NY groups gather to oppose King’s Muslim hearing

WESTBURY, N.Y. — Members of several New York organizations Tuesday decried the next round of hearings by Rep. Peter King on what he calls the radicalization of the Muslim-American community.

King, who heads the House Homeland Security Committee, has scheduled a Wednesday hearing in Washington focusing on radicalization in U.S. prisons. He said he plans to call several law enforcement experts to testify on recent examples of terrorist recruitment among inmates.

“This is a real concern; this is a real issue,” the lawmaker from New York’s Long Island said in a telephone interview following a news conference by a group called Long island Neighbors for American Values. The group is a coalition of religious leaders and civic groups who contend King’s hearings are fostering negative stereotypes.

“Unfortunately, these people are living in denial,” King said of his foes. “Al-Qaida is attempting to recruit in our country and it is a reality we cannot afford to hide from.”