Official challenges Rep. King's anti-Muslim remarks
Honorable Peter T. King
US House of Representatives
436 Cannon House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
Dear Representative King;
As Chair of the California Assembly Select Committee on Hate Crimes, I am writing to express my concerns with your recent comments about U.S. mosque leaders.
On February 9, 2004, during a radio interview on Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated radio show, you affirmed your stance that extremists rule 85 percent of mosques in America. You further stated that mosques were "an enemy living amongst us" and unwilling to "cooperate with police."
The response by leaders of U.S. mosques after the attacks on September 11, 2001 alone provides ample evidence to repudiate your comments. Leaders of the U.S. mosque community were among the first to denounce the attacks of September 11, 2001, issuing public statements and offering their help. Muslim American doctors, firefighters, and business owners volunteered
their time and raised substantial money for relief efforts. And despite the fact that anti-Islamic hate crimes increased 1600 percent between 2000 and 2001, leaders have offered their mosques as gathering places for public dialogue.
Furthermore, leaders of U.S. mosques have continued to invite community and elected leaders to learn about their culture and practices. Thousands of Muslim-Americans serve in the US military and in law enforcement, working to protect all Americans.
Mr. King, I believe your viewpoints are grossly misguided. I am concerned that such inflammatory speech will only encourage more acts of discrimination and violence against the Muslim-American community. I urge you to issue a public apology for the comments that you made.
Additionally, I hope that you accept the invitation of Mr. Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and learn about the important contributions that Muslim-Americans have made to this nation.
Thank you for taking your time to listen to my concerns. I look forward to hearing your response on this matter.
Judy M. Chu, Ph.D.
49th Assembly District [California]
February 15, 2004