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March 23rd, 2011
05:45 PM ET

Should Senate hold hearings on Muslims' rights in U.S.?

ALT TEXT

The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing entitled "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" on Capitol Hill on March 10. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee led by Democratic Dick Durbin of Illinois will hold a hearing next week on Muslim-Americans' civil rights. Aren't they the same as every other Americans' civil rights? And is this what needs our immediate attention at this time? Sometimes the people in Washington can make you want to stick sharp objects in your eyes.

The Durbin circus comes just weeks after the circus led by Rep. Peter King, R-New York. He held congressional hearings on the topic of the radicalization of Muslim Americans. Those hearings sparked protests and demonstrations. Critics called them a witch hunt and said they sent the wrong message to Muslim-Americans.

Durbin is apparently trying to send a different message to Muslim-Americans, as if he doesn't have other, more important things to do. These hearings will be the first held by the new subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights, human rights and the law.

Durbin says he's called for the hearings because there's been an uptick in anti-Muslim sentiment in this country. He says it's important to renew the nation's "commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights." Right.

However, according to The Washington Times, the latest FBI data show that hate crimes against Muslims account for just 9.3% of religious hate crimes in the United States. More than 70% of religious hate crimes were against Jews.

Meanwhile, we have no federal budget, three wars and we're broke. Lovely.

Here’s my question to you: Should the Senate hold hearings on Muslims’ rights in the United States?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark in Voorhees, New Jersey:
Yes, Jack. Then they should hold hearings on the rights of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, the Latter-day Saints, and the Rosicrucians, as well as atheists, animists, and agnostics. It will be a good excuse for them not to do anything about the banks, the lobbyists, climate change, energy, or job creation.

Stephanie:
When Jews are subjected to more hate crimes in the U.S. than Muslims, it's pretty odd that they would have these hearings, except to score political points and seek to protect a specific group's ideology.

Ralph in Corpus Christi, Texas:
Jack, this makes about as much sense as the French wanting a committee to run the war in Libya!

Bradley in Portland, Oregon:
I think they should have hearings on what the TSA is doing to the rights of ALL of us in the airports.

Russ in Pennsylvania:
Why? Are their rights as citizens any different from mine? Or are we expecting the Senate to provide special rights to ethnic groups of one sort or another? Hasn't the government done such a great job of promoting diversity as it is? Or are we all hoping for another four thousand federal laws be promulgated? Why on earth don't we all tell Congress - and the President - to stop minding our business?

Paul in Parry Sound, Ontario:
I thought everybody in America had the same rights, or are the rules about to change?

Lou:
Seriously? Nothing more important to do? Aren't they still working on last year's budget? If they worked for me I would have fired them a long time ago for failure to complete a task. Oh wait, they do work for me.

Conor in Chicago:
Muslim rights? What the hell does that mean? They're citizens, end of story. They have the same rights as me, period.


Filed under: Muslims • Religion • Senate
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. Aria Ahrary

    How about following the constitution? Right to religion except Muslims? We should change the constitution if we do that.

    March 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  2. Russ in PA

    Why? Are their rights as citizens any different from mine? Or are we expecting the Senate to provide special rights to ethnic groups of one sort or another? Hasn't the government done such a great job of promoting diversity as it is? Or are we all hoping for another four thousand federal laws be promulgated? Why on earth don't we all tell Congress – and the President – to stop minding our business?

    March 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  3. David Rand

    Sounds absurd to me...to imply that a muslim is any different from any other American..is ridiculous. So why a meeting of Discussion?

    March 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  4. Conor in Chicago

    Muslim rights? What the hell does that mean? They're citizens-end of story. They have the same rights as me-period.

    March 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Only if they insist on an uproar, one way or the other.

    March 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  6. RB in CA

    Not just no, but hell no!

    The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion in this country. And while the inhumane actions of a microcosm of zealots may make our collective blood boil, their faith is still protected by law. And singling out a select group because their beliefs differ from those of the general population is a slippery slope we do NOT want to go down.

    RB in CA

    March 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  7. John from Alabama

    Jack: If the Muslims are citizens of this great land then all we have to do his read the Bill of Rights, or review the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Muslims who are aliens of another land then ignorance of the law is no excuse. This also goes for the United States Senate.

    March 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  8. Frank

    What rights do muslims need enumerated by the Senate. Did everyone forget about the Constitution again? What about the rights of the Guantanamo and other gulag detaineees?
    How does a room full of lawyers always seem to be clueless about the law of the land? And what part of inalienable and all are misssing from their understanding? These are 5th grader questions.

    March 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  9. Gerry

    Forewarned is forearmed and we need to know as much about the Muslims as we can. From my observations I would have to say that Muslims in general are not compatible with the American way of life. But permit the Senate to hold hearings not bound by political correctness and lets see what their conslusions are.

    Gerry
    Arizona

    March 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  10. Joe R - Houston, TX

    Individual citizens all have the same rights. There's no need to debate it.

    March 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  11. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    Absolutely. American principles aren't being challenged by the KKK, Neo-Nazis, or the John Birch Society, they're being challenged by public officials. Mary Bulger said, "Speak the truth and shame the devil." Let's call a bigot a bigot.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  12. Mark J. Cady Jr.

    Why should we have rights that differ from what already exist? Our nation is supposed to protect our civil, religious and speech rights. Right? Intolerance has no place in America whether you use the Bible. Torah or Q'uran in your faith. The only ones that question those are the restrictive and paranoid Far Right. Right?

    Mark from Munster, IN

    March 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  13. Barbara Leavitt

    Yes, they have the right to follow the rules of OUR country~just as WE would have to do if we were to go into theirs. They leave their countries
    be cause they aren't happy there, come here and want us to change OUR ways to suit them. This would never happen in any other country. The UK started changing their laws for the Muslim population and now they have a complete mess on their hands. 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do or get the HELL out.! We already have allowed them to have schools here that teach their young to hate us. Political Correctness is going to be the end of our country. OUR CULTURE !

    Henderson, Nevada

    March 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  14. marcia

    NO! Why waste time on this topic? If you are American and abide by the laws then there is no problem. If a neighborhood doesen't want a mosque or a temple ther them stop it by patition or other legal ave. Let the senate pass more laws to be ignored about the Mexican boarder! We have a bigger problem and muslims are one of the problems but closing the braeder is much bigger.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  15. Loren, Chicago

    Why? They have and should have no more or less rights than any other religious group in America. I am well aware that they would claim greater rights, but that reflects their ignorance of our Constitution that a few Justice Department actions could correct (their desire for Sharia law borders on sedition).

    March 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  16. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    Absolutely not. This smells of McCarthyism? Next they will be holding hearings on Christians, Catholics, Jews and the like. What ever happened to freedom of religion in America?

    March 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  17. Kathie

    are we going back to the era of McCarthy. a person should not be judged on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation but on who that individual is.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  18. B.J., Quincy, Il

    No, our laws cover what rights they have.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  19. Phyl

    I don't believe we should take this any further. Aren't we forgetting this country is based on religious freedom? The pilgrims came here seeking and established colonies for that purpose.

    All of the things achieved by these first settlers should not be aborted now. Everything we need on human and civil rights is already contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Consitituion and its amendments.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  20. Bob D Iowa

    Jack we need to hold closed meets though and while they are at it they can re-write the First Amendment so it fits their current needs. The “they and their” I speak of is the Christian Talaban that has worked it’s way into the heads of to many good Christians of this nation.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  21. Harold from Anchorage

    Soundslike a waste of time to me. Muslim Amiricans should already have the same rights as any other Americans.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  22. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think Muslim rights here in the United States has been stepped on. The last hearing held on Muslim extremist was nothing but a witch hunt that put me in mind of the Mccarthy days. We have a constitution here in United States that is supposed to protect everyone's rights. There have been a lot of law biding Muslims citizens who have had their rights stepped on. We need to correct this and if by having a committee hearing on Muslim rights helps correct the problem, makes the hearings a good idea.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  23. Craig R. McNees

    Tampa, Fl I would like to know why they forgot about my rights as a white, voting, taxpayer. Who decided that America should have an unlimited open door policy to everyone that wants to live here? Who forgot we are running out of gas, water, electric, etc. and they can't service our needs now, let alone when another 10 to 50 million decide it is their right to live here.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  24. Bryan from Colorado

    No they should not. I think this will create discontent with the nonexremist muslim citizens here in the U.S. But maybe thats what
    the senate wants is to stir the pot to create more controversy over muslim citizens. Remember the Dems control the senate so maybe they are being pressured by the far right for hearings. If so it's just another sorry chapter for the Democrats being running scared of the right wingers.

    March 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  25. Riley, Seattle

    Yes, yes and yes! Anything that can divert the American public's attention from pesky economic and job-creation issues until after the 2012 election would be a boon to senators of all political persuasions. What say, after we get the Libyan thing put to bed and study all the ins and outs of Muslim rights in the U.S., we hold important senate hearings on the importance of choosing important senate hearings?

    March 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  26. Annie, Atlanta

    They have to do something to counter King's McCarthyesque witch hunt a couple of weeks ago. What in the world is happening to the Republican Party, and when are they going to be reclassified as a hate group. Nowadays if they don't have someone to hate intensely, they're not happy and have to go digging. It doesn't take them long. There's the women (especially those of child bearing years), all non-white people, the poor, workers and the unions that represent them, the LGBT community, anyone who seeks an education, Democrats, and since 9/11 the Muslims. Who's next? Everyone who doesn't have blond hair and blue eyes? This is sickening. These people don't represent my values; they have none. I don't recognize roughly half of my fellow Americans anymore.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  27. Jane (Minnesota)

    NO! Apparently the Constitution doesn't mean anything to them! I beginning to wonder how much voter remorse is out there. I would love to see a reliable scientific poll done regularly on this. Just maybe our elected representatives will get a clue then.

    Why is it so hard for them to focus on job creation and improving the economy for all – not just the top 1%??????

    March 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  28. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Any thought of curtailing the rights of ANY group, regardless of perceived threat, would not be what we stand for. Our country was founded on the principle of equal rights under the law. Although that wasn't always the case for blacks or women in America, our historical progress as a country has been towards more equality for all. (Except for the regrettable internment of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor.)

    March 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  29. Peg in NY

    The U.S.taxpayers would fund Senate hearings on Muslims' rights?! If they are U.S.citizens, they should have equal rights. This idea is sadly ridiculous and not at all surprising. What's next, Senate hearings for fill in the blank?!? What is happening here? This is a mess and Peter King needs to get a grip. Are we returning to a post WWII thought process? Egads! Are we going backward rather than foreword? It's scarey out there, Jack!

    March 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  30. Richard35 Canfield, Ohio

    No we need to have our Muslim Americans drive the Radicals Out of their religion! Not be paraded about for the political purposes of Rep. King!

