Chesapeake School Board issues statement on chairwoman’s anti-Muslim Facebook post

Posted at 2:50 PM, Sep 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-17 17:57:35-04

Chesapeake, Va. - The Chesapeake School Board has been asked to investigate an anti-Muslim Facebook post shared by Chesapeake School Board chairwoman Christie New Craig recently.

The post was shared on Craig’s personal Facebook page and features an image with a cartoon character and text reading “Muslims hate pork, beer, dogs, bikinis, Jesus, and freedom of speech. My question is, what the hell do they come to America for?!"


The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, asked that the school board address the matter at their September 14th meeting.

In a letter send to board Vice Chairman C. Jeff Bunn and copied to other board members, Superintendent Dr. James T. Roberts and the clerk of the board, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper wrote 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 Thursday regarding the post and the surrounding attention it has been receiving. They say they met in closed session 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.”

We also spoke to Hampton Roads Muslims about the post.

They say this school board chair needs to be schooled.

"Just shocked to see this was an official," says Abduli Balarabe. He says the post is stupidly stereotyping 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," says Balarabe.

Other local Muslims agree.

Balarabe says he does not take offense to the post saying Craig has her freedom of speech  just like he has freedom of religion.

"No. I wouldn't take it as serious, ignorance I mean. If a person is ignorant, why would you get offended.