The spokesman for Palm Beach County, Fla. is in a bit of hot water after – wait for it – exercising his First Amendment right to free speech on his personal Facebook wall Wednesday.
John Jamason, the Public Information Officer for the county, is rightfully standing behind the thoughts he shared as a private citizen on September 11 with a Facebook post that read:
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. But the Quran is a book that preaches hate, dominance and intolerance. America should continue to fight Islam not embrace it.
Predictably, some aren’t happy with a county employee sharing personal beliefs on a private wall, especially Palm Beach Muslim Community Mosque Imam Abdul Hakim.
Hakim told WPTV News Channel 5 that Jamason’s remarks on Islam were “irresponsible.”
“If somebody has a comment on me and say I’m a bad person, that’s not going to make a difference to me in my life because I know I’m a good person,” Hakim said.
“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.”
“County commissioner Priscilla Taylor said Jamason couldn’t likely be fired for the comments alone,” the report said, but she added, “We don’t need to spread any more hate. Social media is where people get these crazy ideas.”
Jamason, seemingly surprised to find WPTV reporter Evan Axelbank on his doorstep, perfectly defended his right to not only have an opinion, but to be free to state it since his post wasn’t on a public social media page, or worse, heaven forbid, a county-run site.
Jamason told Axelbank:
It was just my opinion on this day about that specific event and that religion.
There weren’t any fundamentalist Christians on planes, flying into buildings on this particular day. Now, have Christians committed atrocities? Of course.
The point is, the people that are attacking our embassy in Libya, and attacking our soldiers, and doing things to us all around the world, are Muslims.
And, better still, Jamason isn’t going to apologize because he “didn’t say anything offensive.”
But he did add, “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.”
As of this writing, it appears Jamason’s Facebook account has been deactivated, which is a pity because I would have sent a friend request. Here’s hoping he took it down voluntarily and didn’t succumb to any pressure from his county employers.
Watch Axelbank’s report via WPTV here: