Congressional hearings on Islamic Extremism in America begin Thursday morning in front of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Congressman Peter King (R-NY), chair of the committee, called the hearings in order to start a debate over whether American Muslims are doing enough to prevent home-grown terrorism plots. Rep. King has a long history interacting with Muslims who live in his Long Island district and some say his relationship with the Muslim community changed drastically after 9/11. Many complain that singling out one religious group and tying it to extremism is discriminatory.
Robert Kolker, Contributing Editor for New York Magazine, wrote an article this week on the Congressman's relationship with Muslims. Kolker says a rift between King and his constituents was never repaired after he read local reports of mosque members attributing the attacks to Israel.
Dr. Faroque Khan, former chief of medicine at Nassau Medical Center and member of the board of trustees at the Long Island Mosque had grown to be a friend of King's during the 1990s and had fund raising parties for the politician. He says after the 9/11 attacks their relationship died.