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March 9, 2011

Jewish Dems: King Hearings are Detrimental to Religious Tolerance

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, Separation of Church and State, NJDC News, Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC - National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) President and CEO David A. Harris today issued the following statement about Representative Peter King’s (R-NY) hearings tomorrow:

“Representative Peter King’s upcoming hearings regarding ‘The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response’ are truly detrimental - detrimental because they target and single out one community, solely based on its religious affiliation. American Jews - and all Americans concerned about the rights of religious minorities, upon which this country was founded - should be deeply troubled about the chilling effect calling out Muslims through a congressional hearing can and will have on religious tolerance.

Fighting terrorism and protecting our homeland are profoundly important issues, and they require serious engagement in Congress. But this can be done in ways that do not imply the vilification of an entire religious community. Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough had it right on Sunday when he encouraged Americans to ‘not stigmatize or demonize entire communities because of the actions of a few…. Put simply, we must do exactly what al Qaeda is trying to prevent. We must come together, as Americans, to protect our country in a spirit of respect, tolerance and partnership.’

We commend those who have spoken out against the divisive profile of Rep. King’s hearings - and the effort to investigate adherents to any one faith. We encourage other organizations, public figures, and members of the American Jewish community and beyond to take a stand against intolerance even as we work together to keep our country secure.”