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Michigan City Worker is Fired after Saying Muslim Model Who Appeared in Sports Illustrated Wearing a Burkini should have Been Featured in ‘Camels Are Us’


A Michigan man has been fired after posting a racist remark on Facebook about Halima Aden – a Muslim model featured in the current issue of Sports Illustrated wearing a hijab and burkini.

Bill Larion, 58, who worked as a part-time surveyor for the city of Dearborn’s Engineering Department, had his position terminated on Wednesday, four days after he wrote that Aden should have instead been featured in ‘Camels Are Us’.

The comment attracted widespread condemnation, including outrage from the mayor of Dearborn, which is 46 per cent Arab American.


Larion initially denied he wrote the comment, and claimed that his Facebook account had been hacked.

However, by Tuesday, he confessed to writing the post and offered a formal apology.

‘I want to apologize for my horrible comment… I want to do better for my community and family. I hurt not only my family but my coworkers and my community and people I don’t even know,’ he stated.


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The apology was too little, too late for Larion, who was axed from his position the following day.

Larion’s lawyer, Ed Zelenak, said that the community missed a teaching moment by firing the city worker so abruptly.

Zelenak claimed his client was open to becoming involved with interfaith groups, which ‘would have been a great opportunity for the city of Dearborn to put both feet forward and say: ‘We’re going to learn from this.”’

The comments have not distracted from Aden’s history-making Sports Illustrated photo shoot.

The Somali-American model became the first woman to wear a hijab and a burkini in the magazine’s famed Swimsuit Edition, which went on sale on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, stuns in several custom-made burkinis inside the pages of the magazine.

Halima lived at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya before moving to the United States at the age of seven, and recently reflected on her amazing journey during her shoot.

‘I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,’ she told Sports Illustrated.

‘So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya — I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.’


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‘I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,’ she told Sports Illustrated.

‘So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya — I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.’

Story cited here.

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