Protests, Prayers Highlight Muslim Day

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An anti-Muslim protester chants Friday on the south steps of the State Capitol building.


State Capitol Photo 1

M. Scott Carter

M. Scott Carter

M. Scott Carter reports on politics, legislation and other issues from the State Capitol.

VIDEO, by Ben Fenwick: Officers remove protester who interrupts Muslim call to prayer:

Representatives of Oklahoma’s Muslim community, responding to complaints and criticism about their faith by some state lawmakers, came to the state Capitol Friday to learn how to become more politically engaged.

The event drew more than 100 participants and about two dozen protesters. The protesters, many with signs, stood outside the Capitol’s south entrance chanting anti-Muslim statements.

Adam Soltani, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the event was held to help educate people about the Muslim faith and to encourage Oklahoma’s Muslim community to become engaged civically.

“I a lot of people have questions,” he said. “A lot of people want to know more about our faith.”

On Jan. 8, state Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, issued a media statement critical of CAIR and the Muslim community.

“If CAIR Oklahoma really condemns terrorism and believes in First Amendment protections for everyone, they need to prove it by condemning the verses in the Quran that call for these violent acts and Mohammed’s hadiths that call for and justify violent acts,” Bennett’s statement said.

Protesters held signs and chanted, condemning Islam and suggesting that Muslims are terrorists and are waging a “cultural war.” One sign read, “Islam = Death.” Another: “Every real Muslim is a jihadist.”

In a scene similar to one at the Texas State Capitol in Austin in early February, a woman interrupted the event by reciting the Lord’s Prayer during a Muslim call to prayer and was escorted from the building by Highway Patrol officers. One unidentified officer said the woman was the same one who had protested in Austin, but that wasn’t immediately confirmed. The Austin protester was Christine Weick, who is originally from Michigan, according to news reports. She did something similar last year at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The woman removed Friday was not arrested, just removed, so her name was not recorded, a Highway Patrol spokesman said.

An anti-Muslim protester chants Friday on the south steps of the State Capitol building.

An anti-Muslim protester chants Friday on the south steps of the State Capitol building.

Soltani said the complaints about Muslims aren’t true.

“Some of our elected officials choose to say things about our holy scriptures that aren’t true,” he said. “(Muslim Day) is about spreading information, it’s not about converting anyone or changing people’s mind. You can never know enough.”

Several other lawmakers, including state Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, met with representatives of CAIR and encouraged members of the Muslim community to become active in state and local government.

“If you elect a Muslim to office, you’re participating in government,” Shelton said. “You’re better off.”

Soltani said CAIR would return to the Capitol next week and distribute copies of the Quran.

  • Cathy Pangburn

    Funny thing about all the “Muslim” thing. I can’t find a single condemnation of all the things that ISIS or any other violent group that does it for “Allah”! Nor can I find ANY condemnation of terror by CAIR. (And I have read a lot and watch a lot of interviews!
    This country is NOT run by Muslims, we believe in the 1st Amendment protections for everyone and do I want to know more about Islam? Seriously? About the people that behead their wives and daughters “for honor”?? How about in their “holy book” saying we are infidels and need to be killed? Really? It either says it or it doesn’t!!! That isn’t a religion – that’s a crazy man that wanted to kill and others to kill in Allahs’ name!
    I agree with Bennett’s statement below!
    If CAIR Oklahoma really condemns terrorism and believes in First Amendment protections for everyone, they need to prove it by condemning the verses in the Quran that call for these violent acts and Mohammed’s hadiths that call for and justify violent acts,” Bennett’s statement said.
    Oh by the way, these people “marry” children, can “beat” their wives according to their “books”!
    Why, we had a women beheaded right here in Oklahoma not to long ago! Islam = death seems to be true in so many ways!
    Nope – don’t want Islam!!!!

  • Sue

    They need to read Sura 9, if nothing else…

  • Firefox

    this just proves that christian are being squashed under all of these unholy terriorists…our so called pres. refused to hear from a christian during the national day of prayer but made a point to have a muslim cleric take over a day that is suppose to be set aside for all religions

  • 5 hours ago
    America always has a flipping rolodex of hate. At first it was the blacks, then the Jews then Japanese then Koreans then Vietnamese then the Cold War and Russians. Right now it is open seasons on Muslims who are some of the most successful educated minority groups in the United States. They cannot be conflated with the crazies and terrorists out there when we do that they win…this is such a shameful chapter of bigotry and hatred. People are people stop with the hate sad. This has nothing to do with liberal Republican libertarian democratic this has to do with human rights and this is a supreme violation of that. For the first time I feel ashamed of my America

    • dave

      If you are ashamed of America, then why don’t you pack your bags and move to Iran or just some place else that is run by muslims? Of course you won’t!! Muslims are using our freedoms against us.

    • KC

      You must be joking or ignorant! The U.S. was fighting oppression. They never fought the Black’s as in a war! Never fought the Jews but did fight the Nazis who were killing Jews, we did fight Japan after they bombed pearl harbor and started a war! We did fight against communist in Vietnam to protect non communist from being killed. We fight for freedom of the people. Any religion that doesn’t say kill non believers is allowable. Some day the old testament preached the same hate and violence but after Jesus died the new testament replaced those hate and violence filled pages. No one in the modern day peaches violence and hate. Why don’t more Muslims voice their hate for these violent extremists? That’s the problem. This is America and Americans come in all sizes shapes colors and religions just not any that invite violence. I believe this country is made of multi cultures and has embedded in our constitution provisions to except any race creed or color and freedom of religion. Just as there are bigots in american culture there are bigots in all of them.

