islam. pewresearch.org

 A majority of Muslim Americans (53%) say it has become more difficult to be a Muslim in the United States since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Most also believe that the government "singles out" Muslims for increased surveillance and monitoring. pewresearch.org

 Muslim Americans express broad dissatisfaction with the direction of U.S. foreign policy. Most say that the U.S. made the wrong decision in using force against Iraq. pewresearch.org

 More than one-fifth of U.S. Muslims (22%) currently are enrolled in college classes, with similar rates of college enrollment among foreign-born (22%) and native-born (20%) Muslims. pewresearch.org

 About a quarter (24%) of Muslim Americans have a college degree, including 10% who have gone on to graduate study. These numbers are similar to the U.S. general public. pewresearch.org

 Economically, family income among Muslim Americans is roughly comparable with that of the population as a whole. Among adults nationwide, 44% report household incomes of $50,000 or more annually, as do 41% of Muslim American adults. pewresearch.org

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