Tulsa Muslims are protesting ISIS and condemning the anti-Muslim comments of an Oklahoma lawmaker. They say both promote hate and do not reflect Islam, or any religion for that matter.
The Islamic Society of Tulsa invited the media on Saturday to honor journalist colleagues beheaded by ISIS.
They have denounced ISIS because not only are they killing innocent people, they’re doing it in the name of their religion.
There is a verse in the Quaran that says, “If anyone slays a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people.”
The Islamic Society of Tulsa is using that verse to show that its religion is different from that of ISIS.
“They’re not Muslims,” Houssam Elsoueissi said. They don’t represent Islam, and we hate their actions.”
About 1,500 Muslims pray at Tulsa’s only mosque.
Mosque members are now protesting ISIS, the terrorist group they say is hijacking their religion, performing sins in the name of Islam.
“You get people [who] keep pushing you away, saying, ‘No! You’re a terrorist.’ Or, ‘You don’t belong.’ Because somebody in Iraq or Syria did something,” Houssam said.
Oklahoma Muslims also are feeling persecuted at home.
Oklahoma State Rep. John Bennett says he has no plans to apologize after posting an anti-Muslim comment on his Facebook page.
Saying, “be wary of the individuals who claim to be Muslim-American.”
“When a person like him makes a statement, it echoes and people hear it,” Houssam said. “And it does a disservice to Muslims, American-Muslims and humanity. Period. It promotes hate, basically.”
Safa Elsoueissi added, “I feel the need to go out and explain to people that, no we’re not about this, and it’s sad that we have to do that.”
The Islamic Society of Tulsa led a protest Friday, which resulted in some positive feedback.
“People were honking, telling us great job. Some people came and recorded it to post on Facebook, so really we felt, you know, like these people understand and they know that we’re not the same as what ISIS is doing,” Abdelmonen said.
We called Bennett multiple times to get his response to what Tulsa Muslims are saying today, but we have not heard back.
The mosque congregation is growing and expanding to a new facility to be built in Broken Arrow in coming years.