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PLANO, Tex. (RNS) — The city council of heavily Republican Plano has voted to censure one of its members for an anti-Islam Facebook post — a post for which he has apologized but over which he refuses to resign.
The 7-1 vote Sunday (Feb. 18) — with only embattled council member Tom Harrison dissenting — came during a special council meeting called to address his Tuesday re-post from a Facebook group called Join Hands Across America For Trump.
Student - Hijab - Words - Share - Trump
It featured a student in a hijab and these words: “Share if you think Trump should ban Islam in American schools.”
As word of the councilman’s action quickly spread in this affluent city of 286,000 about 2o miles north of Dallas, the city’s first black mayor, called for his immediate resignation.
Harrison - Post - Wednesday - Residents - Sides
Harrison took the post down on Wednesday, but residents had already begun taking sides over whether he deserved to continue in office.
“My message to everyone within the Islamic community is: This is their home. They’re welcome just like everyone else is,” Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, a Republican elected in 2013 who has been critical of Trump, said at a news conference.
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All of that happened within the last week, and on Sunday roughly 500 people showed up at city hall for a special council meeting called to discuss the future of Harrison, 73.
After an hour behind closed doors, the council took their censure vote in public session.
Years - Years - Benefit - Doubt - Plano
“Six years ago or 10 years ago, I would have given him the benefit of the doubt,” said Plano resident Gans Subramanian, a Hindu immigrant from India who attended the meeting. “But in the current political context, we are all very, very careful about things. … If you have a councilman make an incorrect statement like that, it breaks the trust in the community.”
The mayor said the censure serves as...
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