    March 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  31. Gary H. Boyd

    Sure, why not. After all, they hold hearings on just about everything else - all to no avail. And besides, it'll get 'em off the streets and out of the bars.

    Gary in Arizona

    March 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  32. John Moore - New Britain, PA

    Since it wouldn't produce anything of value I have to say no. This is something for our security services to handle,

    March 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  33. FreedToChoose

    I think the Congress should hold hearings on human rights in America including the discrimination people experience whether due to personal choices like religion or chance characteristics like gender or those which may be of either origin like a love of country music.

    Ours is a country based on acceptance provided they don't harm another or the planet. The Muslims I have known are high up the list of exemplary citizens and are among the last who need to be called to defend themselves while some politicians head the list.

    Las Cruces, NM

    March 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  34. sam delray beach fl

    Absolutely no!!!. Should the Senate hold hearings on persons of any or no religion? Again no!!!! This the USA. McCarthy was evil but the other congressman were just plain people who did not meet the standard of a USA citizen. If there is such a suggestion, then I must say it is outrageous and the proponent[s] is certainly incompetent.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  35. Jenna

    Should the Senate hold hearings on Muslims’ rights in the United States?

    I am offended. Wasn't our nation created because of religious persecution and what are our leaders doing? Persecuting the Muslim's.

    Shouldn't they first hold hearings on Christian rights, then Jews rights, etc..

    Islamaphobia is alive and well in the GOP. McCathyism all over again.

    What a joke.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    March 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  36. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    If these people went through the same process as others to become Americans then they have the same rights as the rest of us. If not then all of the illegals should get out and go back to their own country. Hold hearings on everyone who has different beliefs than others, oops, that's everyone.

    March 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  37. Jack B in Chicago

    Only if they are going to take a look at the rights of ordinary Muslim citizens that are being taken away. I understand Arab-centric bigamy but do not support it. They should have all the rights as any American. Do the originators of Muislim bias seem to forget that our nation was founded on the princeple of religious freedom.? We cannot ignore that tenent just because we don't like someone else's religion. Freedom for one is freedom for all in America.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  38. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    Yes they should. If they are American citizens, yes. Been a Muslim doesn't make the person a terrorist. Being a Jewish doesn't make the person the God chosen one, and been a Christian doesn't make that person Holly. In this country if you are a citizen you have rights as anyone else.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  39. Paul Austin Texas

    Their should be no hearings of Rights of anyone. As for hearings as to how radicals can brain wash good young people or anyone for that matter to fight against a country of their birth or choice is a different matter. We need to find out what problems that are out their but someone's rights should have nothing to do with that.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  40. thom richer

    Excuse my ignorance, Jack, but do we or do we not have a Constitution and Bill of Rights guaranteeing "ALL" U.S. citizens their rights regardless of race or religion? I can only assume that you are talking about Muslims in the U.S. that are not U.S. citizens. Correct? I sure as hell hope so or we can void the Constitution's credence and stop further hypocrisy. Please clarify.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    March 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  41. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    Yes, Jack. Then they should hold hearing on the rights of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Buddhists,the LDS, and the Rosicrucians, as well as atheists, animists, and agnostics It will be a good excuse for them not to do anything say about the banks, the lobbyists, climate change, energy, or job creation.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  42. Rich McKinney, Texas

    These hearings should take about 30 seconds to complete. A Muslim citizen has the same rights as any other American citizen. No more no less. Hearing adjourned. End of discussion. Next item please.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  43. lou

    Seriously? Nothing more important to do? Aren't they still working on LAST YEAR'S budget? If they worked for me I would have fired them a long time ago for failure to complete a task. Oh wait, they do work for me.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  44. Bud

    Yes, and the sooner the better. To allow removal of our standard – the US Constitution – and allow the substitution of any other standard in this country has the obvious effect of changing and degenerating our way of life. We are a secular nation of laws based on one sufficient document, our Constitution and that we should wish it to remain.
    ALL person residing in the USA should be held to one standard, only, and that standard is the Constitution of the USA. I cannot imagine this question even being up for debate, but since it is becoming a growing problem, our Congress should move actively and immediately to reestablish our Constitution as the one and only standard under God and without question.
    Bud in Jax, Fl

    March 23, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  45. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Having a hearing won't do anything to either speed or slow the budget. Durbin has people for that. In the long term, the budget won't be solved anyway until we see how pre-existing condition reforms and mandates shake out. I suspect that Wall Street will dictate that these reforms will be replaced by a public option for peope dropped or denited, subsidized by a broad based tax on you and me.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  46. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    I'd prefer Congressional hearings on the rights of every American voter and whether these tenured incompetents in Washington will ever have the courage to offer up referendums on term limits and public financing of campaigns.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  47. Bonnie from NJ

    Pretty soon civil rights will be a moot point because at this rate there will be no country left. I wonder how the Chinese feel about our civil rights since soon they will own us.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  48. Russell Keller

    Jack this is just blatant Islamaphobic Grand standing and the only reason to hold such a hearing is to further erode the 1st amendment. Not that there's any of it left with scum like him pretending to be in charge.

    March 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  49. Paulet

    Did they hold hearings on Irish Catholic rights in America, or Italian American rights in American - about Anglo Christian, Mexican American, Russian, etc, etc - why should Muslim American rights be different from any others human beings rights?
    How about a hearing on creating jobs in U.S. - Jack you are right on there are times that Congress makes you crazy - maybe that why Obama did what he needed to do in Libya while he was gone. At 67 I really don't remember such lack of common sense to be so prevalent

    March 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  50. Sammy Belcher

    Sure
    They should have the same rights that we have in Muslim Countries.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  51. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Religious hate based on one's faith or religion violate our Constitution and responsible Congressional leaders should be made aware of this slippery slop that Congressman King started when we say it's okay to discriminate against some religions but not others. Discrimination against one group or religion is discrimination against all religions in the U. S per our precious Constitution.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  52. Gigi Oregon

    What is wrong with our government? It is getting to be scary...we have no business starting another committee or hearing. What happened to getting a budget, jobs, etc., etc., etc. I think the government has played stupid long enough. We now are busy trying to free another country who want to live in freedom like us...what an example we have become. This is not the America I was born into. Someone please pack up the Statue of Liberty and send her back to France.

    We have made a mess of our country by a bunch of jokers called representatives...Muslims rights? you got to be kidding...In a democracy we have "We the peoples rights" or do we...

    March 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  53. Candy Taylor

    I think we need hearings on campaign funding, not Muslims. The selling out of our government to corporations by our politicians is the real danger to our democracy!

    March 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  54. Peyton H. Keaton III

    he answer to your question of hearings for Muslim rights, the answer is NO!
    Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't in muslim radicals who attacked America on 9-11? How short our memory appears to be. I realize there may be some good muslims, but if they are true Americans, why haven't they gone to the streets and proclaim their disgust toward their brother muslims who attacked the America they claim to love?
    I believe if the Detriot muslims who have their own government in Detroit, Michigan, were patriotic to America, they would not be governing themselve under the muslim law. They would gladly support America's law. My question is: How many Americans realize the Detriot, Michigan muslims control their area and do not adhere to our laws or police. They act as a separate country in Michigan. Why are they allowed? Watch your back!
    I live in Orlando, Fla. and am a senior citizen. I was born in America and never been in jail. I pay my taxes and believe in Jesus Christ. What more do you need to know about me? Oh yeah, I am a loyal T party republican!

    March 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  55. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, there's been an uptick because all of our rights are being erroded by pencil necked politicians who have their own agenda. Sounds like anti-decomcracy at work doesn't it.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  56. Abe

    All people in the USA, no matter what religion. Should have equal rights. Is that not what our Founding Fathers made this country for? Freedom of religion? Just because Terrorist acts against the USA has been mainly caused by Muslims does not mean we can take away certain rights. We cant let fear take control of our citizens rights. We should never hold hearing for people rights. I too am an Muslimerican.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  57. Frankie

    1000 times no, for the reason you mention and because those hearings are the opposite of basic decency and ethics. If Durbin is a man of faith, he is supposed to know that it is not up to him to judge other people.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  58. Robby Bowling

    Soon we'll have hearings on having hearings. This is nothing but political theater. What about just citizens rights. Protect us from all this mindless dribble that political correctness is born from. Do they have hearings in Muslim country's over the treatment of CHRISTIANS. Absolutely not and they make no apologizes about it either. And what they want to do to the Jewish you can't print. To the moronic Congressman, have you hearing, no one's listening.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  59. Nancy, Tennessee

    There is so much happening in the world where the Muslims are at the center that it might be a good idea to reiterate to the Muslims that they are afforded the same rights as everyone in the United States. No more and no less. It doesn't have to be a long drawn out process – we can give them a great reference tool – the Constitution of the United States.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  60. kim collins

    A senate hearing to guarantee an American his/her rights?????
    These senators need to go back and read the Constitution of The United States. All Americans are guaranteed the same rights. Excuse me, but didn't these same senators mention something about JOBS JOBS JOBS during the last election. Get working on it and quit wasting your time and our money.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  61. ronald

    Why do not these elected officials dedicate their time in office for matters of far greater importance than moronic hearings of these types?
    How many jobs have these morons created for this nation?
    How many jobs have become lost due to automated machinery in this country and what types of jobs are to become created from that lack of job creation.
    With the high prices of oil,do we need politicians wasting their voter paid paychecks on such issues as these hearing or better by providing services far more important and leave these muslim phobia issues for agencies like the FBI that plants a GPS upon a vehicle to track that individual similar in size of a elephant to be seen.
    Where is the investigative reporting for such issues of whether someone should be tagged as a suspect,
    When will these new jobs become made?

    March 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  62. Mark in Houston

    Anyone with a working brain would say....NO.

    The Senate accomplishes NADA...nothing. They have no intention of solving the Nations problems now or in the future. Their concern is reelection...... other than that they spend whats left of their day name calling, and blaming the opposition.

    These committee hearings are only held to make sure the electricity and AC are still working.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  63. Jon- Delhi

    Of course not. It is a direct attempt to avoid the real issues that plague the nation. The government is notorious for creating distractions and playing on the nation's fears while they really do nothing. This my friends is an attempt to look like they are doing something.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  64. Renee Peoria,Ill

    There was a study recently that indicated that conservatives are more fear-driven, which they seem intent on proving as an unquestionable fact with their McCarthyist attitude toward Muslims. Freedom of religion is one of the founding principles of this country. If we abandon it because a few radicals have got the more fear-driven in this country running scared then we might as well scrap the entire constitutiion. Hearings are not neccessary. All of our rights are already established; we just need to make sure we don't abandon them because a few gutless wonders on the far right see this as a political opportunity.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  65. Independent Joe

    No! Jack, this just illustrates how out of touch politicians are from mainstream america. They (congress) are befuddled when it comes to prioriatizing taxpayer time and money.
    I cannot believe I just spent two minutes addressing this issue. Maybe I have a future in politics!

