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Grasso, Muslim council president meet over anti-Islam Facebook posts

Chase Cook
Contact Reporterccook@capgaznews.com

The president of the Anne Arundel County Muslim Council confirmed Saturday that he met with County Councilman John Grasso Friday in a meeting described as education-focused.

Muslim council president Rudwan Abu-Rumman and Grasso agreed to meet after the Glen Burnie Republican shared anti-Islam posts on his Facebook page. Grasso apologized Thursday for the posts.

“This will be a message to all politicians they need to know their community before they start taking sides and sending nonsense posts or sharing posts without understanding what it means,” Abu-Rumman said Saturday.

Grasso, who is running for the District 32 Senate seat, did not respond Saturday to a request for comment.

Abu-Rumman said Grasso’s apology and anything learned from the Friday meeting will be presented to the council Sunday. The council will then likely take a position on Grasso, though Abu-Rumman said he wasn’t sure if that position would be made public.

Initially the Muslim council called on Grasso to resign and for Republicans to denounce him for “hate-filled, Islamaphobic and xenophobic” posts he shared in September.

Grasso apologized a few days later in a text message to Abu-Rumman. Grasso also posted a statement on his state Senate campaign Facebook page.

In that statement Wednesday, Grasso said one of his posts were taken out of context. He focused mostly on a post he shared on Sept. 26 titled “Share if you think President Trump should ban Islam in American Schools.” After Abu-Rumman commented, Grasso responded six days later, writing: “I don't think any religion should be in public schools.”

Grasso pledged not to “quit” on the campaign but did apologize for offending people.

Staff writer Selene San Felice contributed to this story.

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