Kevin Stitt talked to Muslims at the State Capitol…

Although I’m not a big fan of his political ideology and think his whole “Make Oklahoma a Top 10 State” is nothing more than a campy bullshit marketing campaign, we’d like to give a big TLO “attaboy” to Governor Kevin Stitt for having the courage to cross the nuts in his own political party and recognize Oklahomans who are not white, conservative Christians.

Via The Tulsa World:

Oklahoma Muslims flocked to the state Capitol on Monday to get to know their lawmakers and learn more about government.

In a surprise move, Gov. Kevin Stitt stepped into the Senate chamber to greet them during one of the sessions.

It was the first time a governor had visited the group since the Oklahoma Muslim Day at the Capitol program started five years ago, said Adam Soltani, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma.

That’s weird. You’d think Mary Fallin would have at least popped her head in the room once or twice to see if there were Saudi princes in the room.

Here’s a statement from Stitt’s media handler:

“Gov. Kevin Stitt was walking the halls and noticed the group meeting and went to welcome them and introduce himself,” said Donelle Harder, a Stitt spokeswoman. “Every Oklahoma group goes to great lengths to organize trips to the Capitol. The governor does his best to welcome any group in which his schedule permits. He is committed to being a governor for all 4 million Oklahomans.”

That’s cool. Usually when we write about an Oklahoma politician talking to members of our Muslim community, we have to use words like “bigot,” “asshat” and “Derplahoman.” We also routinely share photos like this:

That’s our old pal John Bennett. He was the leading member of the Oklahoma legislature’s Islamophobia Caucus. He was essentially forced out of office by his own party thanks to the bigoted rhetoric he spewed at the Capitol.

On that note…

[Muslim Day] drew fewer protesters than in prior years, when Muslims entering the Capitol were yelled at and called terrorists by protesters carrying signs decrying Islam.

Soltani noted that former Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, a vocal critic of CAIR and Islam, is no longer in office. Bennett chose not to run again.

That acknowledgement from Soltani drew some applause from the group.

Soltani said he has seen a difference at the Capitol in the past five years.

“Love and peace will win over hate and animosity,” he said.

Okay, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. Donald Trump is still president, but having a conservative Oklahoma Governor acknowledge and interact with a group of people who are routinely – and unfairly – targeted, stereotyped and vilified by a large portion of our state’s populous is a step in the right direction. Well done, Governor Stitt.

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8 Responses

  1. Great. Nevertheless, that certainly looks like the ol’ rugged cross behind Gov. Stitt in that photo

    1. It is a cross. Do you think someone should hide his or her own faith practices to be able to acknowledge someone from another faith tradition? The few times I’ve met him, Imam Enchassi seems to be a caring person. I would never dream of thinking he should hide his faith to make a Christian or Jew more comfortable, and I suspect he feels the same.

      1. Actually….It’s his *workplace*, albeit a state office, so no he shouldn’t be displaying icons of his chosen belief. I used that have some pictures of Ganesha and Shiva in my office because I loved the artwork. I got 9 kinds of shit from the conservative Christians for those images. I never seemed to hear any bitching about all of the crosses, prayers and “footprints” images in other people’s offices however. Religious icons don’t belong in the workplace…unless you work for a religion, where that would obviously be reasonable.

      2. Dude should pick a cross that looks less like a idol to an ice age mammoth god.

  2. Good for Stitt. There is no reason for a state official not to treat persons whose faith is too often reviled with common courtesy. No need to act like an asshole. We have enough of that already.

    Stitt’s “cross” is a double-purpose display that sorta resembles a Christian cross, as well as his love for huntin’. It seems to be made of game antlers.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with the personal office of a state employee displaying tasteful symbols of his or her faith there. It might cross the line if the iconography is too overwhelming, or if it is a very public space where it serves as a pushy in-your-face display to all citizens who enter to conduct their business. Hard to draw a bright line here.

    I would LOVE to piss off pushy conservative Christians with a few tasteful Ganeshas.

    1. I’m a state employee who has a Catholic calendar and a Pope figurine in my cubicle. I also have pictures of my granddaughter and my pets. No one cares.

    2. upload is from October 2018. Dude assumed office in 2019. who can math around here?

  3. This might also be an old picture from his Gateway office. This might not even be at the capitol…

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