    Joe M (Mn)

    March 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  66. Jay Kay

    No. They should not be getting any special rights. I'm sick of their belly-aching!!!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  67. Sally

    Maybe the Senate should go back and read the Constitution. Oh, wait, didn't the House just do that? For what reason, I don't recall but maybe they should pass along their copy of the Constitution to the Senate so they can read it. What part of AMERICAN don't they understand?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  68. Cheryl

    I had to re-read this twice because it made no sense...There must be more to this story, like the donuts served at the hearings are delicious! It's great to send Muslim Americans a positive message, but there must be a better cheaper way...I know we could quit getting involved in wars in Muslim territories...a much cheaper alternative!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  69. OnTheSideLines

    Yes, I say its only fair.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  70. JAB

    No...but then neither should Sen. King (R-NY) hold hearings..

    March 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  71. Bob

    Absolutely insane. Really... Nothing at all better to do than address what is apparently a non-issue (unless you are Jewish maybe). Where do we find these idiots and which morons vote for them?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  72. Steve M.

    Instead of holding hearings on Muslims' rights in the U.S., it would be a better idea to hold them on the lack of rights for minority religions in predominantly Muslim countries. Let's explore why, despite vast ethnic and cultural differences in Muslim countries stretching from Tunisia past Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan to Indonesia, there is such hatred towards their indigenous Christian and other minority religion populations. Examination of the common thread that runs through these countries would help the U.S. understand our Muslim citizens better.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  73. Jack

    Jack:

    They can do whatever they want to do because the American populace is (quite frankly) too stupid to elect representative government. Oh, we talk big and act like we have represenative government, but do we really? The only thing more stupid than 99% of our elected officials is the 99% of the uninformed, misled,, and gullible voters.

    I am afraid until we have the backbone to start firing these bozos (both sides of the isle), we are doomed.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  74. David R

    Jack,

    My Dad got out of Germany in 1939 because in 1933 no one would stand up to Hitler when he first came to power.

    Yes, this is a show by Durbin, but it's to stand up to King and tell him he's full of hot air with his 'radicalization' hearings. This is a very public hearing and is meant to stop King and his ilk in their tracks. If Durbin's hearing does NOT happen, it gives King tacit approval to continue with his muslim witch hunt. And I'm sorry, that just can't happen to anyone, be it muslim, Jew, Mormon or whoever because it can snowball if unchecked and we (the USA) can turn into the next Nazi reich and collect our 'unwanted' populace and then kill them. So I say, yes, stop it NOW.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  75. Brian

    Joseph McCarthy anyone? The Red Scare? We are saying the exact same things when that nut job was spewing his hate.

    Now instead of Communists we are attacking Muslims because they are easy to find.

    What next? Camps like we did to the Japanese during WWII?

    We preach religious tolerance but one nut job attacks the Two Towers it is all Muslims are bad.

    When Oklahoma City Bombing happened with Terry Nicols, Terre Haute. Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier as the conspirators as part of their Christian Militia we did not condemn Christians for being unAmerican.

    Nor Waco, Texas or Ruby Ridge either. Hell that Christian Militia in Alaska that got nailed for planning to kill cops did not even get much press.

    Just Muslims are the bad guys in this country..

    March 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  76. CRAIG

    Just another excuse for expensive lunches and wasted time. The Senate should just go back to their homes for the next 2 years and sit on their thumbs if "they" really believe this is what Our Nation needs right now.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  77. Raghu

    Are you kidding me? Why do you even ask that question?! It is very important to hold hearings on Muslims in America. Ask Jan Brewer. I am surprised that there isn't a SB 1070 on Muslims in Arizona. This country belongs to White Christians like Michelle Bachman, Jan Brewer and Glenn Beck...

    Bachman-Beck 2012

    Raghu
    Overland Park, KS

    March 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  78. Jake's Gay Lover

    Muslims have no rights. Christians have no rights.

    Only humans have rights.

    Keep your religion to yourself.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  79. Abdul Ameer

    The Peter King hearings were NOT a circus. There is a very serious problem of radicalization in the American Moslem community which has already led radicalized Moslems to commit many murders and to try to commit many, many more. Who is teaching them that committing murder in the name of Islam is o.k.? Where does their murderous "radicalism" come from? That is the legitimate purpose of the King hearings,.

    The Durbin hearings, on the other hand, will be only a pro-Moslem circus. Of course, Moslems enjoy the same civil rights that all AMericans enjoy. The fact that there is rising anti-Moslem sentiment has nothing to do with civil rights. If sentiments against Moslems and Islam are rising, that is entirely the fault of the radicalized Moslems and the failure of the Moslem community to root them out and to teach their youth that Islam truly promotes peace with non-Moslems even though the Koran and their prophet Muhammad clearly declared way on non-Moslems.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  80. Nick in WI

    As a natural-born American convert to Islam, I find the modern-day McCarthyism going on in Washington distasteful, to put it mildly. I don't recall anyone, myself included, asking for anything not already guaranteed us by way of our citizenship.

    I know I can only speak for myself, but all I am asking for is the right to peacefully assemble, practice my faith as I see fit, and assert my individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of my own individual happiness.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  81. Ken in NC

    Yes Jack the people in Congress should hold hearings on anything as long as it is not related to jobs, jobs or jobs.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  82. Jon Buder

    Jack,

    What about my rights? Muslims in their own countries are treated like pawns by their own Government. When they come here they are treated like – well, humans... I want a white, middle aged-male hearing too. We've had every small group rrepresented – why not rhold a hearing for the largest group. Durbin should worry about the Budget and jobs. Screw the rest of them...

    March 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  83. Chad

    Jack, as a gay American, I can tell you that not all Americans enjoy the same civil rights. No hearings on Muslim rights because they should be the same rights that ANY AMERICAN has. Period. I don't agree with you all the time, but you NAILED this one. Thanks Jack!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  84. hooverguide, Riverside, CA

    We should be ashamed of this debacle. Who is next? Catholics?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  85. Gene

    No, the senate should not be holding hearings on Muslim's Rights. Because America is based on the principle of common law, I don't really see the point. Muslims are given the same rights as every other person in this country.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  86. Karl in Mich

    The only hearings we need are the ones tossing Peter King out of Congress, disbarring him for life and the Vatican excommunicating his Catholic butt out of the Church. As a Catholic American I found his actions as reprehensible as Joe McCarthy’s, another thorn in the side of Catholic Americans. I would hope the American public is intelligent enough to know Catholics can have rosaries, Jews can wear Yarmulkes, Muslims can pray to Allah and atheists don’t have to be bothered with any of it without Dick Durbin wasting time and money explaining it all. I wonder how many of those Muslim hate crimes originated in Congress.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  87. me

    Jack sometimes your right an rarely your wrong, but you are so damn right about this. This is a no brainer and a silly waste of cash and time.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  88. Annie, Atlanta

    They have to do something to counter King's witch hunt. What in the world is happening to the Republican Party? Nowadays if they don't have someone to hate intensely, they're not happy and have to go digging. It doesn't take them long. There's the women (especially those of child bearing years), all non-white people, the poor, workers and the unions that represent them, the LGBT community, anyone who seeks an education, Democrats, and since 9/11 the Muslims. Who's next? Everyone who doesn't have blond hair and blue eyes? This is sickening. These people don't represent my values; they have none. I don't recognize roughly half of my fellow Americans anymore.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  89. Adnan

    No, Jack because Muslim-Americans have the same rights as other Americans in the United States. The US senate doesnt need to hold hearings because they are the same as the people and are american born

    March 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  90. Laith F. Gulli

    Hi Jack

    For once I outrightedly agree with you!!!!!

    Laith F. Gulli, Columbus, Indiana

    March 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  91. Steve K from Los Angeles

    Of course all Americans should be treated equally. But, unfortunately that's not how it is right now. The fact that peaceful muslims in America aren't doing more to condemn the extremists of their religion has created an atmosphere of contempt towards an entire group, not seen since prior to the civil rights movement.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  92. Mary

    No! The whole idea is absolutely sick! Every Muslim in the world didn't bring down the towers!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  93. John with common sense

    Probably not but then we didn't need a made up committee hearing on the radicalization of muslims. I understand Durbins point and if you don't then you probably have never had someone questioning your loyalty to your country thorugh inuendos, hearsay, and flat out distortions.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  94. Calla M.

    It seems like America has been going out of it's way to cater to Muslim Americans. This is getting ridiculous.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  95. B.Smith

    Assimilate totally into AMERICAN culture or leave
    (and go back to your country of origin.) Period.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  96. Hesham

    If we are going to allow Peter King to have his day, then Dick Durbin should have his day. As a muslim, I agree that both are a waste of time and that we have more important issues (war, deficit etc) that WE as americans need to resolve. This is our country too.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  97. robradfo

    Is it really an issue? No, kill these hearings. It seems like they want a diversion for their incompetence. Pass the budget, work on the reducing the deficit, then we can look at this issue.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  98. Nasser Ghaleb

    Yes we should. Simply put we've been the subject of bigotry since 9/11. Not just did we live thru the horror every American lived true; we got to be blamed for it. If someone says something about Jews, every media outlet reacts like an echo chamber decrying antisemitism yet with Islam it's your run of the mill everyday footnote. Just look at the recent bombing in Jerusalem. We will hear about it for days to come around the clock, yet hardly any media outlet talked about the Israel attacks that killed a few civilians which we can conclude lead to the bombing.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  99. Carol Hillson

    If you were Muslim American I dare say you would feel differently.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  100. redspider

    give me a break Durbin. we dont need another pointless worthless and importantly un-necessary "hearing"
    last i checked as long as you are a citizen you have equal rights. so what is the point

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  101. Zak E., Fairfax, VA

    Thanks Jack. You just reminded all the closet racists in this country of another reason to justify their hatred of Muslims. Need some proof? Take a look at some of the posts in response to this question.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  102. Joe from Kalispell

    While we stil have a few homegrown neo-nazis our greatest threat is from Islamic terrorism. It is write for congress to understand just how big the threat is. Since U.S. Muslims are relatively quiet about where their loyalties lie, it is not helping their cause here.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  103. Peter

    Absolutely NO!

    Whjy should they get special consideration? Should we cow tow to them? Who the heck do they think they are?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  104. Karen

    NO! Does our government have nothing else to do? Maybe they should have the same hearings on radical Christian sects. Could we just do the business of congress and get our economy in shape and elect a President that actually values the U.S.A?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  105. Ann LaCoss

    Emphatically NO!!!!! This is just another ruse to not deal with the real issues of our economy. This country was founded on the premise of "Freedom of Religion" Muslims are just as entitled to worship and be here as any one. Once again a few radicals are making it difficult for the ordinary Muslims to have these freedoms. our government needs to get "REAL".

