A group of Muslim-Americans from across the D.C. area who gathered to watch the hearing say they're concerned this will marginalize members of their community.
Rabiah Ahmed launched a grassroots organization last year called My Faith, My Voice. Its mission is to reverse what she calls damaging rhetoric about the Muslim American faith and lifestyle; something she fears will only be perpetuated by Thursday's hearing.
"When you make statements like '80 percent of American-Muslim mosques are hotbeds for extremism' or that 'American Muslims aren't civically engaged', you are casting a cloud of suspicion and doubt about the loyalty of American Muslims," says Ahmed.
Ahmed invited friends, relatives and colleagues to her home in Sterling, Va., to watch the hearing.
They say the panel of witnesses seemed designed to reinforce the belief that radicalization is a Muslim issue.
"When you have elected officials making these irresponsible comments that are not backed up with any type of evidence or proof; that has real-life consequences on our daily lives," says Ahmed.
Ahmed says while its clear to her that some members of Congress who spoke at the hearing see things as she does, she worries about those who will always view Muslims as intrinsically extreme.
"I don't want my child to go to school thinking that he's the other or that he's perceived by his peers as a potential threat to society," says Ahmed.
Ahmed says she hopes people watching the hearings will remember Muslim Americans are also American citizens.