(CNSNews.com) - The Democratic National Committee is seizing on a Republican lawmaker's comments that there are "too many mosques in this country."
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) used the phrase while making the point that U.S. law enforcement should be more aggressive in identifying Islamic radicals who want to harm the United States.
The DNC blasted King's "too many mosques" comment as "deplorable" and said the New York Republican should apologize immediately.
"This type of bigoted language has no place in public discourse, especially from the Republican's top lawmaker on the House Homeland Security Committee," said Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Stacie Paxton.
The DNC also called on Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani to fire King as his homeland security adviser.
King made the mosque comment in a recent interview with Politico.com. The video is now running on YouTube.
"Unfortunately, we have too many mosques in this country. There's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam," King said. "We should be looking at them more carefully; we should be finding out how we can infiltrate. We should be much more aggressive in law enforcement."
King criticized "a lack of full cooperation" from the Muslim community, calling it "a real threat here in this country.
"I see the main threat as coming from people who want to kill us," King told Politico.com. Obviously we have to look out for civil liberties violations, but I think there are precautions and procedures in place," he said.
Politico.com described King as "almost singularly focused on preventing another terrorist attack." He represents a district that lost more than 100 people in the 9/11 terror attacks.
King has not yet clarified or apologized for the phrase seized upon by the Democratic National Committee.
For the record, in commenting on King's comments, the Democratic National Committee wrapped itself in the mantle of religious freedom: "Our country was founded on the principle of religious freedom," the news release said. "Religious profiling and discrimination have no place in our country."
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