Oklahoma lawmakers refuse to apologize for cautioning people to ‘be wary’ of Muslim-Americans. Republican state Rep. John Bennett, combat Marine reservist who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is under fire for an anti-Muslim comment on Facebook that critics say ‘promote misunderstanding and incite hatred.’ The Council on American-Islamic Relations is demanding an apology, but Bennett says he’s tired of being politically correct.
NY Daily News An Oklahoma politician is under fire for cautioning people to be “wary” of Muslim Americans — but he’s not backing down. State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw) refused to apologize for a private Facebook post that called on Christians to “be especially wary” of people who call themselves Muslim-Americans because the Koran “clearly states that non-Muslims should be killed.”
The politician then linked to an article about the violent actions of Islamic State militants, NewsOK reports.
Bennett says he’s tired of being politically correct about Muslims. “For us to sit back and listen to their lies and deflection and let them continue on their claims that this is all racist and I’m an ‘Islamaphobe,’ it’s just absolutely ridiculous,” he told KFOR
On Wednesday, the Oklahoma chapter of a national Muslim advocacy group roundly rejected the implication that all Muslim-Americans are to be feared and asked Oklahoma’s Republican Party leaders to repudiate his message.
Adam Soltani, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Oklahoma director, compared it to accepting the KKK as representatives of all Christians. “Anti-Muslim bigotry and statements that promote misunderstanding and incite hatred toward a minority group have no place in the Oklahoma Republican Party,” Soltani told NewsOK. “Individuals elected to represent the people of Oklahoma should be held accountable for such extremist, inaccurate and intolerant views.”
Soltani said that verses used to justify killings are taken out of context in the same way that Bible verses about violent historical periods can be taken out of context. One of the verses most often quoted in anti-Islamic rhetoric is Chapter 47, Verses 3-4, which condones the killing of nonbelievers. Soltani said that verse should only be read as part of the struggle that people in that particular time period had with foreign oppressors who persecuted Muslims for a decade.
Elsewhere in the Koran, Islam teaches that killing just one innocent person is like killing all of humanity. (Too bad Muslims don’t follow that idea stolen from Judaism)
Bennett, a U.S. Marine Corps reservist who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, lashed back with a claim that CAIR is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. “We must shine a bright light on the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and its varied tentacles in the U.S.,” Bennett said. “These tentacles include un-indicted co-conspirators of the U.S. vs. Holyland Foundation trial like the Council on American-Islamic Relations here in Oklahoma. Our borders are wide open to drug and human traffickers. Terrorism could come to Oklahoma just as easily.”
Instead of rejecting Bennett’s claims, Oklahoma’s Republican leaders appeared to support him.
It seems as if (CAIR’S) attack on his comments is disingenuous at best,” Weston said. “If they’re legitimate in wanting to come to the table and have an honest discourse, they can prove that by acknowledging the Jewish Holocaust happened, they can publicly recognize the right of Israel to exist and they can denounce the killing of Muslim converts to Christianity and other religions around the world.”
Oklahoma’s House Speaker Jeff Hickman said that “all members of the Oklahoma Legislature are duly elected by and accountable to their constituents, and are free to voice their own opinions.”
CAIR has repeatedly denied any connection to terrorist groups and condemned the Islamic State’s violent tactics.
The advocacy group is part of the recently formed U.S. Council of of Muslim Organizations that has condemned the extremists’ actions and emphasized that the Islamic State doesn’t speak for the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims.
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