Anti-Muslim Facebook post has local Wal-Mart employee fired
By:Alicia Greco Sun News Reporter
The screenshot of Wal-Mart employees Facebook post. Photo courtesy of Council on American-Islamic Relations.
After a photo was posted with anti-Muslim comments, an employee of the Wal-Mart Supercenter located on Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg was terminated from his position as assistant manager.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations of New York, a national advocacy group for the Islamic community based in New York City, became involved with the situation. According to Ryan Mahoney, board president of the NY chapter, CAIR is the nation’s largest non-profit Muslim civil rights advocacy organization, and it deals with civil rights issues, discrimination, hate crimes and government advocacy “trying to enhance the understanding of Islam.”
A person involved in the Muslim community that resides in Hamburg approached CAIR-NY with a screenshot of the offending post. A mobile upload photo was posted Aug. 30 by Terry Earsing at 9:54 a.m. to his personal Facebook account. The photo, taken from afar, was of two Muslim women dressed in traditional full-body cover shopping in an aisle at Wal-Mart. Along with the post he commented with profanity: “Halloween came early this year … do they really have to f—– dress like that … your in my country … get that f—– s— off !!!!!”
The organization then drafted a letter and press release to notify Wal-Mart about the situation.
“We just wanted Wal-Mart to act in accordance to whatever their policy would be on this,” said Mahoney.
He said that the issue is a straightforward one, however it is not very controversial. Mahoney gave an example of a controversial issue that has occurred; at a planning site where a mosque was to be built, the site was scattered with decapitated pigs heads.
U.S. Constitutional rights provide Americans the right to the freedom of speech but Mahoney made it clear that because Earsing’s bias speech was made within the Wal-Mart setting toward customers of the store, it is more of a legality issue. It was no longer an act of personal expression.
Mahoney and CAIR are currently in the process of reaching out to Earsing. Mahoney said the goal of the organization is to not harm people or fire them from employment, but it is necessary to advocate the Islamic communities rights. “If there’s any possibility of trying to help him find future employment, Muslims would really love to help him if his attitude changes,” he said.
He discussed the over-arching theme of certain groups within the country that range in acceptance of derogatory speech. He said the Muslim culture has become much more acceptable to be directed at with bias opinions.
“We’re not asking for any special treatment for Muslims, we’re looking for the same treatment,” he said.
Original post: Anti-Muslim Facebook post has local Wal-Mart employee fired