- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma legislator who has called Islam “a cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out” asked the House to study the religion, but he was one of just three lawmakers who attended a hearing to discuss it.

Republican Rep. John Bennett called on a handful of people to testify at Tuesday’s hearing, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/2dIOdWF ) reported. Among them were Center for Security Policy founder Frank Gaffney, a “confidential informant” who spoke over a speakerphone, a man who claimed to be a former member of the Palestine Liberation Organization and two representatives from UnderstandingtheThreat.com

That website’s founder John Guandolo claimed the Islamic movement has made significant strides in Oklahoma and referred to Adam Soltani, the executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, as a terrorist.

Soltani, who attended, refuted the claim and said his organization is a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group that works to enhance people’s understanding of Islam.

“Rep. Bennett is shamefully wasting taxpayer money to promote his own biased agenda,” Soltani said. “This hearing was a new low for Rep. Bennett, as his guests presented a biased narrative that achieves nothing more than demonizing and marginalizing the Oklahoma Muslim community.”

Bennett called the presenters patriots and said he and his family have received death threats.

After the hearing, he said he’s working on legislation to kick Soltani’s organization out of Oklahoma. Bennett also said he was disappointed that more lawmakers did not attend the study.


Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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