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CAIR-MN Welcomes Resignation of GOP Official Who Made Anti-Muslim Comments

Jack-Whitley-Facebook-thumb(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 11/28/14) — The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed the resignation of Big Stone County GOP Chair Jack Whitley who posted comments on his Facebook page calling Muslims “parasites” and advocating “frag em” in Mecca. (“Frag” refers to a fragmentation grenade, a type of hand grenade. Whitley has since taken down his Facebook page.)

Whitley, who was also fired from his hardware store job, told the Associated Press that he was asked to resign by other Republicans. His resignation is effective today. He would not say whether he still believes the derogatory comments he wrote about Muslims.

“We welcome Mr. Whitley's resignation and hope he accepts the offer to meet with members of the Minnesota Muslim community and to learn more about Islam,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya. “It has been our experience that learning about Islam and interacting with ordinary American Muslims helps decrease prejudice and stereotyping.”

CAIR-MN had previously invited Whitley to meet with Minnesota Muslims to engage in dialogue and to promote mutual understanding.

Earlier this week, CAIR-MN expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support from political leaders and ordinary Minnesotans who joined that state's Muslim community in repudiating Whitley's Islamophobic comments.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700, lsaroya@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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