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  106. Sarah, St. Paul Minnesota

    I dont think they should. What's the point? It's like one of those commities to find communists in the 50's. It only hurts people and this will probibly give muslim Americans more reasons to hate America and become radicalized.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  107. jackie

    no. it's an insult. what's next? are they gonna do a hearing on atheists? democrats? jews? asians?america IS NOT the middle east. we are america...remember the saying "we are all created equal"? yea it's in our constitution, not iraqs or libya's, OURS and we should embrace it.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  108. Patricia Skipper

    NO, we do respect a persons rights to worship the way they want however , I am not reading about muslims being attacked in this country last time I recall AMERICANS have been attacked. We have money for this nonsense and no money for seniors or medicare, GIVE ME A BREAK......We vote them in and we can vote them out but look at the mess they cause in between. WHY can't the people vote IF CONGRESS GETS A RAISE, we can't give ourself a raise, WHY can't the people start voting on everything that cost money???????????

    March 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  109. James Horn

    This is absolutely rediculous. People are people, muslims have the same rights as anyone else. The senator needs to understand (like every other American) that muslims did not attack us on 9/11, it was people who happen to be muslim. It's all hate and fear spread by fox news.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  110. Morris Massre

    I find it ridiculous to consider that the group with the largest religious base in the world feels discriminated against when the group with the smallest; i.e., Jews, are trampled on and ignored daily. You don't hear them complaining though.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  111. Frankwin de Wolf

    NO! Have they completely lost their mind?
    Let's have a hearing on the functioning of Congress instead.
    So US, how's that right wing government working out for ya?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  112. jhubers

    Jack, you apparently aren't very well clued in to what's happening in this country. You statistics about hate crimes fail to take into consideration the fact that there are serious moves in various states to deny Muslims the right to build mosques. No one is making the same move to deny Jews the right to build Synagogues or Catholics to build cathedrals. You also need to look at statistics that show an alarming increase in hate crimes against Muslims in the past three years – far greater uptick than any other religious group.

    Isn't it better to challenge this now rather than wait for the first mosque to be bombed or moves to deport Muslims simply because of their faith (which some are suggesting to do – again different from Jews).

    Before you spout off about things like this do you research.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  113. Lee

    This is more out of line than usual for our legislators. Since when is there a difference in the rights of a specific religion/people? Why are they trying to repeat the mistakes we did with the Japanese in the '40s? Do they want our grandchildren to pay reparations to the Muslims in 50 years? Sometimes I wonder where these people's history teachers were!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  114. Jill G

    By holding hearings with Muslim religious beliefs and/or rights as the focus, I do believe the Committee is entangling itself in religion – and violating the Constitution. Or do Muslims now have additional rigts that the rest of us within the United States don't have ?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  115. Vlad Iorsh

    Muslim-rights, Christian-rights, Jewish-rights. Are we not all subject to Human Rights?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  116. CW

    Religion is always a dangerious topic. Fanaticism of any sort is dangerious. That said, I don't feel that they should be given any special rights, I do however feel that there should be a greater interest taken into the activities of all religious groups in the US, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, etc.

    I am worried that Islamic Extremists may try to recruit in the US, but it doesn't keep me up at night any more then Christian extremists or any other.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  117. Nasir Sayani

    Being an American Muslim, I really like the House and the Sanate to please leave us alone, as it is we have issues within that we are trying to deal with, as we all know the vast majority of Muslims living in American and the rest of the world are peace loving people.

    Nasir Sayani

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  118. Chicago Paul

    Absolutely not!! As you said, they already have every right that any American has. Why does congress have to waste "our" money on issues like this; steroids in sports; etc....?? Fire them all unless they can do something that's productive.................. like reducing the budget!

    Paul

    March 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  119. Howie Olitsky

    Freedom of religion is already protected by the constitution. You said 70% of hate crines are commited against Jews. I grew up a Jew in the 50's and 60's, to date. I experienced anti-semitism first hand, and learned at an early age to be tolerant toward other religions and races. I don't understand why in the home of the free, this is such an issue!

    Howie

    March 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  120. fuh

    Please Jack,I am a Buddhist.Should they have hearings on Buddhist rights to?Let us leave religion away from our govenment affairs please.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  121. B.L.Lowe

    NO! That would be an exercise in futility. Let's see some real work i.e. Cutting the Budget & Repealing Obama Care.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  122. Michael, Chapel Hill

    Democrats thrive when they could carve out civil rights groups, like Blacks, Hispanics, Gay Lesbian.... Now their eyes have fallen on Muslims (If Durbin could hammer out a heartfelt regret for Islamic terrorism from this group, it is something.) Muslims are not entitled for any civil rights better than that of other citizens. As Bin Laden used US resources against the US, any special rights may come against the country in the long run.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  123. Andy G. In Buffalo

    Of course Muslims should have the same rights as anyone else in our country, but religion and politics don't mix. We need to keep religion completely separate from politics as much as possible. This country was founded on freedom of religion, lets keep it that way.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  124. Parvati Kalra

    We need to get a grip on our priorities in this world that is out of control and stop the nonsense. How outrageous holding these hearings on Muslims Rights in America by mostly old men who need to step aside instead of trying to justify their existence. When is enough enough.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  125. Rana

    I watched the hearing on American Muslim Radicalization and thought it was ridiculous. I plan to watch this new hearing and already know it is going to be ridiculous. What these hearings could have been a part of was a series of hearings on radicalization in general, or rights in general.
    Why not let this be a start, the next hearing should be on the rights of Jews and how they're implemented, then Christians and what ever sects under that faith they want to look at. Let's also look at the radicalization of each of these faiths, because it is there and dangerous.
    As a Muslim, I feel like no group should be targeted to look like a criminal (as the King hearing did) or a victim (like this new hearing will). There are major problems with civil rights in the US not limited to how Muslims are treated. Focus on implementation on these rights, and support for those who are victimized, regardless of race or religion or any other factor. Let this be a series on civil rights, not a Democratic counter blunder to a Republican blunder.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  126. Josh-Winnipeg

    There are enough chaotic things going on right now, Muslims should have the same rights anyone else has, because remember, they are going to be the majority of the population one day and we don't want them angry at us. Though they've had a right to be angry at us for a while. If the senate should do anything, they should work harder on taking down Muslim extremists and not just Muslims.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  127. Nina

    Yes, Jack! It does boggle the mind. Last I heard, the dictionary definition for “freedom of religion” is just that. Everyone has the right to participate in their religion of choice as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. With that said, don’t we have more pressing issues in Washington then to worry about more committees and meetings regarding personal rights that have already been written into our constitution. And while we are at it… Why is the government so involved in women’s uterus and fetus? Its about time the government take a step back and focus on our financial mess, medical problems, Job loss, immigration concerns oh and lets not forget the 3 wars soon to be 4 if we are not careful…

    March 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  128. daniel schloff

    I lived in Illinois for 33 years and voted for Dick Durbin for every state or federal office he ever ran for.. I believe his heart is in the right place, but his brain is going soft. His time would be better spent with a focus on protecting existing legislation supporting the elderly, infirm, and the very young.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  129. Jane

    Absolutely NOT. There is absolutely no necessity when the total of the crimes adds up to less than 10%. Is this guy brain dead? Who elected him???
    Why doesn't he open up hearings against the Wall Street Bankers? Those convictions would at least lead to the possiblity of refilling the coffers of our failing economy!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  130. makhtar

    I think Mr. Durbin should conduct the hearings. Regardless of religion all American should have the same rights. There is no roon for racism in this country. Muslims are citizens for this country and they deserve to be treated fairly. Every Muslin is not terrorist, right wing media is spreading the hate between us. God bless america.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  131. Brian J. Geibel

    No

    There are too many real problems facing the United States. Congress is just too busy worrying about reelection to deal with any of them.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  132. Vince

    Sure! And then afterward, why don't the Senate hold a hearing on the rights of Christian-Americans and then a hearing on the rights of Jewish-Americans. Clearly our forefathers said on the declaration of independence "All men are created equal....in the christian faith." this is ridiculous. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that Muslim-Americans deserve all the rights Christian-Americans and Jewish Americans have.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  133. Mekonnen

    Absolutely,

    9% is 9% too much. While it may be true that Jews are targeted more – it remains clear to me that hate crimes against Muslims in America is a growing trend affecting the upward social mobility of millions of American. If ever you doubt that ..... let me just remind those of us with limited memories – the national uproar caused by the building of a Muslim community center in Manhattan, Yes! it is worthy Capitol Hills attention – although Capital Hill's efficiency in running its affairs is another matter all together

    March 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  134. Ron CT

    No!! what they should be doing is holding hearings on AMERICAN RIGHTS!! and what these clowns blow our tax payers money on. This country is broke. They should be doing what WE THE PEOPLE are paying them for and do their jobs. getting this country out of the RED line and back in the Black. not to mention focusing on our priorities. If they are afraid to do their jobs then they need to step down so we can get a person with some back bone, who when some one introduces a petty time consuming, NEEDLESS meeting that the tax payers are paying them for and say we dont need this meeting, we have greater issues we need to fix now.
    well thats my two cents, I just cant believe they wont do their jobs... ohh wait yes i can insert sad face here.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  135. Craig B

    Muslims who are Americans have the same rights guaranteed under the Constitution as all the rest of us who are American citizens. Muslims who are not American don't.
    Muslims Americans should NOT be given preferencial treatment or special rights- to include use of Sharia Law in the United States of America.

