John Bennett’s Jihad

by | Oct 31, 2016

John Bennett’s Jihad

by | Oct 31, 2016

Rep. John Bennett (l.) with his family of God-fearing 'Murickans

In seeking a suitable description of Oklahoma State Representative — and compulsive mosque-baiter — John Bennett, one must resist the temptation to use the familiar epithet “horse’s ass,” even though the effluent that emerges from Bennett’s tax-devouring skull cave is as disagreeable as what one associates with that equine orifice, which is, we must remember, an otherwise harmless portion of a dumb beast’s anatomy. Although Bennett is an ambulatory pile of used food, he is decidedly not harmless.

“Demagogue” is likewise inappropriate, given that the term originally referred to a capable orator with a potentially dangerous gift for persuasion. Bennett’s marginal literacy leaves him barely able to regurgitate, in comprehensible fashion, the slurry of pre-digested soundbites spoon-fed to him by the likes of Frank Gaffney and others who are seeking to re-define the Muslim faith as subversive ideology and make criminals of its adherents.

“Mohammed’s teaching only teaches one thing, and that’s the violence that we’re seeing today in ISIS and the beheading in Moore and other places,” Bennett whined in his off-putting adenoidal drawl during a September 2014 town hall meeting. The beheading to which Bennett referred was committed by an unreconstructed felon over a workplace dispute.

Alton Nolen, who nearly decapitated a co-worker, had briefly attended an OKC mosque, where he was viewed as a potentially violent psychotic in need of help. He certainly didn’t listen to any of the sermons preached by Imam Emad Enchassi, which consistently focus on the moral imperative of serving others, including those who insist on being one’s enemies. His crime had nothing to do with the Muslim faith. The same cannot be said of a murder that happened a few weeks later in Oklahoma, in which 21-year-old Isaiah Marin –who implausibly claimed to be a Christian — beheaded an acquaintance as punishment for “practicing witchcraft.

Although Bennett theatrically demands that Muslims prostrate themselves in penance for every crime committed by someone identifying with that religion, he didn’t see fit to apologize for the beheading committed by a supposed fellow Christian. “Such people do not represent me or the teachings of my faith, and we cannot be held collectively responsible for the crimes of others,” Bennett would likely say, were he asked the relevant question and if he had the intellectual capacity to answer it. He regularly denies such distinctions with respect to Muslims: For Bennett, the terms “Muslim” and “terrorist” are fully interchangeable.

Bennett, a military veteran with no academic or theological credentials, has designated himself an expert on Islam. His only qualification for that status is the undistinguished role he played in the campaign of state-sponsored terrorism called the Iraq war. This is to say that he regards himself as an expert on what he regards to be the unique depravity of Muslims because he was involved in murdering so many of them.

Imam Enchassi and his family. You can tell they're terrorists because his wife and daughters dress modestly, and he wears a funny hat.

Imam Enchassi and his family. You can tell they’re terrorists because his wife and daughters dress modestly, and he wears a funny hat.

On Tuesday (October 25), Bennett and a handful of fellow mosque-baiters held a public circle-jerk at the Oklahoma state Capitol. In the audience to witness this unedifying spectacle were Imam Enchassi and Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. At one point in his presentation, Bennett pointed a finger at Enchassi and Soltani and accused them of being the “two most dangerous terrorists in the state.”

After one panelist, the disgraced adulterer and fraud artist John Guandolo, claimed that jihadists use relationships with other faiths as a weapon, Imam Enchassi rose and hugged two members of other faiths who were in the room. Alarmed by this display of subversive good will, Bennett demanded that Rep. Randy Grau, chairman of the Judiciary and Civil Procedure Committee, order members of the audience not to hug one another. Grau declined to honor that request.

Following the hearing, Bennett announced that he was planning to submit a bill that would “kick CAIR out of the state.” When pressed for details, Bennett replied, “You should never tell your battle plan before you go into battle.”

Bennett and his claque are eager to make war on their neighbors, and in the wind-up to the pogrom they’re already inspired collateral assaults on non-Muslims. In January 2013, for example, a pig-eyed lump of ignorant malice named Stuart Manning assaulted a woman wearing a headscarf, threatened her with a knife, and slashed her tires while bellowing that she was a “f****n Muslim.” The victim, as it happens, was a Christian refugee from Lebanon.

Earlier this year, Tulsa resident Stanley Vernon Majors was charged with first-degree murder of 37-year-old Khalid Jabara, whose family Majors had terrorized for years. Majors, a habitual drunk who was the subject of several typically impotent restraining orders after a previous attempt to murder Jabara’s sister by running over her with his car, had denigrated Jabara and his family as “filthy Arabs” — a term, once again, used as a synonym for “Muslim” or “terrorist” in the punitive populist patois.

The Jabara family, as it happens, are — like Stuart Manning’s victim — well-educated, industrious Orthodox Christians from Lebanon.

Critical distinctions have little purchase on the tiny, uncluttered minds of John Bennett and his ilk. Were he blessed with the ability to turn a phrase, Bennett would dismiss such concerns by saying, “Kill them all — for God will know his own,” an admonition made notorious by similarly opportunistic politicians in an earlier “holy” war.

About Will Grigg

Will Grigg (1963–2017), the former Managing Editor of The Libertarian Institute, was an independent, award-winning investigative journalist and author. He authored six books, most recently his posthumous work, No Quarter: The Ravings of William Norman Grigg.

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