OU Scholar Wants Public Debate On Muslim Religion

Tuesday, September 16th 2014, 11:00 pm
By: News 9

State Representative John Bennett is not backing off of a Facebook post he recently made about Islam. However, a religious scholar at OU is taking Bennett to task.

Bennett earlier this month said people should “be wary of Muslim Americans.”

Tuesday, Bennett reiterated that belief telling News 9 that Americans need to be educated about Islam. But OU Religious Studies Director Dr. Charles Kimball said Bennett's views are wrong.

Kimball has written five books on the Muslim religion. Kimball says Islamic extremists like ISIS are a very small fraction of one and a half billion people who practice Islam.

“I would like to have a public conversation with him,” Kimball said. “He quotes the Koran, and he says he's studied all of this and he knows the history of Islam. I am an ordained Baptist Minister, I am very actively involved and engaged as a person of faith. I would be delighted to have a public conversation with him about the various things he's saying.”

Bennett Tuesday night told News 9 he also would welcome such a debate. “The dominant ideological trend in the Islamic society is hate-filled, and it clearly spells it out in the Koran. Over 90 percent of the Koran talks about violence,” Bennett said.