A Transportation Security Administration officer has been fired for posting a series of anti-Muslim messages on his Facebook page, including ones calling Islam "a filthy religion" and saying Muslims "need to be exterminated."
Roy Egan had been a baggage screener at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport for nine years, nearly since the agency's inception. He was terminated earlier this month after a ABC affiliate WLS-TV uncovered hundreds of derogatory comments on his Facebook page, which was open for anyone to see.
Egan, 46, identified himself on Facebook as a TSA employee, with the note, "I look for bad stuff going on airplanes."
Among his postings were ones that read, "Islam, a cult that glorifies death" and "Does anything at all make you smile more than a Muslim burning by his own hateful hand?" WLS reported. His comments also targeted gays, Hispanics and blacks, including "crude racial descriptions" of President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, whom he said should "die tasting your own blood."
Despite the tenor of his posts, Egan said his views never interfered with his job, and called them "common stuff I picked off the web and made comments on." He said he was "taken out of context" and that he is "in no way a racist," though he admitted to calling President Obama the "Muslim-in-chief." Egan said despite making other "nasty" comments he is not a hatemonger, just using Facebook to exercise his freedom of speech.
Chicago's Council on American-Islamic Relations council met with TSA leadership after Egan's postings first came to light. Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of CAIR Chicago, called the comments "as much an embarrassment to the agency and the values it stands for, as it was an affront against Muslims and other minorities," Fox affiliate WFLD-TV reported.
Egan was found in violation of the TSA's code of conduct, which stipulates that its employees -- whether on or off duty — avoid behaving in a manner that causes the public to raise questions about their judgment and ability to enforce the mission of the agency, WFLD reported.
After WLS-TV's first report on Egan's postings last month, he made his Facebook profile private. Since his firing he has opened it up to the public once again. In a Nov. 7 post he wrote, "Since that day my life has become a downward spiral. I have lost my Living after 9 years with the DHS/TSA even though TSA admits I have "No History of Formal Discipline" and "Your Performance appraisals have been Acceptable." He continued, "This is including 2 Role Model of Excellence evaluations which is the Highest Rating a TSA/TSO can get."
"My personal life is in shambles, and I spent a week in the Hospital," he also said in the post. "On top of all this I cannot find an Attorney to Defend me. I have Never been the type to beg for help, but I am now. I need a Lawyer with the Guts to fight for the 1st Amendment, and Im asking all of you for help in finding this person."
He has continued to post other articles involving Muslims, including at least one from The Blaze. His most recent post Thursday is a blog post purportedly linking Muslim immigration to the "rape epidemic of Norweigian girls" with the comment, "but Im the Bad Guy for telling you this!!!!"