A Muslim takes part in a special morning prayer to start Eid-al-Fitr festival, marking the end of their holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Photo by Jewel Samad/Getty

Virginia GOPer steps down after anti-Muslim Facebook post


A Virginia Republican faced two options after posting anti-Muslim remarks on Facebook: Quit social media or step down from his public office.

Virginia GOP Treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds chose to resign from office. 

“It seems that no matter how careful I might be, I will periodically give occasion for others to portray the party in a bad light, so long as I am a party official,” FitzSimmonds wrote in a resignation letter distributed to Virginia GOP Wednesday night and obtained by the Washington Post. ”After discussion with several party leaders it seems clear that I will either need to stop posting on social media or step down from my party office.”  

When contacted, a representative for the Virginia Republican Party said their communications director was out of the office for the week, and no other communications officials were available.

FitzSimmonds came under fire in late July when he shot back at President Barack Obama’s statement on Eid al-Fitr, the final day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy,” Obama said in a press release.

FitzSimmonds, however, took issue with the idea that Muslim Americans (and other Americans who practice traditionally eastern religions) are important figures in American society. 

This is not the first time FitzSimmonds’ social media use has landed him in hot water with the Virginia GOP. In a February Facebook post, he used a vulgar term to describe politician Barbara Comstock, prompting Virginia GOP Chairman Pat Mullins to suggest FitSimmonds should resign. In a 2012 Facebook post, he also asserted that President Obama would go to hell. 

FitzSimmonds later deleted his comments about Comstock, but has yet to apologize for his latest remarks on Muslim Americans. He did not respond for comment through his aforementioned Facebook account.