In a press release put out by CAIR-OK on August 11th, executive director Adam Soltani, in very firm language, condemned the “un-Islamic and morally repugnant” violence and religious extremism of ISIS.

Said Soltani at the time: “No interpretation of Islam condones the torture and murder of civilians, the destruction of houses of worship or the targeting of religious minorities.”

Added Soltani: “ISIS’s actions are neither Islamic nor humane, they are simply insane.”

He went on to applaud and support the humanitarian efforts of those who are doing all they can to assist those who are being targeted by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), while adding, that CAIR-OK hoped those humanitarian actions will “lead to similar actions to alleviate the suffering of civilian populations of Gaza, Burma (Myanmar), Syria, and the Central African Republic.”

And while Soltani heads a local Muslim civil-rights organization, he calls for humanitarian efforts to be launched not only in Muslim-majority nations, but in other countries as well. He and CAIR have released additional condemnatory statements to the media regarding ISIS and terrorism in general. They have been very consistent in their denunciations.

And yet local Republicans, like the crusading, Christian supremacist John Bennett – a fascist bully from Sallisaw – have not taken the time to get to know Adam Soltani or any other Muslims who live here and contribute to our community or to listen to what they have to say, particularly when it comes to what the Quran really says and what the majority of Muslims really believe. Oh, we’ve heard the whisper campaigns around town against the good Turkish folks who contribute to our diverse city, for instance. More lies and misinformation. But more people are fleeing the hate and bigotry of people like Bennett and actually are taking the time to get to know folks who come to Oklahoma from the Arab world and elsewhere.

“Be wary of individuals who claim to be Muslim American,” warned the McCarthy-ite Bennett on his personal Facebook page. “Especially if you are Christian.”

Does that sound like a person who is logical and wise? Or someone who is actually following the teachings of Jesus Christ? Did Jesus attack and condemn the Samaritan woman at the well?

Reading the whole post and then seeing his defense of his fearmongering, Islamophobic statements – which were also defended by obnoxious Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston – one wonders what is really going on with this guy? After all, Bennett, using his legislative position, wants 10 Commandments monuments on public grounds throughout the state, while conveniently denying the separation of church and state. And all the while he demonizes all followers of Islam, despite the fact that CAIR has made it clear that they emphatically condemn ISIS and related terrorist activities.

And when Red Dirt Report reporter Mariah Harnish tried to interview Bennett yesterday, he “hid under his desk,” as the infamous Ted Baxter over at Fox News might say.

Having had the pleasure of getting to know Adam Soltani and the great folks at CAIR here in Oklahoma City, it is comforting and encouraging to know that they are in our community, standing up for the civil and human rights of Muslims and all human beings. We have seen CAIR present at countless local peace rallies, spreading a message of nonviolence and brotherhood at every opportunity.

All I hear from Bennett and Weston’s “party of Archie Bunker and Phil Robertson” is anger, fear and misinformation. The last gasp of the old guard that wants a Leave it to Beaver world that never existed. I guess if you’re into controlling people, demonizing “the other” is just one of the desperate tactics you pull from your quiver of lies.

A sad statement indeed.