King hearing 'counterproductive,' L.A. County sheriff testifies

The Los Angeles County sheriff slammed the House Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on U.S. Muslim radicalization on Thursday in his opening testimony before the panel.

“Clearly, we should be examining radicalization as an issue that affects all groups, regardless of religion,” Sheriff Lee Baca said.

“It is counterproductive to building trust when individuals or groups claim that Islam supports terrorism," he said. "This plays directly into the terrorist’s propaganda that the West’s ‘war on terror’ is actually a ‘war against Islam.’”

Baca said Muslims in L.A. County have been instrumental in keeping law enforcement officials informed about suspicious activity.

“The Muslim community in Los Angeles is an active participant in the securing of our homeland,” said Baca. “Whether as new immigrants or multi-generational citizens, the vast majority of Muslim community members within my jurisdiction is fiercely proud of their American identity and display their patriotism on a daily basis.

“American Muslim community leaders within Los Angeles have not hesitated to put themselves in potentially uncomfortable positions to interact with law enforcement.”

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