The Chesapeake School Board received a request asking the members to investigate an anti-Muslim post shared by its chairwoman, Christie New Craig, on her private Facebook page.
The post featured a cartoon image with the caption: “Muslims hate pork, beer, dogs, bikinis, Jesus, and freedom of speech. My question is, what the hell do they come to America for?!"
At the school board’s September 14th meeting, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked the school board to address the matter.
CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper sent a letter to board Vice Chairman C. Jeff Bunn, and copied other board members, including Superintendent Dr. James T. Roberts and the clerk of the board. It read in part: “The Chesapeake Public School Board’s silence on this issue will inevitably be viewed as acceptance and approval of anti-Muslim bigotry.”
The Chesapeake School Board issued a statement stating that they held a closed meeting on Monday to address the matter.
“The School Board of the City of Chesapeake and the Chesapeake Public Schools comprise an equal employment and educational opportunity school system. Together, the Board and its administrative staff strive to treat all employees and our students, parents and community members with the highest degree of respect. In doing so, the school system adheres to the principles of equal opportunity in employment and student achievement for every person working in and attending our schools. We therefore prohibit any form of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, color, religion, age, genetic information or disability. A recent social media post has resulted in some concern voiced by an advocacy group indicating its representation of a segment of the community. This post has had no effect on our commitment to maintaining equal opportunity and non-discrimination standards. The School Board welcomes and will consider communications from any person or organization with an interest in maintaining and/or improving the highest possible system of K-12 public education.”
Abduli Balarabe, a Hampton Roads Muslim, stated, "Just shocked to see this was an official." He maintained that the post stupidly stereotyped his religion.
"If you look, what does Christianity stand for? They don’t eat that [pork], too. Jews, what do they stand for? They don’t do that so it’s not only Muslims, it’s other faiths that do not go by the same things she is talking," he said.
Other local Muslims echoed the same statement.
Balarabe added: "No. I wouldn't take it as serious, ignorance I mean. If a person is ignorant, why would you get offended.”