Secular Coalition and 39 Organizations Raise Concerns About Hearing Targeting American Muslims

The Secular Coalition for America, along with 39 other religious, secular, and interfaith groups, advocacy organizations, legal and community groups sent a letter to the Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security raising concerns about the hearing targeting American Muslims. View the full letter below.

 

June 20, 2012

The Honorable Peter T. King
Chairman
Committee on Homeland Security
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Chairman King:

The undersigned organizations, including religious, secular, and interfaith groups, advocacy organizations, legal and community groups, support civil rights, human rights, and freedom of religion, speech, and association.

Many of our organizations have voiced strong concerns with the series of hearings that began in March 2011 and has been targeted at the Muslim community. Our concerns proved to be warranted.

We agree that Congress has an obligation to examine legitimate threats to national security. Yet, this series of hearings scrutinized a specific group of Americans, singled out solely because of their religion. This is simply wrong.

The hearings, which focused on the American Muslim community and examined First Amendment-protected activities, are an affront to our fundamental rights and values. They have undermined our nation’s commitment to religious liberty, free association, free speech, and equal protection of the law.

These hearings have sent the false message to the public that Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim are worthy of suspicion and scrutiny. Rhetoric employed has been factually inaccurate and, in fact, counterproductive to maintaining respectful relationships between American Muslims, law enforcement, public officials, and communities.

Today’s hearing represents a skewed examination of the previous hearings’ impact on the Muslim community. We urge you to discontinue this series of hearings, which undermines fundamental American values, erodes trust, and fuels divisiveness by casting suspicion over an entire community.

Sincerely,

  • African American Ministers In Action
  • Alliance for Justice
  • American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE)
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • American Humanist Association
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State
  • Arab American Institute
  • Catholics for Choice
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Defending Dissent Foundation
  • DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving
  • Faith in Public Life
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Human Rights First
  • Institute for Science and Human Values
  • Interfaith Alliance
  • Islamic Society of North America
  • Jewish Council for Public Affairs
  • KinderUSA
  • Muslim Advocates
  • Muslim Bar Association of New York
  • Muslim Consultative Network
  • Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • NAACP
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
  • People For the American Way
  • Political Research Associates
  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness
  • Rabbis for Human Rights-North America
  • Rights Working Group
  • Secular Coalition for America
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Union for Reform Judaism
  • United Church of Christ
  • United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society


cc: The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Member
Members of the Committee

Source: Interfaith Alliance
For more Interfaith Alliance news, visit Religion Today, a media monitoring service from EIN News.

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