Mayor calls for Board of Ed member’s resignation after ‘Sharia law’ comment
PROSPECT PARK — A comment by a member of a North Jersey board of education has led to calls for her resignation.
A video clip provided by the Council on American-Islamic Relations’s (CAIR) New Jersey chapter opens with Mayor Mohamed Khairullah addressing the topic of overcrowding at Tuesday night's meeting.
BOE member Emma Anderson said off-camera, "This is not Sharia law, this is an orderly session." Khairullah, on the video, continues to speak about overcrowding and does not react to the comment. On his Facebook page, Khairullah wrote that the comment was made in reference to his Muslim background.
"This is not what we expect from elected officials in our community and particularly from veteran educators. I have served my community since 1994, starting as a volunteer fireman, all the way until today with the utmost dedication and without consideration of race, gender, national or religious background of those who I serve. Anyone who is capable of using such divisive terms against me is capable of using similarly hostile terms against others in the community," the mayor wrote in calling for Anderson's resignation. He also asked for the Passaic County Superintendent of Schools and the state Department of Education to investigate.
CAIR NJ's executive director James Sues also joined the call for Anderson's resignation along with releasing video of the incident.
"Bigoted statements like those made by Ms. Anderson are extremely offensive and demonstrate a level of intolerance that should disqualify her from serving on any organization overseeing the education of children. We applaud Prospect Park Mayor Khairullah for his courage and leadership in taking a stand against bigotry," Sues said in a statement.
According to Sues, the term "Sharia law" is "increasingly being used by Islamophobes and their white supremacist and anti-government allies to target the American Muslim community."
Anderson, on her Facebook page, accused the mayor of causing fellow board member Nydia (sic) Cano to be hospitalized "after being strongly accused and singled out" during the meeting for unspecified reasons.
There is no link on the BOE's section of the website for meeting minutes and agendas. The site spells Cano's name as "Nida."
"He's coming after me. Please pray for our little town. Principalities and powers are on the lam. Pray for discernment and peace. Pray for justice and reconciliation," Anderson wrote.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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