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Civil Rights Groups Protest Upcoming Congressional Hearing On Terrorism

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TWC News: Civil Rights Groups Protest Upcoming Congressional Hearing On Terrorism
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The rhetoric is heating up ahead of tomorrow's congressional hearing on homegrown Islamic terrorism.

The meeting was called by Congressman Peter King, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, and it is the first in a planned series looking into radicalization among U.S. Muslims.

Opponents argue the hearing unfairly targets Muslim Americans.

A coalition of interfaith and civil rights groups stood alongside the Council on American-Islamic Relations in protest in Washington, D.C. today, to say Muslims are often the ones who help investigators thwart any possible terror attacks.

"We believe that these baseless accusations and biased inquiries will only serve to arouse suspicion of law-abiding citizens, provide fuel for Islamophobes and put the American muslim community in serious danger," said Naeem Baig of the Islamic Circle of North America.

King claims groups like CAIR are not doing a good enough job of monitoring radical extremism within their religion or cooperating with police.

"The overwhelming majority of Muslims are outstanding patriots. Obviously there's a very small percentage who have allied themselves with al-Qaida," said King. "And there was a poll several years ago saying that 15 percent of young Muslim men could support suicide bombing. This is the fertile ground for al-Qaida to recruit in."

The meetings have sparked protests here in the city and nationwide.

King has not disclosed any specific details about the hearing.

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