Top Democrats rallied around Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana, following online criticism that the congressman should not be allowed to sit on the House Intelligence Committee because he is a Muslim. Carson, one of only two Muslims in Congress, was appointed to the panel charged with overseeing the American intelligence community earlier this week.
"I am deeply disturbed that since his appointment to the committee, Congressman Carson has been subject to vicious, anti-Muslim attacks online and in social media, questioning his loyalty to our country solely because of his faith. These un-American and unfounded smears have no place in our national discourse and are contemptible," said Rep. Adam Schiff, the top-ranking Democrat on the committee.
Carson has national security qualifications: he worked full time in law enforcement, and was in the Indiana Department of Homeland Security's anti-terrorism unit.
"We should not tolerate anyone being targeted or denied opportunities because of their religious beliefs," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York.