Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Firing of West Virginia Government Workers in Nazi Salute Photo

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/30/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the firing of 37 West Virginia government workers who participated in a Nazi salute photograph.

In the photo, employees of the state’s Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety pose making the racist Nazi gesture. The employees were posed under the text, “HAIL BYRD!” ”• an apparent reference to a salute once offered to the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. 

CAIR called for the firing of all those who were shown in the photo.

SEE: CAIR Calls for Firing of All West Virginia Government Workers in Nazi Salute Photo

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced Monday that all 34 guards and three academy staff members would be fired. Four instructors were also suspended without pay.

SEE: 37 fired after report finds Nazi salutes displayed early and often in jail training class

Gov. Justice approves recommendations to fire employees in Nazi salute photo

“We welcome the firing of these individuals and hope it sends the strong message that anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry and hate will not be tolerated in West Virginia or any other state,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper

The Washington-based civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR-Kentucky Condemns Racist Rant by Pizza Hut Delivery Driver

CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probe of Apparent Neo-Nazi Vandalism Targeting Tina Turner Mural in North Carolina

CAIR-Georgia Expresses Support for Rep. John Lewis, Thanks Civil Rights Icon for Supporting American Muslims

CAIR-Georgia Calls for Police Action After Anti-Semitic, Anti-Muslim Flyers Posted in Atlanta Neighborhood

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.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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