Texas Congressman Al Green (D) says he wouldn’t mind Rep. Peter King (R-NY) repeatedly calling hearings on “radical Islam” if he would also conduct a “hearing on the radicalization of Christians.”
During a Wednesday House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “The Radicalization of Muslim-Americans,” Green wondered why the chairman had only focused on one religion.
“If you agree that radicalization exists within all religions to some extent, would you kindly extend a hand into the air,” Green, who is the grandson of a Christian minister, asked the witnesses testifying before the committee. He noted that “all the hands are raised.”
“I don’t think that most people oppose hearings on radicalization,” the congressman explained. “I do not, not — N-O-T — oppose hearings on radicalization. I do oppose hearings that don’t focus on the entirety of radicalization. And if you agree that we have Christians, as has been mentioned by more than one member, Christians who become radicalized, they become part of Islam and they become radicalized as is being said, why not have a hearing on the radicalization of Christians?”
He added: “I do think that it is a problem of perception. People who see the hearings and never hear about the hearing on the radicalization of Christianity have to ask themselves, ‘Why is this missing?’ Why don’t we go to the next step and ask, how is that a blue-eyed, blonde-haired, white female in the United States of America can become radicalized to the point of wanting to do harm to this country? We don’t have that type of hearing. That’s the problem.”
Green pointed out that he had often been mistaken for a Muslim because of his appearance.
“I do know what it feels like to look like a Muslim in the minds of some people and to be demeaned in a public venue,” he said. “I look forward to the day that we’ll have that hearing that deals with the radicalization of Christians in America.”
An analysis (PDF) by Council on American-Islamic Relations of King’s first four hearings on Islamic radicalization determined that the chairman had “failed to produce the promised evidence to support his stigmatization of America’s Muslims.”
“King’s record of leveling unsubstantiated allegations and biased attacks on the Muslim community and habit of naming people with records of anti-Muslim bias as potential witnesses and information sources denies him any current credibility in discussions about American Muslims and homeland security,” the group concluded.
Watch this video from the U.S. House of Representatives, broadcast June 20, 2012.