    Congress and the Senate needs to get their act together, pass a Budget, and start learning to live within their means (like all the rest of us have to), instead of borrowing and bankrupting our country!! There should be hearings as to why the U.S. government can't spend wisely and be required to operate within its budget!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  136. Steven Douglas

    In that case, you'll want to tell CNN to cancel "Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door."
    Everyone feeds off conflict, even Senators.
    cheers,
    Steven Douglas
    Montreal

    March 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  137. Michael. Erie, Pa

    As a young college student, who happens to be Muslim, I believe we need to ask how we got ourselves here in the first place. The conservative right wing machine, also known as the Republican Party, has created an atmosphere of islamaphobia all over the US. Now we must waste our Senators' time and our tax money on such discussions.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  138. Rocky in LA

    Sure....as soon as they're finished with the hearings on Jews rights. With 7 out of 10 hate crimes in the U.S., being against Jews, that is where the hearing should be focused, if there is to be any such hearing. That being said, the proposed hearing, or any of it's ilk, is simply ridiculous.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  139. Kevin

    Equal rights are equal rights. This is a prime example of our Government wasting time and money on issues that have already been addressed by our Constitution and subsequent laws. If indeed we feel there are gaps in our equal rights laws, those gaps should be explored as a whole relating to the effect on any race or religion.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  140. Ace

    Of course not, Jack. What is happening here? Our politicians are so out of touch with reality! If we have no money, then where is the money coming from for yet ANOTHER committee to study another ridiculous issue? Add this committee to yet ANOTHER war (which at this point seems is going to last a lot longer than anyone anticipated), the campaign to oust unionized labor, and, as you stated, a lack of a federal budget - I think the people in D.C. should be embarrassed. It certainly feels to me as though the majority of people in the U.S. are not being very well represented - and that the majority of the people in the U.S. have very little recourse and control over what happens in this country.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  141. Heath

    Jack, I think that we've should really look into how congress spends its time and money. This hearing should last around 3 seconds, just long enough for someone to say "[muslim americans civil rights] are the same as anyone else's." any longer and this is a waste of time and money. Seriously, someone should investigate how much time is wasted by congressmen on frivolous initiatives.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  142. Maj G Kalfus

    Jack, I see no backlash against Protestant Americans at the moment...have you read the book Zietune (sp)? about the Muslim American family that survived the Katrina disaster in new Orleans...if you think there is not an undercurrent of Muslim suspicion, I suggest you look a bit deeper...as a person of jewish lineage, I totally sympathize with the Muslims and suggest all anti semitism see the light of day.
    Remember...politics is local.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  143. Liliana Ferrerosa

    Our constitution and laws are for our nation and its people, any foreign person coming to the United States should abide by ALL of our laws. We need to STOP expending time, money, energy etc. pleasing people that come here and suddenly are offended with anything. They should NOT leave their country were they are understood and have their own laws. If Americans go to any country and try to change their laws or create new ones to benefit themselves they WILL NOT be allow to do it. Coming to America means living with America.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  144. Robert from Texas

    Jack,
    I have felt like putting a sharp object in my eye for the past few years. I have never been one that wants to single out a religion for a few bad apples that always draws the medias attention. The Senator made me flash back to the communist hearings led by "whats his name." I am an American, so I am a mutt, from all walks and creeds and proud of it. I served for 25 years in the military and I don't recall anything about the religion of who you defend in our oath, I think it said Americans. From Muslims to even me the Southern Baptist, we are taught that "God loves us." And we really have more problems that the senate shoud me focusing on now.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  145. Michael Shea Albuquerque,NM

    "NO"-absolutely not !!! I am saddened that Dick Durbin is caught up in the anti-Muslim hysteria.

    It is bad enough that Congressman King did this on the House side.

    I wonder how much money the Israel Lobby contributed to both of them to go on this witch hunt. Isn't it bad enough that W. Bush set up the Patriot Act to obstruct our rights.

    When DR. Martin Luther King jr. was accused by FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover of having communists on his team, King spoke to JFK about it
    JFK told King:" Joe McCarthy might be deade but his ghost lingers on."

    Well here we are fifty years later and Joe McCarthy marches on !!!!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  146. Andrew

    Why don't we just round up all of the Muslims and put them in some type of camp where we can monitor them...oh wait its not 1941 anymore. To hold these hearings would be ludicrous. If you are afraid of Muslims then you should probably meet one. They are just like you and me.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  147. David

    Rep. King was on the right track but it doesn't sound like Durbin is! I got it straight from a US muslim leader impacting all of America that as soon as they take over, they'll be cutting off the heads of anyone who does not convert to Islam. That is something most Americans don't know and that has nothing to do with religious freedom. I would call that pre-meditated murder of US citizens.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  148. Abdullah

    Hey Jack,sure you're right about having rights as American Citizens but as "American Muslims" we are being totally violated and "America" isn't doing anything pertaining to our "CIVIL RIGHTS" as "Muslims" in america...SO I DO STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT WE DESERVE RIGHTS AS YOU WOULD SAY "AMERICAN MUSLIMS"...ALL THE WORLD KNOWS THAT AL-ISLAM DOES NOT CONDONE TERRORISM AT ALL,AND THOSE EXTREMIST MUSLIMS WILL BE DEALT WITH ACCORDINGLY BY THE CREATOR OF ALL,AS WELL AS THOSE WHO TERRORIZE MUSLIMS...

    March 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  149. mike sey

    What boggles the mind, Jack, that even as CNN is promoting a special resport into prejudice against Muslims in America, you would scoff at a senate inquiry into essentially the same thing.

    Theoretically Blacks had the same constitutional protections and civil rights as any other American during the 50's and 60's. In practice things were very different. I suppose you think Senators had better things to do then than look into that.
    Ontario, Canada

    March 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  150. Hana

    Yes, Muslims are humans they pay taxes live normal lives like every other american, you see them everywhere think about it this way HAVE MUSLIMS EVER BOMBED DOWN YOUR HOUSE THEY ARE PEACEFUL, MUSLIMS DESERVE RIGHTS!!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  151. Mary Lou

    The rights of Muslims should of course be the same, but the recent hearings on Muslim extremism were so prejudicial and provocative that the Senate is right to focus on the rights of Muslims who are Americans. When we also have Senate hearings on "Christian extremism" then it will not be necessary to rehearse Muslim rights.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  152. Freedom Fred

    No. It's absurd that this one group wants to paint themselves as victims of substantial persecution even though less than 10% of hate crimes are commited against them. What could the hearings accomplish anyway? There are a few hate groups out there who commit most hate crimes and law enforcement is presumably already following such activity closely.

    For congress to waste time on something like this, it would have to be for political grandstanding or feel-good purposes.

    Los Angeles, CA

    March 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  153. Steve

    Jack
    The congress should hold hearings on muslim rights, and gay rights and animal rights and anything else not related to our debt, the budget and those pesky entitlements. Oh! and make sure they nail Roger Clemens to the wall....that should be a top Priority!!!!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  154. Dora, NY

    It's remarks like those found right here that make these hearings worthwhile. Moslems in the US are being discriminated against merely because of their religious beliefs and because others who share those beliefs are bad people. The American Constitution does protect all rights, but individual Americans often paint whole groups of people as enemies - guilt by association. "Sick of their belly-aching" - the kind of belly aching I'm sick of is people who think their own problems are the only ones worth addressing. Whatever happened to the generous, tolerant spirit of American life - does that just disappear when times are tough? McCafferty, you should know better! This story is an invitation for haters to vent.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  155. Bob

    Yes, Yes, Yes. Muslims should have more rights to counteract the undue prejudices against them. Dick Durbin is an American hero and is a shining beacon what it is right and just in this country. To heck with the deficit, unemployment, Libya and health care. This issue should be front and center. Glad to see Durbin is doing what he was elected to do.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  156. Dan

    I find it slightly ironic that Muslims across the U.S. are suddenly assembling about their "rights" in lieu of our post-9/11 world.
    I also find it disgusting that they think their civil rights are being infringed, while hijacking our post-9/11 world to carry out their collective mission.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  157. Judi McMillen

    I believe it is time for all senators, representatives and specialty advisors and lobbyists to realize that what they are doing are the same kinds of witch hunts they did in the 1950's and it's time to own up to the fact that we have supposedly gone beyond xenophobia, so they should stop wasting money trying to foment war and keep their mouths shut. Every special interest group is facing the same upheaval as everybody else in the world. I believe in the working people of the world not their political or religious views. It is always the workers that save the day. But I guess the workers are getting suspicious that they aren't being treated well neither by their political representatives nor their churches. I don't really care about the Muslim in America, they are after all, just like me, I'm American first and all the rest later. So I guess that makes me the same too, and I say STOP THE INSANITY SO WE CAN ALL GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP. No. he shouldn't air that program it is just a way to generate more suspicion, hatred and panic, none of which do we need considering what else is going on. And aren't you people ashamed of yourselfs yet with those attitudes? Please, stop being stupid.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  158. Matthew, MT

    I believe they should cancel the hearing and invest their time in addressing more grave matters of concern. There are radicals and extremists with in each faith, but we shouldn't be reviewing their rights because of a bad apples.. If we go through this hearing, then one would begin to wonder when they will be addressing the civil rights of people with in religious community's.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  159. suzanne kramer

    hold hearing is what they do. they live in there own world, the rest of us don`t know where that world is. i say, cut their salries in quarter so that they might have to visit our world. have them have to find a job in this envirorment. try to feed a family of 4 with the current food and gas prices. they all need to be put in a single wide trailer with $10,000 dollars a year to support a family. then maybe all this stupid talking about illrelavent subject matters will get ahold of them. fix what needs to be fixed, reprsent us properly!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  160. william robert

    Are all of these people nuts? Of course it just seems that way when boneheads like dick turban wants to hold hearings on muslim rights. What rights do muslims have that I don't have? what rights does dick want them to have that they don't already have? This is total insanity and grandstanding. call it off and stop embarassing yourself, Dick.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  161. Mayra

    No, they have the same rights as any other American. Congress should focus on having hearings on job creation, the economy, THIS YEAR's budget, our three wars, Congressional term limits, fossil fuel dependancy, etc. You know, things that impact the lives of Americans in general.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  162. Moosa

    I, too, Peyton am a US born citizen who pays their taxes, votes, and am a productive member of society. And I am a muslim. I don't think we need any hearings on any American's rights just as Kim stated. What does concern me and others that believe in what our Founding Fathers built this country on is when misinformed individuals try to spread things like "Muslims in Detroit govern by Muslim law." This is as far from the truth as can be. It is run by the same democratic machine that runs your lovely Florida...except for not making mistakes of electing someone like Allan West. I would love to sit down over lunch with Mr. West to explain to him Americans who are Muslim feel the same way about his comments as his fellow African Americans felt about many Southern views during the Civil Rights period.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  163. Duop in Colorado

    Yes, because we stand for human rights.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  164. Shandin from MN

    I am a Jewish mother who recently had to deal with an anti-semitic verbal attack on my 11 year old. I think the discussion on religious discrimination should have been front and center long ago...for Jews, Muslims and any other religion supposed to be protected in this country. I hope exploring this on such a public venue is important regardless which persecuted religion is at the forefront.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  165. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    What the hell happened? Did Joseph McCarthy come back to life? It never ceases to amaze me that we keep electing such idiots to congress, maybe we should start investigating how these jerks even get on the ballot.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  166. Pat

    Please! A huge waste of time and tax payer money. Just another excuse for a Senator Durbin, to get his name in the press. Fittingly, it is a circus. Listen Muslim America, if things are getting a little tough here or you, you are free to leave and move to a less oppressive regime like those found in Syria or Iran or, climb down off your high horses and realize that you have the same rights as the rest of us and certainly no right to be treated any better. Durbin doesn't care any more for you than I do-you represent a means to an end, that's all.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  167. James

