A national Muslim organization has encouraged Walmart to rehire the Hamburg store employee who was recently fired after he posted derogatory comments about Muslims.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations wrote a letter this week to Walmart executive William S. Simon expressing hope that the retail giant will accept an apology from the employee, Terry Earsing, “and if possible provide him employment.”
The letter, dated Wednesday, followed talks between Earsing and two representatives from the council.
“He was very apologetic,” said Sadyia Khalique, operations coordinator for the New York chapter of CAIR. “We appreciate his coming forward and speaking with us.”
Walmart last week fired Earsing from his assistant manager job at the Southwestern Boulevard store in Hamburg after he posted on Facebook a photograph of two Muslim women dressed in full cover in Walmart, along with the written comments: “Halloween came early this year ... do they really have to ... dress like that ... your in my country ... get that ... off!!!!!.”
CAIR had urged Walmart to pursue “appropriate disciplinary action” in addressing his Facebook comments.
But Khalique said this week that the Muslim organization never sought to force Earsing out of a job.
“What we want to try and do is make sure this doesn’t cause a huge damper on his life,” she said. “We hope through this whole process that Terry is still able to continue working in his full capacity.”
A call and email to Walmart representatives were not returned Thursday.
Earsing said he was grateful for the letter and for the conversations with Khalique and Ryan Mahoney, board president of CAIR’s New York chapter.
“They’ve accepted my apologies, and we’re friends,” he said. “Like I said before, I’m just sorry that all of this happened. If I could take it all back, I would.”
Earsing said he doubted the letter would prompt Walmart to rehire him.
“I violated a company policy,” he said. “I violated their trust.”
He has interviewed for other retail jobs since his dismissal.
The Buffalo News story last week on Earsing’s firing drew a heavy reader response, including those who supported his right to make the remarks and derided the retailer for its reaction.
“I appreciate the support in one way,” Earsing said. “But in another way, I don’t, because what I did was wrong.”