Rep. Peter King (R-NY) hit back at criticism of his hearings on Muslim radicalization in his opening statement before the Homeland Security Committee on Thursday and said that the threat of neo-Nazis and lone mad men don’t compare to the threat of al-Qaeda.
“I am well aware that the announcement of these hearings has generated considerable controversy and opposition,” King said. “Some of this opposition such as my colleague and friend Mr. Pasqual has been measured and thoughtful. Other opposition from special interest groups and the media has ranged from disbelief to rage and hysteria.”
“Let me make it clear today that I remain convinced that these hearings must go forward and they will. To back down would be a craven surrender of political correctness, would be an abdication of what I believe to be the main responsibility of this committee to protect America from a terrorist attack,” King said. “Despite what passes for conventional wisdom in certain circles, there is nothing radical or un-American in holding these hearings.”
King also touched on calls for the hearings to be expanded to examine the threat of neo-Nazis or lone mad men.
“There is no equivalency of threat between al Qaeda and Neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, or other isolated mad men,” King said. “Only al-Qaeda and Islamist affiliates in this country are a part of an international threat to our nation.”