Here is the set-up from CNN's Paula Zahn Now...
" ZAHN: Our "Top Story" coverage moves now to the controversy here in Washington over one key congressman's claims about Muslims in this country.
Representative Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has said that the vast majority of mosques here in the U.S. are controlled by Muslim extremists. And that's only the beginning of the charges he's making, charges that are causing a lot of outrage.
Jason Carroll has more. "
" JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the holy month of Ramadan, and this is the image Muslims here say truly reflects who they are: law-abiding, peaceful people, not, as their own congressman claimed in a recent campaign letter, part of an Islamic threat that could cause another 9/11.
And New York Republican Peter King has also said, according to law enforcement sources he spoke with, 85 percent of mosques in the United States, including this one, are run by extremists.
FAROQUE KHAN, MOSQUE MEMBER: Where is this 85 percent? Who did the study? On what basis? What questions were asked? And how did he come up with this number?
CARROLL: Several members of the mosque agreed to speak to us about the claim.
KHAN: It's very painful to have a senior politic to make those statements, without really having any direct interaction with the community.
ERIC BYASERIC, MOSQUE MEMBER: You have extremists in basically any community, any -- any belief system. So what? You deal with them accordingly.
CARROLL: A federal law enforcement official agrees that there are some extremists in American mosques, but dismisses the validity of 85 percent, saying it was much too high.
(on camera): Do you actively try to seek out those who may have extreme thoughts or extreme points of view?
KHAN: Do we conduct interviews with all the people who come in and out? No. But, if we hear something -- and I haven't heard anything yet -- believe me, I will be the first to call the FBI.
CARROLL (voice-over): There's another concern King has raised. He says the mosque fosters 9/11 conspiracy theories that the CIA or Zionists may have been behind the attacks. But, of those we interviewed, just one had reservations about who was behind the terrorist attacks.
MUNIRE TERPIS, MOSQUE MEMBER: How do we know they did it? I mean, it was just -- it happened -- like, instant, as -- as soon as the towers fell, it was, like, Muslims did it. How -- how do you clarify? How do you prove that?
CARROLL (on camera): Well, who do you think is responsible for what happened?
TERPIS: I don't know. I don't know. To this day, I don't know.
CARROLL (voice-over): A recent Zogby poll showed 42 percent of all Americans believe the government is covering up something surrounding the attack. So, Muslims here wonder, why focus on them?
The national director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says this is about King trying to win reelection.
NIHAD AWAD, NATIONAL DIRECTOR, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS: It's very disturbing to see a member of the United States Congress exploit the anti-Muslim prejudice and fear within the society just to get a few more votes and some money.
CARROLL: So, during this holiest of months for Muslims, some here will be praying for forgiveness and the hope there will be more understanding.
Jason Carroll, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)"
We did our own interview with Dr. Khan over a week ago. We also covered Kings original comments two years ago. And came to find a coincidence that he starts attacking Long Island Mosques just as he is releasing his book about Islamic terrorists on Long Island.
The Paula Zahn interview with King was priceless..
" ZAHN: And joining me now, the man stirring up all the controversy, Representative Peter King."
And as John McCain said in The Hill Newspaper, "there is little in Mr. King’s singularly unimpressive legislative record to suggest that he is motivated by anything other than a compulsion to utter provocative sound bites."
Now back to the interview...
"ZAHN: Representative King, I want to start off by reading from a letter that you wrote to your constituents this month. And you said, "Because I have put aside political correctness and spoken out against these radical leaders, I have been denounced by Muslim organizations as a Muslim hater."
Are you a Muslim hater?
REP. PETER KING (R-NY), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Absolutely not. In fact, I work very closely with a number of Muslims.
But you were talking there to the Islamic Center of Long Island, which I actually had a very close relationship prior to September 11. But, despite what people like Dr. Khan were telling you tonight, the fact is, throughout the fall of 2001, people like Ghazi Khankan, who was the interfaith director of that mosque, said that there was no proof that al Qaeda or Muslims had attacked. The mosque -- he said that Mohamed Atta was alive and well in Emirates, that two of the other hijackers were alive in Saudi Arabia, that the FBI knew this and was covering it up.
And he also said that the Zionists, the Jews, could well have been responsible for it. The co-president of that mosque was peddling the rumor that Mossad was behind it all.
Dr. Khan, who you saw tonight, was the president-elect at the time and the most prominent spokesman at the mosque. He never once, during that entire time, in any way rebuked Ghazi Khankan, who stayed on as the interfaith director, and today, as an individual, is still saying the Mossad could have been behind the attacks.
My basis for the 85 percent was Sheikh Kabbani, who's one of the leading Muslims in this country, back in the year 2000, said that he thought at least 80 percent of the mosques were taken over by extremist leaders, by radical Muslims."
A couple of things, first King has still been taking campaign contributions from Dr. Khan even up until last year. They were never returned. Second, King says his "basis" for the number "85%" is Sheikh Kabbani who said "80%."
So King adds another 5% for shits and giggles?
To quote Tom Delay (of all people) before king did his best to kiss as much butt as possible, "Pete King has a reputation as making things up, and this is no different."
The interview continues..
" ZAHN: All right.
KING: And that has been my experience.
ZAHN: But we heard him also say those numbers are absolutely preposterous. Do you still stand by that 85 percent statistic?
KING: I'm saying that Sheikh Kabbani, who was -- again, he -- he testified back in the year 2000 and said that.
And I'm telling you I know of any number of mosques in New York where the police are very concerned about them, where there are radicals in there. And, absolutely, yes, I stand by that number. It was 80 percent back in 2000. Based on the radicalization since then, it has to be -- I have no doubt, I have problem at all in saying it's 85 percent. If it's not 85, it's still 80. "
So, Kabbani says this in 2000 but it takes until 2004 when King releases his book to actually bring this up.
Same thing for his attacks on Dr. Khan.
" ZAHN: All right.
Let me close with this. You just heard, in Jason Carroll's piece, that -- that Muslim leaders are accusing you of stoking this kind of fear to get elected and fund your campaign.
ZAHN: Your reaction to that.
KING: Absolutely untrue. I have been saying this...
ZAHN: Your opponent thinks that's the case.
KING: I have been saying this -- he can say what he wants.
I have been saying this for a number of years. I have been in this debate with people like Dr. Khan and the Islamic Center of Long Island going back two, three, four years. They -- what they did was absolutely outrageous. I have said this time and time again. This is nothing new.
What I have been saying now is consistent with what I have been saying for the last several years. And Dr. Khan comes out a mosque, where his interfaith director said that the CIA and the FBI were behind what was happening. They knew that Mohamed Atta was still alive, that he knew that the other two hijackers were still alive in Saudi Arabia. And he implied that the Zionists -- that's the Jews, the Israelis -- were behind that attack. Dr. Khan never once rebuked him -- never once.
ZAHN: All right, we have got to leave it there.
Congressman King, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
KING: Thank you, Paula."
Still the attacks on Dr. Khan.
King was a guest at Dr. Khan's sons wedding.
King takes money from Dr. Khan and other members of the Mosque up to 2005 according to the FEC.
King wrote a piece for Dr. Khan's book.
The letter about the Mosque and "muslim extremists" went out to Jewish voters.
We posted letters to the NYPost from people of different faiths who view the Mosque quite differently.
A local Rabbi wrote to Newsday to condemn Kings letter.
The simple fact is that you just can't trust Peter King.
And "extremist" or not, please throw a few greenbacks Dave Mejias' way through out Act Blue page. It's time to have a congressman who tells the truth.
And check out the Peter King Store. There is still time to get some cool swag.