Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced his Oklahoma Leadership Team this week, which includes the endorsements of State Senator Mark Allen (R-Spiro) and State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw), both of whom represent Sequoyah County on the state level.
Bennett said Friday he and Allen have endorsed Trump but will not be county leaders for Trump’s campaign.
Bennett said, “I endorsed him for economic and other reasons but I’d be fine with any of the top four (Republican) candidates to be truthful.”
Bennett said he agrees with Trump on his position to stop all immigration by Muslims to the United States until they can be investigated and found not to be radicalized.
In a press release Thursday, Bennett said, “Common-sense thinking Americans who love this country are all thinking what Donald Trump and Rev. Franklin Graham are saying regarding this policy. Of course, the liberal media, Muslim terrorist groups like CAIR and liberal apologists want to attack individuals that want to protect our country, instead of addressing the immediate threat to the U.S. Americans are sick and tired of a government that refuses to protect them. We are at war with the violent ideology of Islam.”
CAIR, which is Council on American-Islamic Relations, responded in a press release on Monday condemning Trump’s call for a halt to immigration. CAIR Oklahoma Chapter representatives called Trump’s policy unconstitutional and un-American.
Bennett also said that so-called “moderate” Muslims should be the most vocal opponents of radical Islam.
“Why are the ‘moderate’ Muslims not leading the fight on Islamic Terrorism? I call on them to stand up, be counted and call on a major reformation of Islam to stop Islamic terrorism. When it comes to the question of ‘moderate’ Muslims versus ‘radical’ Muslims – which refugees to let in and which ones we don’t – I will put this into perspective. If someone gives you a bowl of 10,000 M&M’s and says that only 10 M&M’s contain poison, how many are you going to eat?
“How many Americans have to die here in the U.S. and overseas because of the violent ideology of Islam before we say enough and address the issue? We are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad. We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled.”
Bennett said, “The comments made by Trump were taken out of context by politicians and the media. He said suspend immigration from Muslim countries, not stop it indefinitely. We cannot put our citizens’ safety at risk for sake of being politically correct. The liberal media and other apologists who are politically correct, need to stop targeting the individuals who have the backbone to stand up for everyday Americans, and call it like it is and prioritize American's safety first.
“The federal government has already admitted that they cannot vet these individuals coming into this country. Here’s the facts. There have been 3,110 killed by Muslims in America in 82 terror attacks and Islam-related honor killings. Since 9/11 there have been 89 killed by Muslims in America in 47 attacks.
“Do you know how many Muslims have been killed in retaliation? Why put us all at risk. We should immediately suspend all immigration from Muslim countries until the government fixes the broken system and can guarantee our safety. The time is now for Americans that love this country to stand up and be counted.
“As the elected representative of the people of my district and in my duty as the chair of public safety and the Counter Terrorism Caucus, my responsibility is to ensure the safety of the citizens of Oklahoma. Bennett concluded.
CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani responded, "It is absolutely appalling to hear that the leading Republican party presidential candidate continues to build on his hateful and divisive rhetoric by calling for the United States to bar Muslims from entering our country. We live in a country in which our pledge of allegiance asserts that there is 'liberty and justice for all.' Donald Trump has shown that if elected President, he will not provide that same liberty to Muslims, and has therefore already proven that he is not fit to hold the highest office in our country."
CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure added, "Not only is Trump's proposal un-American, it's also unconstitutional. Denying entry to the United States based on religion is totally antithetical to centuries of American immigration policy."
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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