As a public servant, I have a duty to my constituents and to the American people to protect their interests and to keep them safe, and that’s what I go to work each and every day and try to do.
Watch more of Congressman Carson’s interview with Erin Burnett on CNN.
“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.”
Carson would be the first Muslim to serve on the committee and was the second Muslim to be elected to Congress. He already serves on the Armed Services Committee and worked for the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center — the clearinghouse established by the federal government to streamline data sharing between the CIA, FBI, Department of Justice and the military.