Connecticut Fires Prison Guard Over Anti-Muslim Meme

Written by on May 26, 2021

Connecticut’s jail system has fired a guard after an Islamic group complained about an anti-Muslim meme he posted on social media years in the past.

In a termination letter dated Tuesday and obtained by The Related Press by way of a public data request, Garner Correctional Establishment warden Amoda Hannah informed Officer Anthony Marlak that his use of social media had “undermined the general public’s confidence in your skill to perform in your place.”

“The kind of speech posted threatens the security of workers and inmates who’re Muslim,” Hannah wrote. “Your actions violate the usual of conduct for correctional workers and won’t be condoned or tolerated.”

The Connecticut Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations had known as for the firing of Marlak in January, citing a meme he posted on Fb in 2018, depicting 5 apparently Muslim males hanging from nooses with the caption, “Islamic Wind Chimes.”

“This determination sends precisely the precise message that prejudice and bigotry has no place within the Division of Correction,” mentioned Farhan Memon, the chapter’s chairman. “Marlak’s feedback had been unacceptable as a result of they prompt that he could possibly be a hazard to Muslim inmates.”

Marlak’s Fb web page, below the alias Tony Mint, had a profile that learn “I’m the prototype, infidel, veteran, boss. Stand again and I’ll deal with it. Now stroll away.”

Reached at his auto detailing enterprise Wednesday, Marlak mentioned he had been cleared of any wrongdoing two years in the past following a departmental investigation and mentioned his life has been turned the other way up by the renewed accusations.

“I’m an honorably discharged veteran of the US army,” he mentioned. “I’ve been threatened and had folks come and attempt to damage me with weapons at my household’s office and now my life has been destroyed. All I do know is that I did nothing fallacious, I’m going to clear my title and this could by no means, ever have was what it’s was.”

Throughout an interview with Correction Division officers following a confrontation with a Muslim correction officer this previous summer season, Marlak acknowledged reposting the wind-chime meme in 2018, when he was utilizing a unique alias, Anthony David. He mentioned it was focusing on ISIS and never Muslims usually.

“It was ISIS — useless ISIS hangin’ from nooses, OK?” he mentioned. “Within the army, any red-blooded American, like I’ve informed a bunch of individuals, we simply — we don’t like ISIS. They do dangerous issues to our folks and I’m anti-ISIS. Not anti-Muslim.”

Marlak was given a five-day suspension in December for his half within the confrontation and for making inappropriate remarks towards the opposite guard.

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