Demo held to protest Congressional inquisition targeting Muslims

March 8, 2011 - 0:0

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON – A demonstration was held in New York in response to a Congressional inquiry on the alleged radicalization of Muslims in the United States that is scheduled to begin on Thursday.

On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered in New York’s Time Square to protest against the hearings and the rising tide of Islamophobia in the USA.
The protesters, some carrying signs reading, “Today I am a Muslim, too,” say the hearings unfairly single out Muslims as potential terrorists.
The demonstration was organized by a coalition of more than 100 interfaith, non-profit, and governmental organizations.
Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf -- who was until recently the leader of a plan to build a mosque and cultural center near the Ground Zero site in New York -- told Press TV, “It should be crafted around the issue of extremism and the radicalization that breeds extremism, because extremism is not only from Muslims, extremism comes from all the faith religions.”
“There are American extremists and radicals as there are Muslim extremists and radicals. And it is this cycle of radicalism we have to bring an end to,” he added.
The hearing was called by Peter King, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.
King has been quoted as saying that “eighty-percent of mosques in America are controlled by radical imams” -- a figure not backed up by any research or statistics.
Music mogul Russell Simmons, who heads the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, says King’s hearings represent a blanket suspicion of Muslims in the United States that is no different from the xenophobia and racism of U.S. history.
“Our real enemy is not Islam or Muslims,” Rauf said. “The enemy is extremism and radicalism and radical ideology.”
No incidents were reported at the demonstration, police said.