PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – It was just after midnight on Friday when a meme onto former Rep. Allen West's Facebook page, featuring retired Gen. James Mattis.
The meme showed Mattis, who has been nominated by President-elect Donald Trump for secretary of defense, with the words "Fired by Obama to please the Muslims. Hired by Trump to exterminate them."
By Saturday afternoon the meme was taken down and an apology was issued on Facebook by Michele Hickford, the editor-in-chief of West’s website.
Hockford said in the post that the meme's "message was despicable, offensive to many, and a terrible error in judgment by the person who posted it. Furthermore, it does not reflect Col. West's beliefs, principles and values. I (Michele Hickford) am deeply sorry for the distress this has caused so many people."
Hickford also said the meme was not written by any members of West’s staff and that he doesn't condone or support the meme's message.
A representative from the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said he'd rather hear an apology from West himself.
"And no reaction from West himself? Hmmm," Wilfredo Ruiz, spokesman for CAIR-Florida, said via text message. "In such a delicate issue we (are) still missing any reaction from Allen West himself disowning this xenophobic expression."
Hassan Shibly, the chief executive officer of CAIR-Florida, said in a statement that West is a “well-known Islamophobe.”
"Allen West is a well-known Islamophobe and integral part of the multimillionaire and dangerously active Islamophobia industry in America," Shibly said. "The former congressman's irresponsible and openly xenophobic Facebook's posting insinuating that Trump nominated Gen. (James) Mattis to exterminate Muslims should be taken serious by President-elect (Donald) Trump. This public statement clearly disqualifies Allen West from any future public appointments of nominations."
The apology – shown below-- was well-received online by West's supporters.