(BALTIMORE, MD, 11/29/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded Maryland’s Anne Arundel County Executive-Elect Steuart Pittman’s decision to remove the county’s former fire chief Roger Simonds from his transition committee after controversial Islamophobic posts surfaced on his social media pages.
SEE: Pittman removes former fire chief from transition committee over Facebook posts
Simonds alluded to two Muslims elected to Congress as Trojan horses, complained of Muslim women wearing the American flag as their hijab as offensive and alleged that “Muslims were killing people and still being let into the country.”
Simonds had been appointed to co-chair the new administration’s public safety committee.
After the Facebook posts were exposed, Simonds was informed he would be removed from this posting.
County Executive-Elect Pittman said to the Capital Gazette:
“Even sharing that kind of information adds to a sense in some part of community that it is OK to discriminate based on people’s religion and people’s race. That is not OK with me.”
“By taking this principled decision, County Executive-Elect Steuart Pittman has effectively demonstrated how leaders can responsibly leverage their platforms to foster mutual understanding and inclusivity,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “We hope this move encourages other public officials to be deliberate and intentional in cultivating leadership teams that set high moral standards for public engagement.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
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CONTACT: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, 410-971-6062