Michigan official refuses to apologise for calling to 'kill all Muslims'

A village president has come under fire for comparing Islam to a 'flesh-eating bacteria' in social media posts

Emily Shugerman
New York
Thursday 13 July 2017 10:44 EDT

A Michigan government official who posted a call on Facebook to kill all Muslims has said he “owe[s] nobody an apology”.

Jeff Sieting, the president of a small village in northern Michigan, was recently discovered to have posted anti-Muslim messages on his Facebook page.

One post, which appears to be copy and pasted from a North Carolina-based blog called "NC Renegade," is titled "Kill them all, every last one”. The post calls Muslims "dangerously destructive to society" and compares Islam to a "flesh-eating bacteria" and a “death cult."

Mr Sieting’s previous posts have called being transgender a mental illness and suggested “thin[ning] the herd” of the Black Lives Matter Movement, according to Michigan Live.

The President declined to apologise for his posts at a recent village meeting,

“I owe nobody an apology for exercising my First Amendment rights,” he said, adding later: “I don’t expect everyone to see things the way I do.”

Mr Sieting also argued that Muslims are evil, and that America has been fighting them for hundreds of years, according to the Traverse City Record Eagle.

The President’s posts were brought to light by local real estate broker Cindy Anderson, the Record Eagle reports. Ms Anderson has since sought Mr Sieting’s apology at two town meetings. Both times, he has declined.

Last month, residents staged a demonstration in downtown Kalkaska to protest the “disturbing, hateful and Islamophobic rants” of the village President – and to demand his resignation.

Ms Anderson says the group of protesters is looking for someone to run against Mr Seiting in 2018. He has been village president since 2010.

Mr Sieting maintains the effort to remove him is a result of non-residents' outrage at the pro-Donald Trump sign displayed in his hotel.

The FBI reports that anti-Muslim hate crimes increased by 67 per cent in 2015 – the year Mr Trump declared his candidacy, and the last year for which statistics are available. The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes that year were the highest they had been since 2001.

In Kalkaska, however, several residents are standing by their village president.

“If you don’t want to read it, get off of [his Facebook page],” resident Joyce Gold said at the town meeting. “From what I do know, you are a very honest, faithful, hardworking man and I thank you for that.”

She added: “I hope you continue and stand your ground for your beliefs.”

The Independent has reached out to Mr Sieting for comment.

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