The Associated Press is reporting that the White House is pushing a message of religious tolerance ahead of this week's congressional hearing on Islamic radicalism, which has sparked protests on grounds that it unfairly singles out Muslims. President Barack Obama sent his deputy national security adviser, Denis McDonough, on Sunday to a Washington-area mosque known for its cooperation with the FBI and its rejection of the al-Qaida brand of Islam. "Being religious is never un-American. Being religious is quintessentially American," McDonough said. Speaking to an interfaith forum of Muslims, Christians, Jews and members of other faiths, McDonough, the president's point man on countering violent extremism, was clear: "We're all Americans."
The speech came just four days before the congressional hearing, which has already given rise to protests. In New York's Times Square on Sunday, about 300 people gathered to speak out against the hearing, criticizing it as xenophobic and saying that targeting Muslims rather than extremists is unfair and divides the nation.
The hearings are definitely targeting Muslims at the expense of having congressional hearings on other terrorist groups, like the Ku Klux Klan or Christian religious extremists who blow up buildings. Have we forgotten about the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 in response to the Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, incidents, or the recent attack in Arizona that left six people dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life? Did we mention that Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who is heading up the hearings, is a staunch supporter of the Irish Republican Army? Can you say "hypocrite," followed closely by "double talk"?
The hearings should happen but should not focus solely on Muslims. That's just plain shortsighted — and discriminatory to boot.
Read more at Yahoo.
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