(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/8/2014) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Republican National Committee (RNC) to “publicly repudiate anti-Muslim remarks by Republican State Representative John Bennett and Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston.”
[MEDIA ADVISORY: On Wednesday, September 10 at 11 a.m. in the Oklahoma State Capitol Broadcast Press Room (room 432B), CAIR-OK, the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, the Islamic Council of Oklahoma, ACLU of Oklahoma, Oklahoma NAACP, and the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice will make a public call for the national Republican Party to repudiate Rep. Bennett’s and Chairman Weston’s statements. Participants will also repeat the Muslim community’s condemnation of terror falsely linked to Islam, reiterate the commitment of all represented groups to work for peace and mutual understanding and emphasize the positive relationship Muslims and Christians have had in Oklahoma. CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, firstname.lastname@example.org]
In a letter to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor wrote in part:
“I am writing to ask you to publicly repudiate anti-Muslim remarks by Republican State Representative John Bennett and Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston. Earlier this year, your call for Michigan’s Dave Agema to resign from the RNC after similar anti-Islam remarks was welcome evidence that the GOP will not tolerate stereotyping of minority groups.
“In a Facebook post, Bennett called on Oklahomans to be ‘wary’ of “Muslim Americans” and falsely claimed that the Quran says people of other faiths ‘should be killed.’
“In response, CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter (CAIR-OK) called on state Republican Party leaders to denounce the anti-Muslim comments and asked for an apology from Bennett.
“Weston supported Bennett’s comments while adding his own anti-Muslim remarks. He told state media outlets: ‘There is so much overwhelming evidence around the world that the fundamental beliefs of Islam authorize anything but peace until they become dominant.’
“Such hate-filled and bigoted attacks on the American Muslim community signal a complete lack of respect for this faith community and for the diverse Oklahoma community. . .
“We urge you to reassure American Muslims that they have a place in the Republican Party’s big tent.”
CAIR’s letter noted that today, the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Conference of Churches issued an open letter supporting CAIR’s call for apologies from Bennett and Weston.
The open letter states:
“It is wrong to create fear of and to instill hatred against an entire religion or an entire ethnic group based on a reaction against extremists. Such xenophobic slurs and ignorant misunderstanding of the Quran and of history are not only insulting to our Islamic neighbors, but risk inciting actual harm to them.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, Email: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, Email:email@example.com