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OK State Rep Turns Away Muslim Kids, Asks Them: 'Do you beat your wife?' #HummusHaters

posted on: Mar 8, 2017

With all the anti-Arab bashing we see in the news every week, Arab America is determined to expose those who discriminate against our community. We will recognize those who vilify the positive influence and contributions Arabs have made to the fabric of American society. And we will use hummus as our weapon. By naming those who vilify the Arab American community as #HummusHaters, we can express our culture positively while showing intolerance to bigotry.

BY: Michelle Dermarkar/Contributing Writer

At an annual “Muslim Day” event in Oklahoma, a group of American Muslim high school students attempted to speak with Republican State Representative John Bennett, but were turned down. Instead, they were required to fill out a very Islamophobic questionnaire regarding their faith and loyalty to Sharia law.

The two-page survey included questions like, “Do you beat your wife?” and “Mohammed was a killer of pagans, Christians and Jews that did not agree with him. Do you agree with this example?”

The questionnaire was concluded with a statement from Bennet, arguing: “According to the Qur’an, Hadith and Islamic law, a woman may indeed have physical harm done to her if the circumstances warrant, with one such allowance being in the case of disobedience. This certainly does not mean that all Muslim men beat their wives, only that Islam permits them to do so.”

Oklahoma state Rep. John Bennett, R-Salisaw, speaks on the floor of the Oklahoma House in Oklahoma City, Monday, March 21, 2016. The Oklahoma House has given final legislative approval to tap about $78 million from the states’ Rainy Day Fund to boost funding for public schools and the prison system for rest of the current fiscal year. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The students wanted to meet with Bennet as Oklahoma citizens, but were instead turned away because of their religion.

The lawmaker, who accepted the “National Defender of Freedom Award” from one of the country’s largest anit-Muslim groups, has been heard referring to Islam as a “cancer” and once said that it is “not even a religion.” He also claims that he’s read the Qu’ran and believes that “90 percent of it is violence”.

The Executive Director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Oklahoma, Adam Soltani, was appalled by the government official’s actions. In a statement, Soltani said, “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 also called the questions “stupid, Islamophobic, hateful (and) bigoted.”

The students were contributing to the Muslim Day events that were organized by CAIR to introduce members of the community to their state lawmakers and boost democratic engagement.

Despite the fact that all Abrahamic religions have questionable language in their texts, Bennet chose to single out Muslim students only because of very obvious, personal prejudices against one faith. Perhaps John Bennet was hungry when he was reading the Koran. Maybe next time he should eat a bowl of hummus while he masters the text so he doesn’t greet fellow Americans with such hanger! and he wouldn’t be so angry.