February 14, 2011

A coalition of 51 religious and civil rights groups in the United States are urging congressional leaders to stop upcoming House hearings on Muslim extremism or at least focus the inquiry more broadly by examining violence "motivated by extremist beliefs in all its forms."

The hearings, scheduled to take place in February, are coordinated by Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, in response to complaints he said he has received from law enforcement officials describing Muslim leaders as uncooperative in terror investigations.

King has claimed that 80 per cent of American mosques are run by extremists, a figure strongly disputed by Muslim leaders and scholars.

"Singling out a group of Americans for government scrutiny based on their faith is divisive and wrong," the coalition said in a Feb. 1 letter.