A Dearborn, Michigan city employee is under investigation for posting a racist comment about a Muslim American model wearing a burkini, Yahoo Lifestyle reports.
According to WXYZ Detroit, a Dearborn city employee named Bill Larion posted a racist comment on a Facebook post of a WXYZ story. The story was about popular Muslim American model Halima Aden’s burkini photoshoot in Sports Illustrated.
“Cute picture,” Larion wrote in his comment. “Should be on the cover of camels are us.”
CAIR-Michigan, a Muslim American civil rights group, says camels are often used as racial slurs against Muslims who are perceived to be Arab.
The comment has since been deleted. Larion claims that someone hacked his Facebook account and posted the comment. He says that he did not post the comment himself.
According to WXYZ Detroit, a young man named Tarek Saleh started a petition to have Larion fired. Others are also calling for Larion to be fired.
Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly issued a statement on May 6. He said that although Larion’s comment was not posted during business hours, it is still in opposition to the city’s mission statement.
“I have zero tolerance for the type of language used in the Facebook comment,” O’Reilly said in his statement. “The comment violates the City of Dearborn’s values and practices, as well as our expectations for employees. It violates the very heart of our mission statement, which is that we must earn the public’s trust in everything we do.”
Saleh has taken his petition down after it received 120 signatures. He would at least like an apology. CAIR-Michigan has asked that Larion be reprimanded for his actions.
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