Fear of a Muslim Congress

Ultra-conservatives criticise Democrat's appointment to committee that has access to nation's most sensitive secrets.

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    It's been a year of firsts in the US Capitol.

    This year saw the introduction of the first Republican-controlled Congress since US President Barack Obama took office.

    However, another first has ultra-conservatives raising the red flag in their ongoing self-declared culture war against Islam.

    Last week, for the first time in US history, a Muslim was appointed to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Democratic Congressman Andre Carson is a former Indiana state law-enforcement officer and now serves on a committee that has access to some of America's most sensitive secrets on terrorism.

    Coming the week after the attacks in Paris at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket, the conservative fringe in America sent out waves of protest across social media.

    The American Family Association's Sandy Rios led the charge calling the appointment "disgraceful".

    She said Carson should not only be barred from serving on the committee, but "doesn't even belong in Congress", citing his ties to "Islamic terrorists" because his political donors include the moderate Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America.

    For Carson, the protests are nothing new.

    "Throughout his time in Congress, [Congressman] Carson has stressed that one of the biggest allies our country's intelligence community has is the Muslim community,” Jessica Gail, spokesperson for Carson, told DC Dispatches.

    "He hopes his appointment can help alleviate some of the fears surrounding Muslims in America."


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