Saying he had no “spiritual or scholarly need” for it, Norman state Rep. Scott Martin confirmed Tuesday that he refused a copy of the Quran, the Muslim world’s holy book.

On Monday, a “Centennial” copy of the Quran was offered to all members of the Oklahoma Legislature from the Governor’s Ethnic American Advisory Council. And while many lawmakers accepted the book, at least eight legislators refused the gift, citing religious reasons.

Martin, a Republican, joined at least five other state representatives and two state senators — David Derby of Owasso, Guy Liebmann of Oklahoma City, Mark McCullough of Sapulpa, Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City, Susan Winchester of Chickasha, Rex Duncan of Sand Springs and Senators Randy Brogdon of Owasso and David Myers of Ponca City — who refused to accept copies of the Quran.

“They (the Governor’s task force) sent us an e-mail, asking if we wanted a copy,” Martin said. “And since it wasn’t something that I needed, I kindly declined the offer.”

Martin said he turned down the book for religious reasons.

“I’m a Christian,” he said. “And there’s lots of other religious documents that I don’t have a copy of. But I appreciated them giving us more of a choice.”

State Rep. Rex Duncan, who announced his refusal publicly, said he turned down a copy of the Quran because it advocated killing women and children.

“Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. Duncan said he objected “to the use of the state Centennial Seal and the state Seal all in an effort to further their (Muslims’) religion.”

However, one religious scholar said the action could be viewed as an insult to the Muslim community. (READ MORE)


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