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WASHINGTON -- Radical Islam poses a threat to the United States as a whole, but is particularly dangerous to American Muslims who are targeted by terror groups, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Sunday in defending upcoming hearings on radical Islam.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is facing a backlash, including Sunday protests in New York, over his decision to hold hearings on the threat of Islamic radicalization. King said he's surprised the American-Muslim community is not embracing his hearings because they are the ones most victimized when radical elements infiltrate their communities.
"I've said time and again the overwhelming [majority] of Muslims are good Americans, but the threat is coming from their community and we have to find out why, how it is being done and how to stop it," he told Fox News. "We have an absolute obligation to investigate that."
"It was terrorism, obviously, and should be called that," King said. "An American soldier who is defending our country was shot overseas by an Islamist and if that isn't terrorism, I don't know what is."
However, Ellison, who will be participating in the hearings, added that it makes sense to talk to the Muslim community about how to "meet the challenge of public security" to prevent people like Anwar al-Awlaki, the American cleric who fled to Yemen, from reaching his tentacles into American-Muslim communities.