J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement as Congressman Peter King (R, NY-03) prepares to hold a congressional hearing on "Islamic radicalization" in the United States:
J Street strongly objects to Congressman Peter King's provocative and anti-Muslim congressional hearing scheduled for Thursday. We urge America's political leaders to embrace our nation's core values of equality and freedom, and to reject attempts to stoke ethnic fear and division. Targeting any ethnicity or religion for special investigation and the unique security threat that community poses to our country is simply un-American. This country was founded by those fleeing religious persecution and is at its strongest when we embrace and welcome our broad diversity of backgrounds and creeds. This hearing is also, in our view, not aligned with Jewish values. As Jews, our own stories of persecution cannot help but inform our strong commitment to combating persecution and ethnic fear and division wherever they lie. Our political leaders should take to heart the inspiring and important remarks by White House Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough at a Virginia Muslim Center this last week: "We must resolve that, in our determination to protect our nation, we will not stigmatize or demonize entire communities because of the actions of a few. In the United States of America, we don't practice guilt by association. And let's remember that just as violence and extremism are not unique to any one faith, the responsibility to oppose ignorance and violence rests with us all."