House committee has no business policing thought

Wednesday, March 9, 2011; 3:10 PM

Rep. Keith Ellison and all Americans are right to decry Rep. Peter King's terrible decision to hold hearings questioning the patriotism and decency of American Muslims ["Rep. King defends the scope of hearings on 'radical Islam,'" news story, March 6]. It smacks of McCarthyism, intolerance and prejudice.

But Mr. Ellison is out of bounds to declare that it is right for King "to investigate radicalization" in America in general, thereby giving Mr. King (R-N.Y.) and his Homeland Security Committee permission to become America's thought police. As Americans, we are free to believe passionately in whatever we believe in, no matter how far out of the mainstream that may be. The King hearings are wrong, but they won't be made right just by broadening the scope.

Sue Udry, Silver Spring

The writer is executive director of the Defending Dissent Foundation.

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