The Phoenix Flyer

Rally planned to protest tax collector social media posts; critics say comments channel “hatred and bigotry.”

By: - August 22, 2018 8:00 am

Activists are calling on Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg to resign in the wake of a recent social media post the official made which asked followers to name “ONE society in the developed world that has benefited in ANY WAY from the introduction of more Muslims.”

Rasha Mubarak, a Muslim civil rights organizer and president of the group Young Democrats of Orange County, said Greenberg’s comments are Islamophobic and open “more channels for hatred and bigotry.”

“This is not healthy dialogue,” she said. “There’s a way to articulate healthy dialogue if you, in fact, do not know the answer to that question.”

Mubarak has joined with Christopher Cuevas of group QLatinx, an organization founded in response to the Pulse shooting in Orlando, to create a petition online to garner support for Greenberg’s resignation. They will also host a rally at 12:30 p.m. today outside the tax collector’s office in Lake Mary, near Orlando, to draw attention to their cause.

The petition has so far received over 1,200 online signatures.

Greenberg has not apologized, but his post has been removed from Facebook. In a Twitter comment, Greenberg said Facebook had removed the post. In a separate Twitter comment, Greenberg said there is “Zero. I mean zero chance I resign. Zero.”

A commenter on Twitter challenged Greenberg Tuesday to name a country that has “banned Muslims and is thriving?”

Greenberg’s response: “You mean like acid attacks, bombings and failed assimilation in virtually all western nations?”

Mubarak said that the groups will contact Gov. Rick Scott if they do not hear back from the Attorney General’s office or the Department of Revenue.

“An elected official should not be harboring any kind of hateful (sentiment) toward anyone in that kind of leadership (position),” Mubarak said.

Greenberg was not available for comment.

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CD Davidson-Hiers
CD Davidson-Hiers

CD Davidson-Hiers is a 2017 summa cum laude graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Creative Writing and French. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key honors societies, and has received multiple writing awards for fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Prior to joining the Florida Phoenix, CD worked at the Tallahassee Democrat and has bylines in Tallahassee Magazine. She is a native of Pensacola and currently lives in Tallahassee with her tabby cat, Faulkner.