Hammons Calls For Bennett’s Ouster

Mark Hammons, Oklahoma Democratic Party chairman, today called on voters to oust Republican Rep. John Bennett from the HD2 seat he now holds.

Hammons accused Bennett of “fear-mongering.”

Said Hammons:

Our citizens cannot and will not tolerate fear-mongering among our state leaders. Representative John Bennett, of House District 2 in Sequoyah County, spewed hateful remarks last week, inciting hostilities at two different events directed at the Muslim community. Bennett shouted that “Islam is a threat” and further refused to apologize for earlier dangerous rhetoric, stating that “This [Islam] is a cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out.” Bennett called the Muslim leader and Executive Director of CAIR Oklahoma, Adam Soltani, a terrorist and demanded that Imam Imad Enchassi, not hug people while in his presence during a meeting.

Soltani is a former social services specialist with the state of Oklahoma in which he provided aid to underprivileged families. He has dedicated his life to the service of Oklahoma communities and is a recipient of the 2014 Oklahoma Human Rights Award, and the 2015 Interfaith Leadership Award. Dr. Imam Imad Enchassi, an OCCJ 2014 Humanitarian Award winner and Chair of Islamic Studies at Oklahoma City University, speaks regularly about the misconceptions in Islam and the importance of human respect and understanding. Both Soltani and Enchassi are humanitarians working on peace in our communities. Calling such humanitarians “terrorists” in nothing short of inciting hate and violence.

Oklahomans cannot tolerate or permit such hatred from any of our State Leaders. This is a time for communities to work together, strengthen bonds and help fight bigotry instead of weakening our resolve to overcome prejudices. Bennett’s cowardly nastiness is an example of unfit, unprofessional leadership and a disgrace to the Oklahoma Constitution that leaders have sworn an oath to uphold.  Bennett’s comments and conduct are criminally irresponsible and should be repudiated by all persons of faith, good will and common sense. Oklahomans need to make their voices heard this November, send a clear message to Republicans, by ousting Bennett from his seat and standing up for the rights of all citizens, regardless of their faith, ethnicity and nationality.”

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