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“What we want to do is build cooperation and trust and open lines of communication,” Mr. Ellison said.

Mr. King promised to “run a good hearing. I will run an honest and fair hearing.

“As an example of my good faith, I invited Congressman Ellison to testify at this hearing,” Mr. King said. “If I was somehow trying to ram the hearing through, I certainly wouldn’t have invited Keith Ellison.”

Mike Ghouse, president of the World Muslim Congress, welcomed the hearings.

“It is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen,” he said in a statement. “Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting the peace in a society and it is our responsibility to seek the source of such hate and work to mitigate it.”

Mr. King said he hoped his critics would embrace his inquiry and put aside “all this yelling and screaming that’s going on.”

The congressman told the AP that radical Islam is a distinct threat that must be investigated regardless of whose sensibilities are offended.

“You have a violent enemy from overseas which threatens us and which is recruiting people from a community living in our country,” Mr. King said. He said that’s what the hearing is all about.

Mr. King and Mr. Ellison appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and Mr. King also was interviewed on CBS’ “The Early Show,” NBC’s “Today” and CNN.