Many of Long Island’s Muslim Americans are worried—and they’re not the only ones.
An interfaith prayer vigil was held yesterday at Representative Peter King’s Massapequa Park office in the hopes of convincing King to cancel his planned Committe of Homeland Security hearings to “investigate claims of radicalization in American Muslim communities”. Many call the hearings “un-American” and fear they could become something similar to Senator McCarthy’s witchhunt-type hearings during the 1950’s.
Dr. Shaik Ubaid, from the NY chapter of the Muslim Peace Coalition said that by holding this event: “We are telling him by holding these discriminatory hearings, he is not making this community more secure….Muslims have been the biggest victims of al-Qaeda, directly and indirectly. We are as worried about national security as anybody else.”
Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders and community members said they intended to gather to pray and peacefully spread their message–but the atmosphere didn’t stay peaceful for long. Protesters also came out to share their thoughts.
King supporter Felicia Chillak held a sign that said Nothing is more expensive than regret and said, “We’re not going after the whole group of people–we want to identify that small percentage….We’ve got to get off this tolerance thing and identify the enemy before it’s too late.”
Although many Muslim community members present said they hoped the hearings would be canceled, they were worried about national security and agreed something had to be done—but that it had to be done fairly.
“I hope Congressman King, for the sake of morality, for the sake of national security and for the sake of his own legacy, will conduct these hearings in a manner befitting this great nation and befitting his own position, ” said Ubaid.
Representative King (R-Seaford) reportedly said the event doesn’t represent most Long Islanders, and he does not intend to back down.
For more on this story, watch LI News Tonight at 7 pm on Channel 18—or at http://www.linewstonight.com.