Democrats are demanding an apology from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller for posting a photo to Facebook that appears to suggest that an atomic bomb should be dropped on the Muslim population.
However, the official has taken a defiant stance and has refused to back down so far.
The photo, which was eventually removed from his public Facebook page, shows an image of what appears to be a photograph of the 1957 nuclear bomb tests in Nevada and reads: “Japan has been at peace with the U.S. since August 9, 1945. It’s time we made peace with the Muslim world.” The photo was shared from “The Patriots IV Drip 2″ Facebook page and features the hashtags #noislamknowpeace and #COMETAKE.
“We do not agree with Obama and his political views. We ban trolls,” that page’s brief description reads.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the photo had around 3,000 likes and more than 300 comments on the Texas official’s page before it was removed on Monday around 11:15 a.m. It was posted Sunday around 5 p.m.
Instead of being angry with Miller over the post, Todd Smith, a political consultant for Miller, told the Associated Press that people should focus their criticisms toward Islamic terrorists, Iranian leaders and President Barack Obama and demand apologies for their words and actions.
“We think those are all issues that deserve an apology and are much more serious than a thought-provoking Facebook post,” Smith said.
Smith told the Houston Chronicle that he wouldn’t call it inappropriate, but said instead that it was “thought-provoking.”
Unlike Smith, Luke Bullock, a special assistant to Miller, called the post “inappropriate” and said it did not align with Miller’s views.
“Commissioner Miller does not believe we need to drop an atomic bomb on the entire Muslim population of the world, I can assure you that,” Smith said.
He added that the post was made without the commissioner’s knowledge by a staffer in his campaign office who does not work for the state agency.
Texas Democrats are demanding an apology from Miller.
“It is unacceptable for Republican Sid Miller to be promoting such disgusting rhetoric. Sadly, this kind of racist, xenophobic hate speech qualifies you for higher office with Republicans’ Tea Party fringe base,” Manny Garcia, deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, said in a statement. “We hope Sid Miller shows some respect for Texans and the responsibility of holding state office and issues an apology.”
Smith told the Houston Chronicle that Miller “has not made any bones about where he stands on the issue of radical Islamic terrorism.”
On August 9, 1945, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Japan. The atomic bomb killed somewhere between 39,000 and 80,000 people. Japan surrendered shortly after the atomic bombing.
In January, the Dallas Morning News reported that Miller told a crowd at the Texas Public Policy Foundation forum that his fear of the U.S. becoming a “Muslim country” kept him awake at night.