An elected official in Seminole County says he’s got nothing against Muslims, despite his social media posts that are stirring up controversy.
Calls to say sorry or step aside have come in response to the Facebook post made by Seminole County tax collector, Joel Greenberg.
On Saturday, Greenberg shared a message from former talk radio host Neal Boortz, and mirrored the post using Boortz’s same language.
The original comment was made on Greenberg’s personal Facebook, but it was set to “public” so anyone could read or comment on it.
Within hours, Greenberg’s post was shared dozens of times and comments spread across social media — calling for an apology or a resignation.
“This is Islamophobic,” said Rasha Mubarak.
Mubarak works to advocate for Muslim people across Central Florida and currently work as the president of the Young Democrats of Orange County.
She calls the words shared by Greenberg hateful and hurtful.
“He has to understand, as an elected official you have the responsibility to share language that is inter-sectional, that is welcoming,” said Mubarak. “This puts people in danger. This feeds into the Islamophobic rhetoric.”
Greenberg denied an in-person interview and asked for the comments he made on the phone not to be recorded.
During the phone conversation, he didn’t condone the message he shared, but didn’t regret sharing it.
He said he would not apologize.
Later Saturday night, he wrote another public comment on Facebook.
“Ah the religion of peace and the party of tolerance. Until they disagree with you. Hypocrites. All of them. Vote republican,” he wrote.
Seminole County officials declined to comment on Greenberg’s posts.