A recent meet and greet organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) at Oklahoma’s state capitol didn’t go as expected.
Muslim students visiting the offices of Oklahoma Republican representative John Bennett were greeted with a form to fill out, asking them about their Islamic beliefs.
Questions on the form ranged from asking the students if they believe it is okay for a husband to beat his wife, to asking their opinion on Muslims who leave the faith and whether or not Muslims should rule over non-Muslims, a CAIR representative described.
The annual event which is called “Muslim Day” is put on by the Islamic activist group and touted as an opportunity for students to meet their local lawmakers, said Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of CAIR.
However, the group said it was offended when the Muslim students in attendance were asked about Islam and doesn’t think that complying with the questionnaire should have been a requirement to see Rep. Bennett.
In an emailed response to Tulsa World news publication, Bennett confirmed that several students were handed brochures which asked questions related to the Islamic ideology.
Bennett explained that it is his practice to spread the truth about Islam. He acknowledged, pertaining to the questionnaire, that although Sharia law permits the beating of one’s wife, “this certainly does not mean that all Muslim men beat their wives.”
The lawmaker has proven to be an outspoken critic of Islam in the past, saying in a 2014 speech about the Koran and the Prophet Mohammad: “90 percent of it is violence.”
“If I’m an Islamophobe, speaking the truth about Islam, then you’re absolutely right,” Bennett said in a video of the speech obtained by Tulsa World.
Undoubtedly, his views are not very popular with CAIR and its advocates.
“What’s most inflammatory is the questions itself, the fact that Muslims have to pass a religious test in order to see a representative of our state … surely, he does not do this to Christian constituents or Jewish constituents,” Soltani said.
The questionnaires were said to be produced by ACT for America, the largest grassroots anti-Muslim organization in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Neither Bennett nor representatives of the Republican Party or ACT for America have responded to requests for further comment.
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