    Instead of a hearing, just print copies of the Bill of Rights and hand to anyone who attends this fiasco who are not sure what their rights are. Therefore, no hearing required.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  168. Kaela Reilly-Seattle

    It's not about "special rights." Of course it's important to maintain religious tolerance in this country, but that doesn't make it very easy to incorporate into society. Religion itself is not evil, but difference in opinion will always create strife if people are unable to accept alternative views. I am curious about what exactly they plan on discussing at this hearing. Is it a waste of time? Perhaps, but only because I believe Muslims in America should have every right that other religious groups in this country hold. Sometimes other people just need to hear it discussed before accepting its logic.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  169. Emily Francona

    You said it: STOP IT! with all these nonsense Congressional hearings. FOCUS, FOCUS on the budget deficit and FIX IT!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  170. WheelCity3

    To all of our members of the Senate and House of Representatives;

    It's the economy stupid! Stop focusing on anything and everything but that main issue which is jobs, jobs, jobs. You are wasting our hard earned tax dollars on frivolous issues that have no contribution to our economic well being. We all deserve rights and one of those rights is having sane, intelligent, focused politicians working on the behalf of all of its citizens. Job #1 is jobs!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  171. rkm63

    I've yet to see and/or hear about any muslim's rights being violated, Mr. Durbin must have nothing better to do. I guess like every other minority group, the muslims think they deserve special rights but that is never going to happen.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  172. Henri D. Kahn

    Religion is not, in my opinion, of any importance concerning citizen rights.
    Legally qualified residents of the USA should enjoy equal rights regardless of religous persuasion.
    Henri D. Kahn
    Laredo, Texas

    March 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  173. Ahmad

    I usually like you Jack, what happened!
    Yes the hearing is needed if you have heard the endless attack on Muslim Americans, everything from the media, the court decisions, the burning of Koran and Mosques,…etc
    There should be also a hearing for attacks on Jews, although CNN will not dare to repeat this statement on CNN on Jews“The unwelcome Muslim next door” it has been repeated a THOUSAND time on CNN. I do not care if the program is not anti-Muslims, this statement is implant hate and incitment. Imagine CNN repeating days and nights: “The Unwelcome Jew next door” or Having a hate hearing like that of the Peter King

    March 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  174. BJ

    This action is an atrocity and abomination to the concepts upon which our nation was founded! Perhaps we should hold hearings to evaluate the appropriateness of these Senate leaders to remain in the positions they hold. After all it is the right of Americans to choose their leadership. Apparently some are not towing the line of their constituencies.

    There is no religious group exempt from our basic civil rights and constitutional freedoms. As a counterpoint, I am sure that there are many more radical Baptists than Muslims in this country as we speak. Even TALKING about taking away rights is not only NOT the answer - it is UNconstitutional.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  175. abby, Texas

    McCarthy would be having a field day with this.... I don't agree with Islam; I think it's patriarchal and archaic, but have we gotten so caught up with fear that we cannot recognize that Muslims are people, too?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  176. merav Levi

    I do not think Congress should hold a special session on Muslim rights, just like they don't hold a session on Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh/Jewish/Christian rights. Holding a special session will elevate the Muslims above the other religions. They should not get special rights but they all should adhere to our constitution: The obligation to Protect the USA from enemies, from within and out.
    While I strongly believe most Muslims are peace-seeking and, just like the rest of us, want to live their lives peacefully and harmonically. The majority of Muslims are keeping quite against their fundamentalists. For that, they are not obedient with the constitution and their obligation to protect. In this country, if you don't report a crime you are an accomplice. That is the only problem I have (and not because I am ex-Israeli or Jewish!) with the American Muslims. They keep quite and I have no tolerance for that, you can report anonymously so the fear of getting hurt is irrelevant. You want to live here, you have to live by rules of the USA, not the Qur’an, not Sharia. The US Constitution is the only law we follow in the United States of America, a country I am willing to die for its freedom and its protection.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  177. Amitoj

    Yes they should. Recently two Sikhs were assaulted in a possible hate crime in Sacramento, California because they may have been MISTAKEN to be Muslims. One man was killed. Minority civil rights are important, and certain religious minorities DO face certain problems, such as racial profiling at airports, hate crimes, bullying in schools and in the workplace, etc, that other groups may not face. When Peter King held his racist hearings there was not a big enough uproar in the media and by the people, and having these hearings is only fair.
    New Jersey

    March 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  178. Kathlee Rose

    Jack, you could barely maintain civility as you asked this question tonight. It is sad that the anti-Muslim forces in this country have provoked a Senate hearing in an effort to even out the public's perspective. Freedom of religion is under attack in this country, and that is as important an issue for the Senate to discuss as issues which concern our pocketbooks.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  179. Steven Colenso

    Don't be upset at Congress. If the American people didn't object so loudly to mosques, Congress wouldn't have to waste its time reminding citizens that Muslim rights are "the same as every other Americans' civil rights."

    March 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  180. kevin hynes

    our government has become a jelly-brained entity that should
    be called a "patheticocracy". i personally can no longer identify
    myself as a liberal and can not relate fully to ANY of these people
    that in any other circumstance would be called sleazy. millions and
    billions are stolen (no bid war contracts) and conflict of interest
    as in the case of dick cheney is never mentioned while a hungry
    citizen gets thrown in jail if they steal a piece of cheese. it's all too
    strange.
    praise god,
    kevin

    March 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  181. Tom Crawford

    I am a Methodist. I have no more rights than my catholic neighbor or my Jewish friend at work. If I want more rights, I vote on election day. Hopefully the person I vote for will support my views in Washington. If I really get my way, my grandchildren may have a chance to pray in school again. I don't like a lot of things that go on, but I don't get a congressional hearing every time I don't get my way. I simply vote for someone else on election day.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  182. johnny

    you are wellcome to the land of the free.... but please leave your tradition behind, we come to this country to better our live and the lives of our children,and live peacefully without worries
    if you give the muslin rights , later on due to there beliefs and there marriage status (four wifes) we will be out numbered and they will eventually have there way .....
    by the same token other domination will be asking for even more things, and we will never get out of it

    March 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  183. Tom Stone

    As to the hearings on musum rights, At what cost to the tax payer its the same as baseball player taking taking drugs . congress must think we have plenty of money wake up we are brokeand getting more each day We can't afford these games

    March 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  184. Darius Hadi

    As being the son of Muslim Americans, who were both (my parents) born in Iran, I have noticed a lot of prejudice since the 9-11 attacks. My father came into this country under Military pretenses, working as a surgeon. Both my parents have been living in the United States longer than they have lived in their birth country, Iran. So in a sense this is their home country. Its prejudice, bickering, and ignorance of people to cast a whole nationality/religion aside and set different laws/constitutional rights for them. If they are in this country legally, and have citizenship, then they have the EXACT same rights as I do, who was born inside the United States. That is clearly stated within the constitution/ bill of rights, so why should we change that now? After it has led this great nation since 1776, given every citizen equal and fair treatment, and best of all, FREEDOM. If there are a different set of rules for a specific group of people, then we are going against our own beliefs as Americans and everything we have upheld since this nation was born.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  185. R. Wendt

    I think not! I do think those clown politicians who are clamoring for special interest votes and wasting time on asinine, redundant committees need to spend some time one needed work for all the Americans. This is stupid! There are already laws protecting people. We don't need more laws e.g. for hate crimes . When a person is killed, harmed etc. it doesn't matter what color, creed they are. Apply existing laws. Don't waste time on grandstanding on issues that are already covered by laws. Do the work that is needed! Get real or get out of Congress.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  186. Joe

    Do we really need a US Senate at all?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  187. Ken in NC

    The people in Congress should hold hearings on anything as long as it is not related to jobs, jobs or jobs.

    Congress absolutly cannot address jobs so Muslim rights will do. Maybe they will realize they have the same rights I have.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  188. IsNot

    @ Paulet March 23rd, 2011 4:55 pm ET

    Did they hold hearings on Irish Catholic rights in America, or Italian American rights in American – about Anglo Christian, Mexican American, Russian, etc, etc – why should Muslim American rights be different from any others human beings rights?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Actually, at different times in our past, there WERE hearing about different immigrants/religious groups being an issue/"problem". In fact, there was a point in our history where Irish-Catholics were considered worse than pond scum. For some people, there always has to be a scapegoat for their own woes. This time around, the chosen target is the Muslim community.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  189. B.A

    Of course not. With three wars and a lack of money, the last thing we need to do is waste time on hearings for disputes that should have been settled at years ago. If only we could actually have freedom of religion in this country, instead of just sticking it in our constitution on one hand, and permiting all sorts of discrimination and hate crimes on the other.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  190. John C.

    I feel that they do have a right to be heard. Our evolution is changing before our eyes; and if your not seeing it, then your blind. The only understanding I propose to them is to keep it ethical, and we'll be in harmony.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  191. David W.

    I think the Senate should hold hearings on Americans' right to competent government, with special emphasis on abusing Congressional session time for purely partisan political purposes. THAT I would stay home from work to watch on C-Span....

    March 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  192. David Gordon

    YES.
    Not that we should need to, but it's obvious that traditional American xenophobia is alive and well. We've had our mean-spirited way with every ethnic or religious newcomer to our shores (amazing how much Rep. King forgets the way the Irish were treated, no?).
    But we need to remind ourselves what this country was founded for: not freedom of ONE religion, but freedom to practice ANY religion - or none at all.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  193. Dave Iowa America

    As Jack pointed out ( we have the wars going on already an are broke ) i don’ttttt think we need to waste money on something like that , an what is all this B.S. of Muslims American , or an body else that say there whoever Americandon’t’t’t’t’t think id go over to the HOME Countryrecognizedzedzedzedzed as an American Muslim or any other corecognizedizedizedizedized an having right because im Amyourselfurselfurselfurselfself American an accept it an stop trying to stick out or think ur special cuz ur from somewhere else , an if u want to have special attention go somewhere else where u might deserdon’tt ( Go home if u dont wouldn’there ) their woundn'wouldn’tssue if theytheir selvesbring upon their selves

    March 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  194. john , essex jct. vermont

    Jack...if our Congressmen/women have nothing better to do than worry about the rights of Muslims,then its time for a congressional report card on their activities. An email report card sent to every citizen of every state listing the weeks of the year and what each Congressman/woman accomplished and what bonehead committees they chaired. Then the citizens can score them and return the results to a news reporting agency. Those with C's or lower are fired within six months. Maybe with that hanging over their heads, they'll get serious and do something about the mess this country is in.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  195. David Garcia

    Yes. Muslims have an unwritten peace contract with the USA. It's time to bring that contract into writing.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  196. Mike

    Muslims should get Affirmative Action Rights and preference for jobs, promotions, etc.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  197. Ryan Hinrichsen

    Maybe we should hold a set of hearings on whether our elected leaders have any real capacity to lead. Seems as if they more pressing issues. Am I surprised? Hardly. Disappointed? As usual.

