An El Monte, CA city official has come under fire for a comment he made about Islam on an article he posted to his personal Facebook page. Now, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an American Muslim advocacy group with ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood, is calling for his resignation in addition to demanding an apology.
Art Barrios posted an article headlined “China makes major moves to ban Islam” to Facebook. But when he added his own comment, “Sounds good maybe the rest of the world should do the same,” it resulted in the backlash, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Barrios told the Times that his post was in reference to Islamic extremists “that are going out and killing other people” and “Islamic extremists of the world and not Islam the religion.”
CAIR-L.A. public affairs coordinator Haroon Manjlai suggested that “Neither the article nor Mr. Barrios’ comment on the article give any indication that he was talking about Muslim extremists.” She called his views “bigoted” and “biased.” Manjlai said “It is extremely alarming when somebody in such a position expresses their bigoted views against any minority.”
Barrios apologized, but has no plans to resign from his current position as El Monte city planning commissioner. He reportedly issued the following statement:
I thought it was about time that we stop kowtowing to the Islam that’s doing the racist things and doing the things that are bad for any religion. I’m an American citizen. I have the right to think anything I want to think … I have the right to do what I want to do. [CAIR] have the right to do what they want to do.
This past February, California Assemblywoman and United States Navy Veteran Melissa Melendez also faced the wrath of social media backlash. She sent out a tweet using the hashtag #StandUpAgainstIslam while expressing her sympathy over the death of American volunteer Kayla Mueller after ISIS militants kidnapped and held her hostage for over a year-and-a-half in Syria.
Mueller had been working to help humanitarian victims of the Syrian civil war when she was kidnapped. Earlier, she had helped Palestinians in the West Bank protest with an anti-Israel group, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
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