In a testy two-hour town hall meeting, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick argued Thursday night that the threat of homegrown Islamist terrorism is real and defended herself against charges by local Muslims that she was spreading fear about their religion.
Using charts, maps, handouts and even a video slamming a Charlotte TV station, the Charlotte Republican told the crowd of about 175 people, most of them Muslims, that she has never condemned Islam or linked moderate Muslims with terrorism.
"I'm talking about the sympathizers and supporters of a radical agenda," she said. "It's not that all Muslims are bad or all Muslims are trying to do this."
Hoping to repair her relations with a Muslim community that has taken her comments over the years as inflaming hatred, Myrick said she agreed to the town hall meeting to "build bridges" with her Muslim constituents. She invited them to join her in opposing those who she said were "trying to hijack" Islam.