Oklahoma’s House speaker won’t comment on what has been described as a “hateful” questionnaire given to Muslims visiting another House member’s office.
Speaker Charles McCall’s spokesman said the speaker doesn’t need to comment on the actions of state Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw.
“The speaker’s position is that all House members are duly elected by their constituents and they are accountable to their constituents for their words and actions,” said Jason Sutton, press secretary and senior public affairs adviser.
The one-page, double-sided handout given to visitors to Bennett’s office during Muslim Day at the Capitol last week asks questions like, “Do you beat your wife?” The question was preceded by a statement suggesting the practice is acceptable according to the Quran, Islam’s holy book.
The questionnaire also references Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
“Mohammed was a killer of pagans, Christians and Jews that did not agree with him. Do you agree with his example?” the paper asks.
Bennett’s questionnaire sparked a response from the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which organized Thursday’s event.
“Nobody should be vetted with stupid, Islamophobic, hateful, bigoted questions before they can meet with their representative,” Executive Director Adam Soltani told the Associated Press.
One Republican lawmaker appears to have responded to his fellow lawmaker on Facebook. State Rep. Josh Cockroft, a Baptist pastor, wrote that he represents all Oklahomans, not just those who align with his lifestyle or beliefs.
“No matter your religion, beliefs, party affiliation, ethnicity or agenda, you are always welcome to visit or contact my Capitol office or visit with me whenever I’m out in the district,” wrote Cockroft, R-Wanette.