  • Nancy

    Cathy, you say that you read a lot of news, but is it from a reputable source? I am a freelance journalist, run a Facebook page, etc and there is a LOT of news regarding this issue. In fact, the Oklahoma City Muslim society got together at Penn Square Mall and stood outside publicly by the roadway with signs condemning ISIS, etc. Did you not read about that?

    If you want to nitpick religious books, what about the Bible saying to kill all the people, including children, if they refuse to convert? What about where it says to stone the children at the front gate if they don’t obey their parents? What about all the incest in the bible and the murders?

    What about the Muslims who have been killed in America by Christians? Have you spoken out about that? What about the Sikhs who were murdered because someone thought they were Muslim? What about all the attacks and death threats made against other religions regardless of what they are?

    Do you uphold Freedom of Religion for all in America or just those who are Christian? Face the fact that your comments are bigoted and not based on factual evidence, but are entirely opinionated.

    • KC

      Just condemning by standing in front of a building in the U.S. isn’t enough. They need to make their voices heard around the world. And just so you know the old testament talked of hate and violence. The new testament does not. After Jesus died on the cross the new testament doesn’t preach anything but love and compassion. Why are you trying to justify violence. No death of innocent people should be OK. Isolated incidents or not.

  • Grampa

    Come to Michigan and I will invite you to go to Dearborn and just walking down the street will bring insults and rocks thrown and dont even try to get service in one of their stores. To all you who doubt come and experience it for yourself.

  • Fred

    It was a “call to prayer”, she started praying and got escorted out…..

  • S Georgia Christian

    ONLY in America will such INSANITY exist. ALL Muslims and Illegal Immigrants need to RETURN to wherever they came from and STOP TRYING to CHANGE AMERICA!!!
    I agree 210% with the OK State Legislator.

  • Sherri

    Nancy please! Not based on factual evidence and entirely opinionated? You are the pot calling the kettle black. PLEASE by all means list all the Muslims killed by Americans in our country and then list all the Americans killed by Muslims. PLEASE do that for all of us. And you mention ONE instance of Muslims saying ISIS is bad?? LOOK and you will see how FEW and FAR BETWEEN that is! And please read the Bible in its ENTIRETY and then read the koran in its entirety and get back with us then. MY GOD people, are you really this blind? You would really defend an institution that is RIGHT NOW beheading children?? Burying people alive?? You regurgitate rhetoric that makes no sense.

  • Liz

    Did u hear about all the Budhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Jews and Christians that have been annihilated by the millions throughout history and even today? Have u as a journalist interviewed Sikhs and Coptic Egyptians or perhaps the Archbishop of Mosul Iraq regarding the trail of genocide left in the wake of Moslems who conquer countries one by one? Did u pay attention to the statement issued by the President of Turkey and Muslim regarding the fact that there is no moderate Islam they use democracy to forward their higher mission? Did u read about the use of Taquyya (lying to unbelievers) to forward the aims of Islam? Sounds like YOU need to learn to read maps learn history and go read the Koran Hadith and other jewls of the death cult.

  • BudTuggly

    Islam is not a religion nor is it a cult. It is a complete system.
    Islam has religious, legal, political, economic and military components. The religious component is a beard for all the other components.
    Islamization occurs when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their so-called ‘religious rights.’
    When politically correct and culturally diverse societies agree to ‘the reasonable’ Muslim demands for their ‘religious rights,’ they also get the other components under the table. Here’s how it works (percentages source CIA: The World Fact Book (2007)).
    As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone. In fact, they may be featured in articles and films, stereotyped for their colorful uniqueness:
    United States — Muslim 1.0%
    Australia — Muslim 1.5%
    Canada — Muslim 1.9%
    China — Muslim 1%-2%
    Italy — Muslim 1.5%
    Norway — Muslim 1.8%
    At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs:
    Denmark — Muslim 2%
    Germany — Muslim 3.7%
    United Kingdom — Muslim 2.7%
    Spain — Muslim 4%
    Thailand — Muslim 4.6%
    From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population.
    They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. ( United States ).

  • Nora

    No one else has a day set aside for their religion. There’s simply too many, different ones. There aren’t enough days in a year. We don’t go to their countries and have a day designated for our various beliefs.
    They can keep it in their own space…or go back to where they came from. Just because our government allowed them to obtain permission to, show them selves on this day. Reveals that tolerance shines a light of grace for our freedoms. But does not convert us.

  • suzy

    The bigger question here should be when will there be a Christian, Judism, Satanic, Buddist or any other religions day at the capital?

  • Demose

    msybe some Bibles ought to be provided to the Capitol as well. Most Americans are ill informed regarding contents in the Word Of God. There is such a push in our society to understand/tolerate the Muslim religion, while those of other faiths are told to keep it to themselves, and worse, attacked/ridiculed for their beliefs. Just look at what is happening to Jews on college campuses. For years the mantra on the left has been “separation of church and state” whenever religious views came into play in the public arena. I guess this doesn’t apply to Muskims. They get special treatment!