Group wants apology from Oklahoma lawmaker

September 4, 2014 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is seeking an apology from a Republican state representative who said in a Facebook post that people should be wary of those who are “Muslim American.”

State Rep. John Bennett of Sallisaw said in the social media post that Christians should be “especially wary” and linked to an article about atrocities committed by the Islamic State, whose militants have slain two kidnapped American journalists.

“The Quran clearly states that non-Muslims should be killed,” he said.

The Oklahoma branch of the council said Wednesday in a statement that it wants an apology from Bennett. It said his comment about the Quran, the Muslim holy book, is false and asked Republican Party leaders to deny his remarks.


“Anti-Muslim bigotry and statements that promote misunderstanding and incite hatred toward a minority group have no place in the Oklahoma Republican Party,” said Adam Soltani, the group’s executive director. “Individuals elected to represent the people of Oklahoma should be held accountable for such extremist, inaccurate and intolerant views.”

Soltani said Islam teaches killing one person is comparable to killing all of humanity. He said verses in the holy book can be taken out of context.

“It’s all about how you want to frame it,” he said.

Bennett told The Oklahoman ( ) that he is standing by his Facebook comments, and Dave Weston, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, said he supported Bennett’s remarks. Weston said Soltani’s group’s criticism of the lawmaker’s comments were “disingenuous at best.”


Information from: The Oklahoman,