Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who just became chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, says he will not widen the scope of his hearings on "Muslim radicalization"
to include non-Muslim extremists.
The ranking member of the committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), had, in the wake of the Tucson shootings
, called for King to expand his investigation to non-Muslim extremism as well.
King declined, according to Newsday
, saying the shootings in Arizona are besides the point.
"The issue of Muslim radicalization is totally different. It's an internal threat, a foreign terrorist group recruiting people to take up arms against the United States," King said.
"We've always had throughout our history deranged people taking up arms," he said.
King posted the Newsday story on his web site.
King said he may hold a hearing on the shootings after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano delivers a report on the incident.
Thompson and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim congressman, have said focusing the hearings on Muslims alone would be inappropriate and could alienate Muslim-Americans.
But King says the hearings are necessary. He claims that Muslim leaders are becoming increasingly non-cooperative with law enforcement officials investigating possible terrorism cases.