Pennsylvania Republican resigns over anti-Muslim Facebook posts

A longtime member of the Republican political scene in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania, is gone.

Jack Cairns, the chairman of the Robinson Township Republican Committee, resigned on Friday after the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called attention to several offensive social media posts.

Offensive posts

CAIR-Pittsburgh called for Cairns’ resignation, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. “Mr. Cairns has essentially called for violence, and even genocide, against an entire religious minority community. That this individual is representing the Republican Party should worry not only citizens in Robinson Township but also the entire GOP establishment.”

CAIR included screenshots of several Facebook posts. One post from October 10, 2015, links to a video of a woman shooting targets. Underneath, the caption read, “Too bad it wasn’t Muslims she was shooting!”

Another post, dated April 9, 2017, is a photo of Mecca, the Islamic holy city, with the caption, “One nuke! Bye bye.” And on June 1, 2018, Cairns simply wrote, “Hate Muslims.”

Cairns explains

In addition to resigning, Cairns also tried to explain away the posts, saying, “I took them down almost immediately after I made them.”

“They weren’t done with any intentions of trying to cause a genocide,” he said, adding that they were “not the best choices.”

Of course, with such a pattern of post, regret, takedown, it is hard to understand why Cairns didn’t just short-circuit the process by simply not posting them in the first place.

His explanation was that he was “just getting caught up in the moment.”

PA GOP responds

Following the resignation, the Republican Committee of Allegheny County, in which Robinson Township is located, provided a statement on the matter.

“Today, we were made aware of offensive, anti-Muslim, Facebook posts made by a member of our Robinson Township Republican Committee, Jack Cairns,” it read. “The RCAC in no way endorses the comments or views of Mr. Cairns, and we condemn, in the strongest terms possible, these hateful posts.”

“The mission of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County is to foster the growth and prosperity of all residents of Allegheny County regardless of their race, religion, or creed,” it continued. “Mr. Cairns has resigned, effective immediately, from his membership within the Robinson Township Republican Committee and the Republican Committee of Allegheny County.”

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