Republican Rep. Peter King’s proposal to hold national hearings regarding the "radicalization" of American Muslims has met with strong criticism. The Long Island congressman is new head of the Homeland Security committee in the house.
His recent comments were dismissed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as New York Islamic groups described his plans as a return to McCarthyism.
Originally King had mentioned the issue in an interview with the New York Times.
"When I meet with law enforcement, they are constantly telling me how little cooperation they get from Muslim leaders," King told the newspaper. "It is controversial. But to me, it is something that has to be discussed."
In response to his comments, the New York Mayor said: “I don’t happen to agree with him that it’s necessary or appropriate.”
Following up on his remarks, King wrote an editorial published in last Friday’s Newsday where he discussed the issue: “I will do all I can to break down the wall of political correctness and drive the public debate on Islamic radicalization.
"[There are] outstanding Muslims who contribute so much to the future of our country."
"I will drive the public debate on Islamic radicalization. These hearings will be a step in that direction. It's what democracy is all about," he added.