State Rep. John Bennett, who has long attacked the Oklahoma Muslim community, apparently posted on social media that if America is removing Confederate monuments in light of the Civil War, it also should remove mosques because of 9/11.
Anna Facci, government affairs director for the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, responded in a statement:
“We are deeply disappointed once again to see a bigoted, anti-Muslim post from Rep. Bennett, who has wasted taxpayer money and time on blatant attacks on the Oklahoma Muslim community since 2013.”
CAIR said Bennett’s post has been taken down.
Bennett, R-Sallisaw, did not respond to a Tulsa World request for an interview, but he told an Oklahoma City television station that he did post the statement and that he was not taking it down.
“Everyone is so politically correct (that) they focus on this instead of the real issues,” he said in a statement.
“These Civil War monuments should stand and be a constant reminder to never go back to that,” he said. “Those were dark days for America. The Civil War monuments are something we should learn from. It’s absurd to try to take Civil War statues down.
“We need to toughen up as Americans and do what’s right for all Americans. People are causing a divide, and to take down historical monuments is way out of the ballpark ridiculousness.”
The CAIR statement notes that Bennett has called Islam “a cancer that needs to be cut out of the nation” and that repeated attempts by CAIR members to have an open conversation with him have failed.
CAIR nationally has called removal of Confederate memorials a “fitting response.”