U.S. Rep. Peter King is planning another round of congressional hearing into "Muslim radicalization," reports NPR and other media outlets. The hearings are scheduled for June 15th. King held hearings earlier this year that were widely condemned by interfaith religious leaders. King's principle charge - one disputed by the FBI, Homeland Security and other anti-terrorism agencies - is that American Muslims have not condemned terrorism or that they even support it. At that time, The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Christ USA, firmly declared: "No matter what Rep. King may say, his hearings convey the implicit message that Muslims aren’t part of 'us'—and to this sort of bigotry, all citizens of conscience must say NO!"
Let me repeat that Rep. King's hearings to investigate Muslim Americans are the definition of un-American. As I have said before, these hearings bring to mind the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy hearings, dark periods in this land. We should never forgot the lessons of those experiences. The U.S. House of Representatives should not be used as a venue for religious or political persecution.