A county in Florida is deciding if it should discipline its public information officer following an anti-Islam post he put up on his personal Facebook page on 9/11.
WPTV reports that John Jamason, the public information officer for Palm Beach County, posted the following on his Facebook page:
"Never forget. There is no such thing as radical Islam. All Islam is radical. There may be Muslims who don't practice their religion, much like others. The Quran is a book that preaches hate.”
According to The Blaze, Palm Beach County Administrator Bob Weisman said the county is still deciding whether or not to discipline Jamason. Weisman said that if Jamason were not a “merit system employee who is protected by State law from arbitrary termination” he may have been fired by now.
“If he was an at-will employee, for which I do have more discretion, I would be considering his termination today for the ignorance of his comments and that they are hurtful to part of our community,” Weisman reportedly told WPTV.
In a story in The Palm Beach Post, Weisman said that federal laws protect employees who use social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.
“The private rights of employees on social media and for other modes of communication are protected by the U.S. Constitution and relevant law,” Weisman said.
An internal review found that the Facebook post was not made from a county computer, Weisman said.
At the Palm Beach Muslim Community Mosque, Imam Abdul Hakim said Jamason’s comments were irresponsible.
“Maybe he should be suspended or something, because the thing is if you’re going to bring that mindset into one facet, it might evolve into other facets and that might affect his work too,” Hakim stated.
A Muslim group has demanded county officials turn over all social media comments Jamason has made using county computers, in addition to emails he has sent or received in the past 60 days that pertain to Muslims.
When asked if he owed anyone an apology, Jamason, a 10-year county employee, said, “If I owe anybody an apology, it would be the county commissioners and county administration just for the fact that you're all on my porch. No, I don't think I owe anybody an apology, I didn't say anything offensive.”