Story highlights

3 Muslim students visiting Rep. John Bennett's office are asked to fill out a questionnaire

Legislator says he based the questionnaire on religious texts

CNN —  

Three Muslim students who wanted to talk with an Oklahoma state legislator about Islam were told to fill out a questionnaire first, said a state leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“Do you beat your wife?” said one question on the form Rep. John Bennett’s assistant gave them. “Do you denounce the terrorist organization Hamas?” was another.

The law student and two high school students were shocked and insulted because the 17 questions were based on misinformation about the religion, said Adam Soltani, state director of CAIR.

The students didn’t meet Bennett, a Republican, and left his office in the state capitol.

“Nobody should be vetted with stupid, Islamophobic, hateful, bigoted questions before they meet with their representative,” Soltani said on a Facebook video. “Let’s hold him accountable.”

The lawmaker’s response

CNN was not able to reach Bennett for comment, but he provided details of the incident to CNN affiliate KFOR.

Bennett said he had already left his office when the students visited, KFOR reported. He said he instructed his assistant to tell the students to fill out the questionnaire, make an appointment and bring their religious texts for a discussion.

Bennett, who has been critical of Muslims in the past, said the questionnaire is based on Islamic religious books and writings by Islamic scholars.

For instance, the full question about wife-beating is: “The Quran, the sunna of Mohammed and Sharia Law of all schools say that the husband can beat his wife. Do you beat your wife?”


In the response to KFOR, Bennett wrote: “In summary, according to the