After facing criticism earlier this month for incendiary remarks he made about Muslims and Islam, Oklahoma State Senator John Bennett recently doubled down on his comments calling Muslims in America “a cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out.”
Bennett made the comments during a meeting with constituents on Monday. During the presentation, Bennett refused to take back earlier statements posted on his Facebook page that warned his constituents – especially those who are Christian – to be “wary” of “Muslim Americans” because, he claims, the Qur’an orders anyone who isn’t Muslim “should be killed.”
Bennett told Monday’s crowd that he would not apologize for the post, despite receiving criticism from the local Muslim community and civil rights groups. This earned him a standing ovation.
“Is there a difference between moderate and radical Islam?” he asked, before answering, “I say, ‘No.’”
Instead, Bennett argued that if one brings up Islam “as a non-Muslim, you’re called a ‘racist,’ or a ‘bigot’ or an ‘Islamophobe.’”
According to Bennett, he was only “speaking the truth.”
After struggling to describe the difference between “Muslim and Islam,” Bennett eventually ended up mistaking all Muslims for Arabs.
“How can I be racist against Muslims or Islam when the ethnicity is actually Arab?” Bennett asked. “This is kind of confusing.”
“I’ve read the Koran,” he stated. “90 percent of it is violence. And only 10 percent of it is conciliatory, or what some would say is the ‘peaceful’ part of the Koran.” It’s unclear where he’s getting his numbers.
Bennett even went as far as to say “Islam has no place in the United States.” He also espoused rhetoric all-too-familiar within the organized Islamophobia movement by suggesting the goal of Muslims is to bring on the “destruction of Western civilization from within.”
In fact, Bennett has connections to prominent members who make up the movement. Last November, Bennett, via his informal group the House Counterterrorism Caucus, sponsored a law enforcement training featuring prominent anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists Frank Gaffney, Jerry Boykin, and Clare Lopez. The event was held in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination are not new to Oklahoma. Voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2010 to ban all recognition of Shariah law in state courts. That measure was overturned by a federal judge earlier this year and ended up costing taxpayers more than $300,000 in attorney fees.
h/t Raw Story