Muslims are part of the solution not a problem: White House

"We believe that Muslim Americans are part of the solution, they are not the problem. It is through the helpful cooperation of Muslim Americans that we are able to effectively address this issue," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

However, the Obama Administration, he said supports Congressional hearings on this issue.

"We have said that we welcome congressional involvement in this issue. We think it's an important issue," he said.

The Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough had spoken about White House's position on the issue and violent extremism here in the US and made points that the Administration thinks are very important, which is in the US they do not practice guilt by association.

The Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King has convened a hearing on "The Extent of Radicalisation in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response" tomorrow.

"I believe this hearing would have been more useful had it taken a broader look at domestic terror and radicalisation," said Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer.

"As currently structured, however, I believe it sends the wrong message to the Muslim-American community. We need them to work with law enforcement to identify terrorist threats, not be afraid of them," Hoyer said in a statement.

Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, in a statement said that
religion should never be used as a wedge to divide the American people.

"Instead, we must state in a united voice: violence in the name of any religion is a betrayal of our fundamental values as Americans. And any responsible national security strategy must be rooted in facts, fairness, and an unending commitment to the rights and liberties of every American," she said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and several other organisations at a news conference here opposed the hearing and called on the Obama administration and Congress to provide oversight for what a new report says is widespread anti-Muslim bias in the training of law enforcement and security personnel nationwide.

Releasing a copy of his testimony before the hearing Rev Dr C Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, said there is no doubt that our nation faces serious threats to its security both at home and abroad, but the continued demonisation of Muslims and questioning of the Muslim faith is not the answer.

Conducting hearings into what is being presented as a major trend of "radicalisation" in the Muslim community that leads to violence, when there is little to no evidence to support that claim, is also a real threat, he said.

"Posing questions like 'whether the American Muslim community is becoming radicalised' or 'whether the American Muslim community is cooperating with law enforcement' has the dangerous potential to intensify, rather than to lessen, prejudice toward Muslims and puts an unjustifiably greater responsibility on Muslim Americans to help root out terrorism than is placed on Americans of other faiths and belief systems," Gaddy said.

Senior national religious leaders of several faiths including, Jews, Christians and Muslims on Wednesday announced that they will converge on Capitol Hill tomorrow to protest King's congressional hearings on the radicalisation of the American Muslim community.

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