Oct 26 2016

Oklahoma Lawmakers Use Their Bully-Pulpit to Demonize Muslims


image source: http://www.tulsaworld.com

By Priscilla Galstun-Khader
October 2016

Oklahoma State lawmakers approved Rep. John “Islam-is-a-cancer-in-our-nation-that-needs-to-be-cut-out” Bennett’s proposal for an “Interim study on radical Islam” on July 8 2016, along with 71 other studies, for an estimated $50,000. That’s our tax dollars being used for this state-sponsored hate and fear mongering and the othering of Muslims in Oklahoma.

This McCarthy era type panel was in session at the Oklahoma state Capitol. The panel of “experts” include Rep. John Bennett and many anti-Muslim activists. In addition, “a former terrorist with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will testify.”

Rep. John Bennett (R- Sallisaw) and other Oklahoma lawmakers used their bully- pulpit and my tax dollars to otherize me and my peers on the CAIR – OK (Council on American Islamic Relations – Oklahoma) board, by branding us as members of Hamas, a designated terrorist organization and that elected state Representatives should not interact nor engage with us.

They went even further to proclaim that we are  no different from “Jihadis”, Al Qaeda, terrorists, ISIS, and that the only distinction between these vigilante extremists and us is that we wear “suits” and “big smiles as part of our Jihad”. We were termed “Suit-wearing jihadis”.

OK Rep Bennet talks with Kamal Saleem

OK Rep Bennet talks with Kamal Saleem

They also had Kamal Saleem, a self-proclaimed “ex- Jihadist” claim, that when CAIR advises Muslims to invoke their right to an attorney present (ahem, the 1st Amendment) when speaking to the FBI; it is “imposing Shariah law”!

Not content with all this misinformation and outright lies, they then resorted to slandering our Exec. Director Adam Soltani and in a room full of people no less, by looking him in the eye and saying with a straight face that he was a terrorist and a Hamas leader; The same Adam Soltani who I know with no doubt in my mind, has only the best interests of all people at heart, ironically including his most infamous detractors.

Allegations were also made that Muslim-owned properties in Oklahoma, including but not limited to mosques and businesses, and Muslim-led, organized and funded groups and organizations, including MSAs are all owned by the Muslim Brotherhood! In essence, we’re all owned by the MB.

But it doesn’t end there. Even though there were actual experts like Imam Imad Enchassi, Rev. William Tabbernee, and a few others who were present in the room, these State Representatives instead resorted to their favorite usual suspect, “Pastor” Paul Blair of the Blair Witch-hunt Project, “testify” to the dangers of Islam and Muslims. It was a collusion of church-and state at its finest moment.

There was no platform of any kind, level, or magnitude for alternative viewpoints. All this, even with multiple experts with decades of religious and academic  experience to their credit – in the fields of religion, politics and the intersectionality of both – physically present in the room and enduring factually incorrect and misleading information.

This is the Oklahoma state legislature, with its GOP representatives at the helm using the power of the state to dehumanize, demean, and pulverize the honor and dignity of its constituents, and to wield its authority over us – the innocent. This state sanctioned Islamophobia should not and will not get a free-pass.

Today it’s us. Which demographic will it be tomorrow?  And as sure as there is a tomorrow, there will be others who will be used and abused for political mileage in the future. Where does it end?

The question I have for my state legislators is this, if us Muslims are such a threat and danger to the “good state of Oklahoma”, what are your solutions to eliminate this threat? I really want to know what you have in mind for me and my people.

We’ve all been down this path before of fear and hate-mongering. I’m waiting to hear what solutions you would like to propose to your constituencies. I’m waiting and I’ve got all day.

1 comment

  1. Phillip Slepian

    $50,000? Let’s see: millions and millions (billions, really) of taxpayer dollars to support Islamic Jihadist terror groups like Hamas, CAIR, Hizbolla (via Iran), Fatah and others, and this author is bent out of shape over $50,000 spent to expose the truth about Islam to nervous infidel Americans? Any non-Muslim who has bothered to familiarize himself with Islam’s holy texts (I know, that’s haram, but, too bad), knows that while many Muslims are indeed peaceful and mean no harm to non-Muslims, the same cannot be said of normative Islam, the “religion”. As long as Muslims refuse to admit the truth about Islam (not Muslims), there will be mistrust of Islam and its faithful followers, by those who Islam seeks to subdue. If the author wants to make conferences like this unpopular, she could start by explaining why the words of the prophet do not apply to modern Muslims.

    Lastly, try to understand that the most un-Islamic principle of free speech is and always will be a foundation of our Republic. If there are those in America that cannot accept this right when it is used to criticize Islam, your choices are clear: Respond with your own free speech, or go someplace where such speech is haram. Nobody is forcing anyone to stay in this country. But you will never succeed at silencing those who seek to keep America free from Islamic law. The truth has a funny way of rising to the surface, no matter how hard some try to suppress it.

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