A Muslim civil rights group has asked the Connecticut Department of Correction to terminate the employment of an officer who allegedly posted Islamophobic content on social media.
The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, posted a video Sunday outlining its demand that the DOC terminate Officer Anthony Marlak.
CAIR first learned of Marlak’s offensive post in 2019. It depicts five Muslim men hanging from a noose with the caption “Islamic wind-chimes.” CAIR says that Marlak added the comment, “Think I found the best meme on the planet!!”
The post was originally reported by a fellow correctional officer who is Muslim. The DOC conducted an internal investigation, and CAIR subsequently learned from a Freedom of Information request that he is still on the job.
Farhan Memon, chairman of CAIR-CT, said the post is blatantly bigoted and violates the DOC’s social media policy “because it undermines the public’s confidence in the DOC’s commitment to racial equality and religious tolerance.”
In a statement, the DOC said the commissioner has directed his legal and security teams to review the information to determine appropriate action.
The agency added that it does not condone discrimination against -- or hatred directed toward -- individuals or groups based on their religion, race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.
Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Ali covers the Naugatuck River Valley for Connecticut Public Radio. Email her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter at @ahleeoh.