Congressman Carson spoke to The Hill’s Martin Matishak about his recent appointment, climate change, and the importance of reaching across the aisle and across cultural boundaries:
“We have to be careful not to make blanket statements on any group. I understand, when we are living in times that are trying, I understand there is a human impulse to want to do so, but history has taught us that this impulse is not a proper reaction.
What must be done, even more than that, is the law enforcement community must develop deeper relationships with the Muslim community and Sikh community, Hindu, Jewish, so on and so forth — in a way that is not transactional, in a way that is genuine. …
Building bridges with the community is the right course of action.”
“It has … come to my attention that there have been a shocking amount of comments made in conservative publications and on social media to the effect that Rep. Carson’s integrity is somehow in question as a result of his religion,” Crowley wrote. “These comments deeply offend me, as I’m sure they offend all of you, which is why I hope all of us will take every opportunity to renounce these kinds of comments and discourage this kind of harmful talk.”
[Congressman Carson is h]onored, he said, and understanding of the fact that this appointment sends a loud message at a time when anti-Muslim sentiment isn’t hard to find. The message, he said, “is that it’s important to have members on these committees who represent our diverse electorate and our diverse country.”
That’s crucial in part, he said, because the law enforcement agencies that his new committee spends much of its time meeting with and overseeing must build stronger relationships with Muslim, Sikh and other minority communities throughout the country.
“We want to see relationships where trust can be built and the relationship doesn’t feel purely transactional,” he said. “I’ve said time and time again that one of the biggest allies our intelligence has is the Muslim community. They know their communities better than anyone.
“I just had a meeting with the FBI and (the National Security Agency) and Justice Department, and we were talking about the efforts that the Muslim community has really contributed collectively in terms of thwarting potential attacks that you’ll never even hear about in the media.”