Democrats defend naming Muslim to House Intelligence panel

Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind. speaks in Indianapolis in this Nov. 6, 2012 file photo. (AP / Michael Conroy)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Democrats are defending their appointment of a Muslim congressman to the House Intelligence Committee after protests erupted on social media, warning the move is dangerous.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi this week appointed Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana to the panel, which oversees the government’s intelligence departments and activities. Much of the business that comes before the committee is classified.

Anti-Muslim protests erupted on Twitter and other social media with complaints that exposing American secrets to Carson could be dangerous.

Democrats widely rejected that view…

…Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the panel, called the protests un-American. He said including Muslim Americans in public policy issues is “an essential element in preventing the kind of alienation that has made too many young European Muslims vulnerable to extremism”…

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