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52% of Americans think Rep. Peter King Muslim radicalization hearing is appropriate: poll

WASHINGTONLong Island Rep. Pete King has become as much a target as the Muslim terror threats he hopes to expose in controversial hearings beginning Thursday.

Even his buddies in New York‘s congressional delegation turned against him – though a new poll showed a majority of Americans supported his investigation into American-Muslim radicalism.

A USA Today/Gallup poll found 52% back a hearing by King’s House Homeland Security Committee focusing only on U.S. Muslims, while 38% were against it.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn), a member of the homeland panel, said King is guilty of singling out Muslims, and even dissed him as an out-of-touch suburbanite.

“The downside of it is that people feel like they’re being targeted and stigmatized, and then they clam up” to the authorities on potential threats, Clarke said.

“If I were to put myself in the shoes of the folks who he’s targeted with this hearing, I doubt that I would trust him enough,” Clarke added, but “he lives out on Long Island, so I wasn’t too shocked.”

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens), who has worked closely with King on other issues, said, “Pete’s a friend of mine, but I have to call it like I see it.”

And “I don’t see it,” Crowley said.

King blew off his critics.

His list for the first in a series of hearings includes relatives of young American Muslims who allegedly turned to terror.

Other witnesses are Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, and Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County.