Follow-Up: Muslim Radicalization Hearings in Congress
Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims. The Reform Movement actively opposed this hearing and submitted testimony for the Congressional record documenting our position that the hearing's investigation of a single religious group was improper and a violation of the principles on which our nation was founded - and which have allowed religious liberty to thrive in our country.
I spent the day on Capital Hill with RAC Associate Director Mark Pelavin, who also serves as the Director of the Commission on Interreligious Affairs for the Reform Movement. In the morning we went, along with a newly formed coalition of interfaith leaders, to the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Along with this newly formed group and Leader Pelosi we watched an hour of the hearing and discussed our shared concerns.
In the afternoon, as the hearing was ending, we met back up with the other religious leaders to formally unveil our new coalition, "Shoulder to Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values." This was in the form of a formal statement and press conference with a large media contingent in the room and a special appearance by Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), one of two Muslims in Congress. The other Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), is from my home district, and delivered powerful testimony opposing the hearing.
Finally, this group of religious leaders ended the day at the White House meeting with Administration staff to talk about the importance of protecting our nation and the vital role every faith group has in furthering that goal.
Overall, a very exciting day to be a RAC Legislative Assistant!