- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 21, 2014

Muslim leaders rallied in Oklahoma City on Friday to denounce the Islamic State group and condemn recent remarks by a Republican lawmaker who said people should be wary of Muslim Americans.

About 100 people attended the event hosted by Oklahoma’s Chapter of The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, a local CBS affiliate reported.

Dr. Imad Enchassi of Oklahoma City University said Islamic State fighters are not true Muslims.

“What ISIS is practicing is an ideology of hate, an ideology of dividing people, an ideology of murdering people,” he said.

State Rep. John Bennett had said recently in a Facebook post that people should “be wary of the individuals who claim to be Muslim-American.” At a town meeting Monday night in Sallisaw, he said the Islamic faith “is a cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out,” The Oklahoman reported.

Speakers had previously gathered on Wednesday in front of the Oklahoma Republican Party headquarters to say Mr. Bennett’s remarks amount to an incitement of violence against Oklahoma Muslims, the newspaper said.

“This is the type of hate rhetoric we’ve heard before in many eras and in many parts of the world where minorities have been targeted for violence,” said Adam Soltani, the local CAIR chapter’s executive director, The Oklahoman reported.

Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston said the dispute between local Muslims and Mr. Bennett has been “overblown,” the CBS affiliate reported.

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