Rep. Peter King Rejects Rep. Ellison's Request To Testify At Radicalization Hearing

July 27, 2011 10:02 am ET — Matt Gertz

Rep. Peter King

Yesterday, we reported that the sole Muslim who Rep. Peter King (R-NY) had called to testify at today's House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the recruitment of Muslim Somali-Americans by the Somali-based terror group al-Shabaab is actually Canadian. We asked whether the reason for that was the widespread opposition in the Somali-American community to King's hearings on Muslim radicalization.

It turns out that King actually rejected the request by one Muslim who did seek to testify: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN). As the representative for the Minneapolis, MN community from which many of the young Somali-Americans in question were recruited, Ellison has unique expertise on the subject. Minnesota Post reported:

Peter King, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, denied Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison's request to testify before at a committee hearing on Islamic radicalization scheduled for Wednesday.

Ellison, a Democrat who is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, sent King a letter Monday asking if he could testify at a hearing on the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization operating in Somalia. The hearing is the third in a series of controversial meetings on the matter of radical Islam in America.

King responded that Wednesday's hearing is an extension of the first couple the committee has held, and since Ellison testified at the first hearing on the issue, in March, he would not be permitted to testify Wednesday.

"I look forward to working with you as we continue our urgent efforts to address growing threats of Islamic radicalization across the nation," King wrote in a letter to Ellison. King encouraged him to submit written testimony for the congressional record, which Ellison spokeswoman Jennifer Gore said he "absolutely" will do.

ThinkProgress notes: "Ellison's powerful and effective testimony before King's first hearing about Muslim radicalization may be part of the reason he was turned down to testify before this one."