Okla. State Rep. Decries Anti-Muslim Speakers

Mike-SheltonOKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mike Shelton said today that two speakers scheduled to present at an event sponsored by a legislative caucus on Friday at the state Capitol have spread hate speech toward Muslims in the past and should be condemned by leadership of the House of Representatives.

This Friday, the House Counterterrorism Caucus will sponsor a daylong seminar entitled, “Iran, Hezbollah, and the Drug Cartels: Counterterrorism Considerations,” which will be presented by experts at the CLEET-accredited Center for Security Policy.

Two of the scheduled speakers, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin, who serves as Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council. and Frank Gaffney, who serves as President and CEO of Center for Security Policy, have been accused by the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OKC) of making racist and derogatory comments about Muslims. In 2003, President Bush rebuked Boykin for public comments he made that were deemed to be anti-Muslim.

Shelton wants House leadership to pressure the caucus to rescind invitations to Boykin and Gaffney.

“We are all autonomous in our roles as state Representatives, so I cannot control what other members believe or say,” said Shelton, D-Oklahoma City. “But as an African-American, as a minority, it is disappointing to see my colleagues invite speakers to a legislative-sponsored event who have a history of using hate speech and racist comments toward a minority group. By inviting these men to a legislative-sponsored event, we are essentially condoning their words and their agendas, and there is no place for that at the people’s Capitol building.”

Press release by State Rep. Mike Shelton