WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Rep. Peter King of New York announced that he is retiring from Congress. King is a congressman with a long history of anti-Muslim remarks who chaired several, notorious congressional hearings in 2011 designed to attack and denigrate Muslims. Muslim Advocates played a leading role in the push to organize against the hearings, which were some of the first ever held by Congress to specifically target a religious group. The following is a statement issued today from Muslim Advocates Special Counsel for Anti-Muslim Bigotry Madihha Ahussain on King’s retirement:
“Good riddance. The disappointing normalization of Peter King’s hateful legacy in Congress shows how deeply ingrained anti-Muslim bigotry has become in our politics. Rep. King’s career is defined by his ability to stoke unfounded hate and paranoia against American Muslims for pure political gain. This is a man who said there are ‘too many mosques in this country’ and who, as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, led a series of hearings depicting American Muslims as security threats.
Though it has come far too late, King’s exit from Congress is yet another sign that we are in a new era for American Muslims in public life. Muslim Reps. André Carson, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib continue to make history in Congress. Just last week, a brand new generation of Muslim women including Ghazala Hashmi, Safiya Khalid, Nadia Mohamed and Abrar Omeish were elected to public office across the country. And—in stark contrast to Rep. King’s hateful, McCarthyite hearings attacking Muslims—the House just held its first ever congressional hearing on the rights of American Muslims when it had an oversight hearing on the Muslim Ban.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.