A Virginia school board member is being investigated for an anti-Muslim Facebook post that asks, “what the hell do they come to America for?” WTKR reports.
Christie New Craig, chairwoman for the Chesapeake School Board, shared a cartoon that features a cartoon character and the quote, “Muslims hate pork, beer, dogs, bikinis, Jesus, and freedom of speech. My questions is, what the hell do they come to America for?”
The post prompted the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a national Muslim civil rights group, to call for an investigation this week.
“Only by addressing this issue can the board uphold its stated commitment ‘to the principle of equal opportunity for all and does not permit discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law,'” CAIR said in a statement obtained by 10 On Your Side.
Craig tried to distance herself from the cartoon, which also features a skull and crossed knives draped in the American flag.
“I merely shared it. I did not make a comment, and I’m just shocked with everything going on in our country – police officers are losing their lives, people are homeless and people don’t have jobs – that a political cartoon would cause this much stir,” she told 10 On Your Side. “People have a right to like or not like anything.”
The incident comes with national scrutiny on Islamophobia, after 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school to show his teacher what he had made. The teacher called it a “hoax bomb.” It turned out the mayor of his hometown, Irving, Texas, is a darling of conservatives for being anti-Muslim. Beth Van Duyne, is a hero for banning the non-existent threat of Sharia law in the Dallas suburb.
“It is hurtful for me when I read it. When I read that paper, when I evaluate it, it is hurtful for me,” Herish Hussein, a Muslim who is a PhD student, told 10 On Your Side. “When she says, ‘My question is what the hell do they come to America for?’ I’m a PhD student. I’ve come to America for what? For science, for knowledge.”
After claiming she didn’t support the content of the post and only shared it for “information,” Craig told the news station that “I’m not racist. I don’t look at people from the outside in. I look at them from the inside out but I’m also not going to be bullied or intimidated and have people try to take my freedom away from me.”
The post has since been removed. The school district hasn’t yet released a statement, according to reports.
Craig is also chief of staff for Virginia Sen. John Cosgrove (R) and used to work for the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office as a deputy specialist, 10 On Your Side reports.
Watch the report from 10 On Your Side here: