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Letter to Rep. King, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee - Call to Focus on All Extreme Terrorism

Dear Chairman King:

We are writing regarding the Homeland Security Committee's upcoming hearings, which you have stated will focus exclusively on radicalization among Muslim Americans and homegrown terrorism. We agree that Congress and all levels of government have a duty to protect America from terrorism, whether from abroad or homegrown. We are, however, deeply concerned that the stated narrow scope and underlying premises of these hearings unfairly stigmatizes and alienates Muslim Americans. We ask that you reconsider the scope of these hearings and instead examine all forms of violence motivated by extremist beliefs, rather than unfairly focusing on just one religious group.

We believe that the tone and focus of these hearings runs contrary to our nation's values. Muslim Americans contribute to our nation's wellbeing in many professions including as doctors, engineers, lawyers, firefighters, business entrepreneurs, teachers, police officers and Members of Congress. Their hard work helps to make our country exceptional.

Furthermore, casting a negative light on an entire community--- rather than focusing on actual dangerous fringes will only strain community relationships and trust that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have worked hard to develop. Muslim Americans are an integral part of our larger American society and should be treated as such, not viewed with suspicion.

The choice between our values of inclusiveness and pluralism and our security is a false one.

If you wish to examine violent extremism, we ask that you do so by examining violence motivated by extremist beliefs in all its forms. Singling out one religious group and blaming the actions of individuals on an entire community is not only unfair, it is unwise-- and it will not make our country any safer.


Pete Stark

John Dingell

Gwen Moore

Bob Filner

George Miller

Michael Capuano

Andre Carson

Gregory Meeks

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Judy Chu

Rush Holt

Marcia Fudge

Bobby Scott

Mike Honda

Mazie Hirono

Jan Schakowsky

Maxine Waters

Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Barbara Lee

Betty Sutton

Tammy Baldwin

Dennis Kucinich

Barney Frank

Jim McDermott

Jared Polis

James Moran

John Conyers

Luis Gutierrez

Madeleine Bordallo

Betty McCollum

Jose Serrano

Rick Larsen

Sheila Jackson-Lee

Raul Grijalva

Bobby Rush

Earl Blumenauer

Lois Capps

Al Green

Yvette Clarke

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Jim McGovern

David Price

Keith Ellison

Donna Edwards

Doris Matsui

Danny Davis

Ed Markey

Grace Napolitano

Lynn Woolsey

John Garamendi

Dale Kildee

Hank Johnson

Gary Peters

Susan Davis

David Cicilline

Zoe Lofgren

John Lewis

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