    Ryan in Minnesota

    March 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  198. QS - Seattle

    Jack,

    The people who support these hearings are, to me, allowing extremists to win by showing just how terrified they are that, not just any random person, but that a Muslim specifically will committ a terrorist attack on this country.

    Is it just me, or are there actually others out there that are not scared of these people? I truly hope there are.

    At this point, there is a higher level of probability of any of us dying in a bridge collapse near our home because our infrastructure is failing than there is of any of us dying in a terrorist attack.

    Fear, fear, fear...throw in a pinch of xenophobia, and voila – you have the perfect excuse for a country hanging on by its fingernails to just frantically start waving both arms around!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  199. B. Lee

    We should check the radical imams and look into Muslims who are radicalized. No other religion has ever proclaimed a jihad with us! This hearing is to decide how we can constitutionally look into these things to enable us to protect our people and our country. Later you will understand just as you must now understand what Pres. Bush did.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  200. soso

    they are humane like all Americans , they pay their taxes hardworking and peaceful , if any Christians doesn't like any other faith we should have hearing on their rights, whats wrong with you people. where is their constitution rights.where is America is going?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  201. Art, Spring, TX

    No, we should not be holding hearings on a civil rights issue . What
    we should be doing is correcting the way we address Muslims around the world. We say "American Muslims" and that is way of addressing the issue or person on a religious basis. We should be addressing Muslims as "Arabs or Iranians, or as Egyptians, or as Libyans or from what ever country they are from. Here in AMERICA we should be calling them Americans of Arab Americans.

    Each time we use the word Muslim it creates a sence of religious
    meaning which should not be.

    America needs to address this with utmost urgency in my opinion.

    Art

    March 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  202. Allen

    Hell no, they should be thankful they are in a country that allows for their freedom of religion, if we were in Pakistan and said something bad about Islam they would kill us, we should not be wasting time or precious money on something this trivial

    March 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  203. bob junius

    Jack, hearings "to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights" are never superfluous. Never. I'm curious to know if you were stirred to righteous indigation by Rep Peter Kings' hearings on the radicalization of Muslim-Americans. Radicalization is not restricted by any of the laws of our land, as far as I know. What a waste of time and money that seems.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  204. Mike

    I'll be curious ot see if the hearing touches the muslim daily prayer in the american workplace. Seems muslims have a few religious practices that when practiced can put employers + the muslim employee in uncomfortable circumstances.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  205. David Garcia - Williamsburg, VA

    Yes. Muslims have an unwritten peace contract with the USA. It's time to bring that contract into writing.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  206. M. Dodd

    On rights, No. On radicalization of Muslims, yes. Dialog needs to start on Muslim Americans embracing Jihad. With that understood, it can help government agencies and police apply resources appropriately to sniff out terrorists. We do this with white supremacist, militias, etc. Asking questions, is not a violation of any human rights.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  207. Sarge in St. Augustine

    May as well. Hearings for more important issues are
    always ignored or left on the back burner.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  208. louise wilson

    Odysseus met the Cyclops. Pretty much put a pencil in it's "third eye". Congress and Senate is sending a big message. Odysseus, Calypso, Cyclops, journey to the end of the earth, land of the dead. A song based on the struggles of the actions of women and serfs and on the actions of warriors. Returning from the Trojan War and seeing Venus just before Dawn as he arrives on Ithaca. They are not out of the loop. This hearing comes just as the uprisings are occurring in Africa and the Middle East with the Muslims. The rights of the women and the serfs for Democracy. This is the loudest cry of our Secretary of State. Rights of women and those held hostage under tyrants. And it takes the choices of our warriors how they are going to intervene in the saving of their lives. This includes the right to think and believe in their god. With all the Odysseus adventures occurring in Africa and the Middle East, the answer is yes.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  209. Shelby Schumacher

    I think that the congressmen as well as the senators should go back to school and take a refresher course in American History. This fine country of ours was founded by immigrants looking for freedom from persecutionie RELIGIOUS AND DIFFERENCES IN LANGUAGES. this all happened before there was even an Ellis Island. it sickens me to think that the very same country that recieved those immigrants with open arms are adding fuel to the fear ladened insanity that seems to running amok in America today.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  210. Peter

    Normally, stating the obvious – that people have the right to worship freely and are innocent until proven guilty – would be a waste of time; but these aren't normal times. Rep. King's recent McCarthyesque hearing into the Muslim community's alleged links to terrorism proves that sometimes we lose sight of these 'obvious' principles. If we need another hearing to help us remember them, so be it.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  211. Matt Burns

    If they can have a hearing about the "Radicalization of Muslim Americans" they can have one about their civil rights as well. Why no hearings on the Catholic church sweeping things under the rug, protecting child molesters?! Oh yeah, there are too many powerful catholics in our government. I'm sick of these tea baggers who think all muslims are terrorists, because if that's true, then all catholics are child molesters. Muslims can't build a mosque near ground zero? Fine, then the catholic church can't build near schools!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  212. Dan

    Doesn't every one realize that this is what our governemnt does best. Hold hearings on issues that already have laws and people have so many differing opinions. This is how they stay in power. If everyone recognized their BS they would never be re-elected. Our governemnt has no idea what to do about anything so they let the media blow all issues out of proportion and never touch anything that really needs to be fixed.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  213. Marzipan

    Boy, you would never be able to tell what Jack's opinion is and priorities are based on the above piece, lol.

    The budget impasse is related to the lack of bi-partisanship and an unwillingness to compromise. Since the committee's mandate is on civil and human rights, it is entirely appropriate to hold an open hearing on any subject related to them. Canceling meetings will not cure what is wrong with our current political system.

    Jack – if my feet smell, I don't stop brushing my teeth.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  214. mary kordal

    Although hate crimes against Muslim Americans are low, an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment, rooted in the fear, definitely exists in America. Perhaps the Senate hearings could be used to address the fear that Islamic extremists will infiltrate the Muslim communities and impose Shar'ia law, while they denounce Americans' basic human rights. Hasidic Jews impose strict regulations on women, but they do not stone their women to death for infidelity.

    Mary Kordal
    New Jersey

    March 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  215. IsNot

    I reread the comments and am sad for what our country has become. Since when did one's religion make one automatically a criminal? By that argument, all Christians are criminals because of Fred Phelps and the idiot who set off the bomb at the 1996 Olympics,

    BTW, for those who are lumping U.S. Muslims in with the Saudi Muslims who perpetrated 9/11–isn't it interesting we didn't invade THEIR country after the attack? Of course, they are our "allies" and we needed an excuse to get a base in Saudi Arabia. So, Muslims are useful when it suits...

    Sheesh!

    Eliza, Western U.S.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  216. Erica

    "Rights" doesn't seem to be the right word. "Persecution" or "discrimination" would be more like it. Like you said, as Americans, they have the same fundamental rights. However, unlike white Christian Americans, you know as well as I do that many people have a biased suspicion against anyone brown because of 9/11, our two (now 3) Middle East wars, etc.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  217. Mike in Houston

    NO. All U.S. Citizens have the same rights, regardless of religion. A hearing exclusively for Muslim rights is a waste of taxpayer money! As many others have said, Congress' focus must be on the economy and the budget, putting people back to work all without raising our taxes. We're all extremely weary of and angry at Congress (Democrats, Repulicans & Independents) doing nothing!! If we don't see progress in these key areas 2012 will see another major change in who comprises Congress and possibly who occupies the White House!!
    Congress - get to work!!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  218. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Peter King set the precedent. Why weren't you upset then, Jack?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  219. Mohamed El-Sabaawi

    I agree that the country has no time for this type of hearings. However, the problem started with the misguided hearings that singled out American "muslims" collectively as a danger to society while ignoring groups that are responsible for the vast majority of extrermists' acts. Is there any purpose for those hearings other than stigmatizing and alienating millions of fellow citizens and igniting bigotry that is already in full display?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  220. M. Khan Pittsburgh, PA

    Absolutely Jack It's the right American thing to do . We need to educate the extreme right . American Muslims are as patriotic as anyone and this antimuslim hating bashing has to stop . Let's be civilized and educated good citizens as our founding fathers wanted this nation to be

    March 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  221. Tim Dodt

    Jack'
    When I read the First Amendment of the Constitution it does not guarantee freedom of religion, unless you happen to be a Muslim, to all Americans. This is absurd, born of the fear mongering constantly cascading from the radio, by right wing wacko's, like Glen Beck and the like. It's like leaping back into the 50's and the lunacies of McCarthyism and all of the unnecessary destruction and suffering it caused. I hoped that we were better then this and the reality is that we are worse. This is about a religion of billions of people, world wide, that some unbalanced Americans want to hang the label of terrorist on simply because of their faith. In reality Islam is a peaceful religion and all of the attacks on them are sanctimoniously sinful.

    Tim Dodt

    March 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  222. eva kessner

    New york: No. We don't need hearings about Muslims rights. This only creates the impression that they are somehow victims when in fact it is their radical minority that is causing all the attempts at terroriizing the American public. Let's continue Rep. Peter King's hearings and find out who these radicals really are, who's funding them. supporting them and let's find out why the Muslim community is in some cases protecting them rather than turning them over to the authorities.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  223. Indra

    The Senator is either ignorant about Islam or its scriptures, or he is on payroll of Islamist & their apologist.
    Maybe Senator wants to add "Sharia Law" to our Constitution. This is first step how muslims establish their way of life and 'give them an inch & they will take over our constitution.'
    Has Senator read 'Quran' or 'Hadith' (not the whitewashed one)?
    As Jews so have Hindus, also have suffered the Islamist terrorism&. The Senator may like to ask his Islamist friends; what 'Hindu Kush' means?
    Hindus are people from India and 'Kush' means 'killing' , killing of Hindus.
    Hindu Kush is a place in Afghanistan – where Muslims massacred Hindus.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  224. Marie NY

    Wouldn't it be nice if the leadership of this country paid as much attention to the civil and human rights of our own citizens as it did to being the Leader of the Free World! All of the people of the United States are supposed to have equal rights under the law. In addition, there is supposed to be a separation of church and state (whatever church/religion it is). If someone wants to come to this country to live and have whatever opportunities are afforded to them, then they are becoming a part of this "great melting pot" of ours. They deserve no special rights based on their religion or culture. Just think of what it is like for an American to visit, never mind live, in a mid-Eastern country where it is expected and at times demanded that people, especially women, dress in their type of attire and adhere by their cultural way of life. The politicians in this country need to get back in touch with the needs of Americans and we need to start getting the right to vote on how they're spending our money on Capital Hill instead of giving them a blanket purchase order for committees set up to pacify whoever it is that protests the loudest from week-to-week.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  225. Pete Peterson

    Yes, Jack,
    We need "fair balance" in this discussion, especially on something as important as what qualifies any of us to be "American". Since when has it been OK for Americans to hear only one point of view? And where were you in terms of your present public criticism of this discussion when the King hearings were announced and for days held media attention?
    More importantly, where were you on the importance of having a functioning government, in the face of the worst economic crisis since 1929, when Congress was paralyzed for two full years by by endless filibusters?
    Sorry, Jack, but your editorial was either uninformed, hypocritical, or both.
    Pete

    March 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  226. Dave

    Well, the senate should hold meetings on issues such as rights violations which derive from systemic racial bias. White people in America are suffering massive violations at all levels . The major violations consisting mainly of ethnic cleansing and outrageous levels of violent crime perpetrated upon our people daily.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  227. Jim s.

