Tue March 8, 2011
The Two-Way

Hearing On 'Muslim Radicalization' Is Needed, Islamic Forum Founder Says

Tell Me More today continues its conversations about Thursday's hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee on what Chairman Peter King (R-NY) warns is the threat from a radicalization of Muslims in the U.S.

We posted yesterday about the comments from Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), one of two Muslims in Congress. In his view, the controversial hearing will focus too much attention on Muslims and ignore greater threats posed by racial supremacists, environmental extremists and others.

Today, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum, told Tell Me More host Michel Martin that the hearing (where he will testify) could be an important step in ending bigotry against Muslims.

"The vast majority of Muslims are not radicalized, but we do have a problem," he said.

And, Jasser added, "the best way to melt away any bigotry that may exist out there toward Muslims is for Americans to see that we are taking ownership. That we want to fix it. [That] we recognize that violence is just a symptom. That there is an underlying ideology that fuels that and that we want to begin the hard work of reform.

"This is a Muslim problem that needs a Muslim solution."

Here is some of the conversation Michel had with Jasser:

As we said Monday, Tell Me More is talking with people on all sides of the controversy over the hearing (and has asked Rep. King to be on the show). We'll keep an eye out for more news from those discussions. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams Tell Me More. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.