Target: Oklahoma State Representative John Bennett
Goal: Stop misguided labeling of Muslim nonprofits as terrorist organizations
Fear-monger tactics by politicians against Muslim nonprofit organizations are getting out of hand, as illustrated by an Oklahoma lawmaker’s recent actions. The lawmaker has recently called for the nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to be designated a terrorist organization by the United States government. This comes after a long history of bigotry and xenophobia on the lawmaker’s part. Demand that he abandon his anti-Muslim efforts immediately.
Oklahoma State Representative John Bennett recently launched an effort to get the Muslim American civil advocacy nonprofit CAIR designated a terrorist organization by the American government. This is a direct consequence of the recent United Arab Emirates (UAE) decision to include the organization on its own list of terrorist organizations because of alleged connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, allegations based on pet conspiracy theories of right-wing fringe columnists. Regarding the UAE’s decision, Representative Bennett said “If anyone knows who real terrorists are in the Middle East, it should be them. So when they come out and put CAIR on that list, I agree with them 100 percent.” This push comes after a history of anti-Muslimism by the representative, including saying that Muslims were “a cancer that should be cut out from American society.”
While both the United States government and CAIR itself have reached out the UAE for clarification on why the nonprofit was included on its terrorist list, concerns have been raised stateside that the country’s action has put CAIR and American Muslims in a vulnerable position and legitimized anti-Muslim sentiment here at home. With Representative Bennett’s actions, it seems those concerns have been legitimized. Sign the petition below to demand that Representative Bennett abandon his push to get CAIR designated a terrorist organization before it gathers momentum.
Dear Representative Bennett,
I am writing you today about your recent call to have the Muslim American civil advocacy nonprofit, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, designated a terrorist organization. Your efforts are deeply troubling. I urge you to abandon them immediately.
In a recent interview, you stated that your call was based on the decision of the United Arab Emirates to include CAIR on its own list of terrorist organizations. The government of the United States, however, has repeatedly said that it does not in any way consider CAIR a terrorist organization, and indeed, reiterated that point after the UAE’s announcement. It even went so far as to officially inquire with the UAE about why exactly they included CAIR in the first place.
Clearly, then, the United States government understands that CAIR is not a threat to national security. Why do you diverge with this narrative? Unfortunately, your own history of anti-Muslim remarks and xenophobia betrays your motivations. Perhaps this is effort is nothing more than your trying to “cut the Muslim cancer out of American society,” as you are wont to put it.
Your efforts are a transparent attempt at anti-Muslim fearmongering and political positioning. I demand that you abandon your push to label CAIR a terrorist organization at once.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Public Domain via www.okhouse.gov