In Light of Recent Congressional Hearings


A Coalition of Kansas City area Muslims held a press conference on Wednesday March 16, 2011. Muslims, along with other members of the Kansas City faith community, have found Peter King’s recent Congressional Hearings on the Radicalization of Muslims in America disturbing and divisive. Dr. Robert Hill lent his support by hosting the the event at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main Street in Kansas City, where he is pastor. Following is the statement read at the press conference:

From Left to Right Top Row: Sheik Aasim Baheyadeen, Rev. Sam Mann Regional Chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Front Row: Dr. Robert Lee Hill, Pastor of Community Christian Church, Imam Yahya Furqan Director of Religious Affairs for Culturally Speaking, Imam Bilal Muhammed, Rabbi Alan L. Cohen, Director of Inter-religious Affairs, Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, and Dr. Vern Barnet of CRES. Photo courtesy of Br. Samuel Shareef.

With Allah’s help and assistance we greet you in Peace, thank you for your presence.

Thanks to the honorable faith leaders who have joined us and special thanks to Reverend Robert Lee Hill and the Community Christian Church Family for hosting this Press Conference.

Leaders in the Muslim Community feel it our obligation to protect our Muslim public living in this Great Land, the land we love and proudly call home from living under a cloud of suspicion. While we share an agreement with Congressman King that “ The responsibility of this committee is to protect America from a terrorist attack”, we register strong objection to the singling out of The Islamic American Community for and in these hearings. Muslims Americans live, work and attend schools in every part of America. Often but not always cultural dress easily identifies us as Muslims and perhaps so does an accent or maybe a certain demeanor. The singling out of Muslims as these Hearings in fact do, cast an undue cloud of suspicion over an entire religion. This singling out of Muslims in particular puts the ninety-nine percent of the law abiding Muslim American population in a position to live as a suspect group. We have children and grandchildren who do not even know what a terrorist is, they only want to experience the life and security that every child wants in every American home. The singling out of Muslims hurts our sense of shared freedom and shades our hopes for the treasured and promised pursuit of happiness protected by our Nation.

Our message to people who would try and promote radicalization among our youth is simple. To you we say, your position and thinking is weak so you seek to use mere children for front line fodder in your cause. Our family of culturally mixed American Muslims know that you lack a display of the fiber of true men. You show no indication of the high moral and ethical principles of our sacred text The Qur’an.


To our neighbors, work mates and colleagues we want to get to know you, to work with you and celebrate our differences. We want you to know the core of who we are not suspect us or fear our religion, not to think of us as radical but rather defenders of fairness and human decency.

God’s peace be with you and Thank you.

Press conference comments of Imam Bilal Muhammed – March 16, 2011

Yusuf El-Sherif, Samuel Shareef, Ahmed El-Sherif, Imam Tadar Wazir, Imam Bilal, Imam Furqan. Photo courtesy of CRES. "I think the photo is interesting because the background shows the Country Club Plaza small scale version of the minaret that once was a part of the mosque in Seville, Spain. It was constructed shortly after the birth not far from Seville of Ibn Arabi, one of my favorite Muslim mystics, and I like to think he knew it before he left Andalusia." Vern Barnet

Dr. Vern Barnet with Muslim friends



  1. March 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    […] Kansas City faith community gathers to support area Muslims in light of recent congressional hearing… […]

  2. Adam B said,

    March 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I am happy that Kansas City has an outlet for religious freedom and hope that we continue to learn from all religions as a whole to make a stronger and more powerful entity. Thank you for this post!

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