    I agree with you Jack. STOP IT!! No religious group should be singled out for any "special" consideration. Be it for or against christians, jews, muslims, hindus, black ,white, yellow, or brown people or even purple people with pink pokerdots. Whatever happened to everyone being one under god. And NO, I am not particularly religious.
    GROW UP PEOPLE!!!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  228. Tim Dodt

    No there should not be hearings, for it flies in the face of the 1st Amendment.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  229. NOLY972

    Jack,

    This is just theater. The congressional hearing was theater, too. They're playing to their supporters.

    We don't need hearings about Muslims. We need hearings about campaign financing and term limits for the Senate & HoR.

    We need to get someone into those houses that actually want to do the People's work. Not continually running for office.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  230. Khemraj Singh

    Hey Jack,

    Why not have a hearing on Hindu-American civils rights as well? As a matter fact, if you're not Christian-American there should be a hearing. Why don't we have only Christian politicians and amend the constitution to ban persons from different religion to run for any type of office? Seems to me the words of our forefathers have been forgotten, suchs words like "All men are created equal or freedom of religion, etc. For the past 10 years i've defended the Constituition of the USA and it's people and so has many others only to still be amazed by the hypocrisy in this country.

    SSgt Singh, USAF

    March 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  231. Bob in Georgetown Texas

    No, rights of US citizens should be the same regardless of religious or non-religious beliefs. The expectations of Muslims that they have special rights is sickening.

    I realize that Dick Durbin is calling these hearings and he is not a Muslim. However, there are plenty of examples of Muslims expecting special rights.

    For example, the Muslim women who works at the Disneyland Resort's Grand Californian hotel who doesn't think she should wear the hotel's uniform.

    And there the are the Muslims at the Swift Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska who demand extra breaks (not available to non-Muslim employees) to pray.

    There are the Muslim cab drivers in Minneapolis who refused to pick up passengers with service dogs or who are carrying alcohol.

    We also have the Muslim prisoner in a Connecticut prison who is suing the state because halal meat is not available to him.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  232. jeanne, moscow, ID

    Definitely not! I am so tired of the hatred that is permeating throughout our society. As Americans, we are all entitled to the rights provided by our Constitution regardless of religious affiliation. Our forefathers were right in their decision fo separate Church and State. Let's keep it that way!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  233. Dan in Seattle

    Sounds more like posturing than accomplishing anything. We do not need to have a meeting to understand what the Constitutional rights of all citizens are. What a waste of time, resources and focus. Is there any wonder that we have little respect for the production of those we elect?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  234. John MacDaniel, Huntsville AL

    Is this a replay of the "McCarthy Massacre' perpetrated in the aftermath of the second world war by a republican senator with a penchant for mayhem?

    The answer is yes – just a different decade of a different century – but the same element of madness.

    There are many more pressing items to consider in DC, and this mayhem does not qualify for anything except political stupidity.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  235. Gahan

    Hellno. Enough of this pathetic groveling about Muslims!
    Muslims and their "advocates" are looking to make them untouchable and trying to make it illegal to criticize them.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  236. Nancy Williams

    I thought this country was a Christian nation. Does anyone know what that means anymore?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  237. Gahan

    Enough of this pathetic groveling about Muslims!
    Muslims and their "advocates" are looking to make them untouchable and trying to make it illegal to criticize them.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  238. Greg Gilbert

    I'm fine with it just like I was fine with the radicalization one. Nothing wrong with talking about stuff. It's the law passing that scares me.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  239. Nanci Watkins

    I believe in all peoples' rights. I don't think a hearing is needed for one particular group that is targeted but all groups or persons being persecuted. We do need to stay on top of this issue, but another boring hearing? I don't think so. Religion causes more pain in the world than anything else. Why give it any credence at all?

    March 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  240. Rob

    Yup, let's start another witch hunt, it seems to be the only way Americans know how to establish equal rights! Makes me want to be a Canadian.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  241. questioning in texas

    Anti-Muslim sentiment in the USA is the direct result of Muslim attacks AGAINST the USA!
    I realize there are many Muslims in the US that are not responsible for these attacks, and are just as horrified by them as we are. However, they can hardly expect us to have a positive view of religion when members of their religion–in the name of their religion–are trying to KILL us!
    Every time I go to the airport and face the indignity of TSA searches... It's because the are MUSLIMS out there that would like to murder every one of us... and because of that my civil rights are violated in my own country.
    If Muslims want us to have a better opinion of their religion, let THEM cleanse their religion of these radical elements!
    When a cartoonist drew a picture of Mohammad, Muslims all over the world rose up in rage to protest this offense against their religion. I'm still waiting to see Muslims all over the world rise up in rage to protest what the Islamists are doing to the image of their religion. When we see that, our public opinion of Islam will begin to change.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  242. Leslie, PA

    Muslim citizens have the same rights and responsibilities as all American citizens-no more or less and they are obligated to abide by our laws while they enjoy our freedoms. I don't see that any clarification is needed. No other immigrants or citizens ever needed this explained to them. No other immigrants or citizens ever got

    any special exemptions. If people are unhappy here let them find a better place more to their liking.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  243. Don McLaughlin

    >
    >> Aren't they the same as every other Americans' civil rights?
    >
    They certainly should be...

    >
    >> And is this what needs our immediate attention at this time?
    >
    Absolutely not...

    Did we hold hearings on Christian Americans when some Christians decided to start killing doctors who perform abortions?

    Did we hold hearings on Irish Americans when some of them sent arms to Northern Ireland to kill British soldiers?

    How could so many people be so stupid. There are foolish, radical people in the world and they come in all shapes and sizes... some are black, white, read, yellow, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Communist, Socialist, American, British, Chinese... the list is endless. They are, fortunately, a small minority in the world and a small minority of each group mentioned; but every group has a few. Why would we single out American Muslims and say that they are all responsible for for the acts of a few.

    Perhaps as Americans we should be held responsible for the radical behavior Timothy James McVeigh (after all he was American). Perhaps all high school students should have been investigated because of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. (After all they were high schools students) Maybe all all Christians should have been investigated... did Eric and Dylan go to church on Sundays?

    This is utter nonsense... it is time to stop pointing fingers and learn to live together!!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  244. Jacob

    Yes and No.
    I think it is necassary, the reason being is that radical muslims could cause damage that would cost alot of funds to rebuild, funds that we don't have.

    I think muslims should have the same rights as any other person in the United States, that is most the reason they move here, Right?
    I think it is important, But i believe right now we have other things we need to hold hearings on because we have bigger fish to fry.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  245. Tina

    Seriously?! We get accused of discrimination if we favor one thing over another. To me this is a form of discrimination if they have their own special "rights". Americans are Americans end of story. I'm all for freedom of religion but if you come to our country and want to be an American, quit asking for special privileges because of that religion. I'm sorry, but none of us can have our cake and eat it too.

    Tina
    San Diego, CA

    March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  246. Zee

    Yes i agree that the muslims have the same rights as any other american citizen but when what do we have to say about them being singled out or picked on everytime? How many times have we seen other religions mentioned on tv? Is it just me or they always do get picked on.................something to ponder on fellow Americans!

    March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  247. Pam from College Station, TX

    No. American Muslims should not be used in political fencing on the hill. Pretending there is no problem concerning aggressive radicalism among American Muslims is like stating all Muslims should be held in suspicion. We don't need an obviously overwhelmed Congress adding to the confusion.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  248. Dave in VA

    When are those who keep talking about government waste going to stop wasting our money. Muslims are Americans with the same rights as all the rest of us. No one had hearings about the Christian fringe when Timothy McVey blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City. It's time to be constructive, not continue a parade of wasting time and money. This country has real problems, some of them created by the congressmen who dither their time and our money away. It's time they addressed some of those.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  249. Proud Infidel

    We need to hold hearings on when to start the deportation process on EVERY MUSLIM IN THE US. Then and ONLY then will this country be back to the great country it once was.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  250. Dale

    The rights of Muslims should be the same, Muslims who are Americans.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  251. Sofia

    Ah, I am a Muslim and I just want to say that the right this country, my country, the USA gives me is far, far, more than what I would have gotten in any of these so called Islamic countries ruled by the so called Islamic dictator. if the hate crimes are mostly done against Jews, maybe we should have a hearing on Jewish rights instead? Just a thought.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  252. scott donahue

    Why do the people of Illinois elect a waster of tome, money and effort like Durban? Hw and other Cobgresspeople should be "working" to solve problems like making a reasoable budget and not spending our money on foolish hearings,

    March 23, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  253. Danielle

    Sure, Muslims have the same rights, but sometimes it's hard to figure out what kinds of actions violate a right, and some of those difficulties have come up in the context of being Muslim in the US (particularly after 9/11). Does extra airport screening for a Muslim violate a civil right? What about forcing a woman to take off a headscarf for one reason or another? Issues like these aren't limited to Muslims, but steroids aren't limited to baseball, and Congress had a hearing just on that...

    March 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  254. Omar

    Muslims are less than 2% of the population and yet they are responsible for 80% of the terrorism cases, while hate crime statistics for muslims are actually quite low (9% of the total compared to 70% for jews – and I bet a good many of those anti-jewish hate crimes actually originate among the islamic community). So one set of hearings (King's) seems objectively reasonable, while the other (Durbin's) seems like unjustified pandering to a brand, spankin' new Victim Class. . . . How exciting for the liberals!

    March 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  255. Al

    NO. There does not need to be a specific hearing on this "piece" of the issue. As you stated (as a praphrase), there are REAL issues to be addressed. If, later on, this can be seen as a point of defending constitutional rights, including religious freedom (all religions) then bring it in with the other outstanding issues (freedom to bear arms, being safe from warrentless surveillance and search, freedom of choice, etc., etc.) then we can spend six months (and tax payers funds) on that.

    March 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm |