Politics

Plano Will Address Council Member's Anti-Muslim Facebook Post at Sunday Council Meeting

Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere spoke at Plano's state of the city event Feb. 15.
Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere spoke at Plano's state of the city event Feb. 15. Brian Machino
The Plano City Council will debate council member Tom Harrison's fate at noon Sunday after repeated calls from Plano's mayor that Harrison resign.

On Tuesday night, Harrison reposted an anti-Muslim video on his Facebook page. The video, created by an organization called Joined Hands Across America for Trump, shows purportedly Muslim children engaged in prayer and asks President Donald Trump to keep Islam out of America's public schools.

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A screengrab of the now deleted video.
Tom Harrison via Facebook
At Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere annual state of the city address Thursday night, he called for Harrison's resignation for the second time.

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A protester outside the event calls for Harrison's removal.
Brian Maschino
"We have policies that are clear about nondiscrimination so that everyone in our city really feels at home," LaRosiliere said, echoing his statements from a Wednesday afternoon news conference. "When that post came out, it was inappropriate, and it was not in line with who we are."

Harrison did not attend Thursday night's event, but his videotaped visage received a round of boos from the crowd when it appeared during a recorded message from the City Council that played before LaRosiliere's speech.

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Harrison's opponents protested outside the theater where the mayor gave his state of the city address.
Brian Maschino
Demonstrators outside the speech, many carrying signs reading, "Hate has no home here," protested Harrison, joining with LaRosiliere in calling for the at-large council member's resignation.

Harrison has not spoken with the media or appeared in public since his post went viral. In a statement posted to Facebook shortly after he deleted the video Wednesday, Harrison said that he isn't anti-Muslim.

"I want to sincerely apologize to the Plano Muslim Community for the unintentional hurt I caused by reposting something on my personal Facebook page that wrongfully implied I am anti-Muslim," Harrison wrote. "My intent on inputting this on my personal Facebook page was to emphasize that Christianity is not the only religion being targeted for exclusion in our public school. It was not meant as a personal attack against the Islamic faith."
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

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