The Council on American-Islamic Relations' Oklahoma chapter is criticizing a state representative who posted on Facebook that his constituents should "be especially wary" of anyone who refers to him- or herself as a "Muslim American," The Oklahoman reports.
On Monday, Representative John Bennett (R) -- a former United States Marine Corps reservist who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan -- posted
The executive director of the Oklahoma Chapter of CAIR, Adam Soltani, wrote a letter to Rep. Bennett in which he said, "anti-Muslim bigotry and statements that promote misunderstanding and incite hatred toward a minority group have no place in the Oklahoma Republican Party. Individuals elected to represent the people of Oklahoma should be held accountable for such extremist, inaccurate and intolerant views."
"We are requesting that you denounce these anti-Muslim comments and issue an apology for said derogatory statements," Soltani continued. Rep. Bennett responded by saying that "we must shine a bright light on the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and its varied tentacles in the U.S. These tentacles include unindicted 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."
Rep. Bennett then made it clear that Soltani's request would not be met:
Republicans in Oklahoma are standing behind Rep. Bennett's comments. Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston told The Oklahoman that CAIR's request for an apology was "disingenuous at best. If we as Americans were ruled by Islam, then Christians and Jews like you and I could only keep practicing our faith if we paid a protection tax. But if you’re Christian or Jewish and don’t immediately convert to Islam, they imminently [sic] decapitate you. This is proven by ongoing observation around the world today."
Weston then said that if CAIR wants an apology and "an honest discourse," it can begin by "acknowledging the Jewish Holocaust happened," "recogniz[ing] the right of Israel to exist," and "denounc[ing] the killing of Muslim converts to Christianity."
CAIR has not only acknowledged that the Holocaust happened, it has openly condemned conferences devoted to its denial. After the beheading of American James Foley by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, CAIR released a statement in which it "strongly condemn[ed] this gruesome and barbaric killing as a violation of Islamic beliefs and universally-accepted international norms mandating the protection of prisoners and journalists during conflicts."