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Preckwinkle joins activists in denouncing trustee’s anti-Muslim posts

Palos Township trustee Sharon Brannigan | Palos Township website photo

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Wednesday joined activists in condemning anti-Muslim remarks posted to Facebook by a Palos Township trustee.

In a statement, Preckwinkle called for Sharon Brannigan to step down from the county’s Commission on Women’s Issues after social media posts surfaced in which she criticized Muslim immigrants.

Brannigan, a Palos Township trustee since 2013, has since removed her Facebook profile.

Preckwinkle stopped short of calling for her to step down from the trustee position.

“If these posts accurately reflect her views on diversity and inclusion, I believe she should step down from the Commission,” Preckwinkle said in a statement. “Such viewpoints certainly do not reflect our values nor, in my opinion, the kind of representation we want on the Commission.”

Preckwinkle went on to ask County Commissioner Sean Morrison to “seek Ms. Brannigan’s immediate resignation” from the Commission.

Neither Brannigan nor Morrison responded immediatley to requests for comment Wednesday morning.

Screenshots of Brannigan’s Facebook posts circulated this week. In one, she asked, “Why are all our schools filling with Middle East students without proper documentation? What is Dan Lipinski 3rd district rep. (D) doing about it?”

In another from January 2015, she wrote in part, “In the 3rd district here in Illinois, our demographics include 25% Muslim of which very few integrate within the communities keeping themselves and their activities hidden from the general population. Everywhere you turn, from Orland Park to Bridgeview, those numbers are increasing in leaps and bounds. We are allowing these people whether they have peaceful intentions or not into our country without question.”

Along with much of the southwest suburbs, Palos Township includes parts of Bridgeview, a town of more than 16,000 that has a robust Arab American population.

The Daily Southtown reported that more than 100 protesters rallied outside the Palos Township offices Monday, calling for Brannigan’s resignation.