On Thursday, Muslim students visited Republican Oklahoma Representative John Bennett in Oklahoma City as part of Muslim Day, an event to help the Muslim community become more involved in politics. But the day did not go quite as planned.
To their shock, several students received questionnaires asking whether they beat their wives, whether they believed the rest of the population should be subservient to Muslims, and whether the act of leaving Islam should be punishable.
Another question was, "I have heard that, according to accepted Islamic sources, Mohammed, at age of 49, married a 6-year-old girl, and that he had sex with her when he was 52 and she was only 9 years old. Is that really true?" Slate reports.
Visitors were told they had to fill the form out before they could meet the lawmaker, but those introductions never happened. A staff member at the office simply told them he was gone.
Bennett said in an email to Tulsa World that "this certainly does not mean that all Muslim men beat their wives," but that he was still concerned that the Koran permitted such acts. According to Reuters, Bennett also gave a speech in 2014 insisting that "90% of [the Koran] is violence" and that "if I'm an Islamophobe speaking the truth about Islam then you're absolutely right."
"What's most inflammatory is the questions itself, the fact that Muslims have to pass a religious test in order to see a representative of our state," Adam Soltani, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Oklahoma chapter, told Reuters. "Surely he does not do this to Christian constituents or Jewish constituents."