Sen. Durbin chairs first ever hearing on the civil rights of U.S. Muslims on March 29

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WASHINGTON–Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) holds a hearing on the civil rights of U.S. Muslims on March 29—the first of its kind–a pointed response to a hearing held earlier this month on terrorism in the U.S. Muslim community chaired by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.).

Durbin’s office said in a release the hearing is “in response to the spike in anti-Muslim bigotry” and is the first by the subcommittee he chairs, the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. Durbin’s panel will “consider measures to protect the civil rights of American Muslims.”

“Our Constitution protects the free exercise of religion for all Americans,” Durbin said. “During the course of our history, many religions have faced intolerance. It is important for our generation to renew our founding charter’s commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights,” Durbin said in a statement.

The witness list, released by Durbin’s office includes: “Muslim civil rights leader Farhana Khera; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick; Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez, the Obama Administration’s top civil rights official; and former Assistant Attorney General Alex Acosta, the Bush Administration’s top civil rights official.”

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