A day after New York Republican Rep. Peter King's latest hearing on the radicalization of Muslims, the New York Representative and Chair of the Committee on Homeland Security appeared on Fox & Friends to defend himself.
When Fox host Brian Kilmeade asked whether the hearings could be called a "witchhunt," King called the term "absolute nonsense."
"Almost 90 percent of terrorist crimes are carried out by the Muslim community," King said, citing a figure he has often used throughout the hearings, and a figure that has often been called into question. "It's important, for instance, that the NYPD focus on that community," he continued, "and not give into political correctness."
An Associated Press investigation last year found that the New York Police Department had been monitoring Islamic schools, NGOs, mosques, student associations, and persons of interest in a secret and legally questionable program.
King also told Fox that it was important Muslims not be controlled by "radical groups" like CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) or "influenced by the New York Times."
While CAIR has been criticized by some lawmakers over its possible sources of funding, a 2009 Gallup poll suggested the group was mainstream, finding that American Muslims feel that CAIR represents them more than any other national Muslim organization.
CAIR spokesman Corey Saylor told Whispers that King had a "moment in the spotlight" with his hearing Wednesday, but "failed to produce the promised evidence to support his stigmatization of America's Muslims."
Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green felt similarly about King's efforts, asking at the hearing why there weren't similar meetings on radical Christians as well as Muslims.
"[I] oppose hearings that don't focus on the entirety of radicalization," Green said.
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