BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker in North Dakota said he doesn’t know how a pair of anti-Islam posts appeared in his Facebook feed, and speculated Tuesday that his account may have been hacked by political opponents.
The Fargo Forum first reported on the posts Tuesday, saying a post shared from Rep. Jim Kasper’s account reads: “The whole world has one common problem(:) Islam.”
“I don’t know how the hell it got there and I took it down immediately,” Kasper said of the posts that appeared Monday night on his Facebook page. “It’s political season and the time to do political tricks has started. It’s a sad state of affairs this stuff has to happen.”
According to the newspaper, another post shared from Kasper’s account read: “Minnesota’s Twin Cities are lost” to “the Islamic Movement.”
Kasper, of Fargo, posted an apology Tuesday on his private Facebook page. He said he has about 4,000 Facebook friends, most of whom he does not know personally. Only his Facebook friends may access his page.
“I have all kinds of Facebook friends: conservatives, liberals, libertarians and atheists,” said Kasper, who owns an insurance business and has served in the state House since 2001.
Kasper said he was deleting some of his Facebook friends on Tuesday, and was having his computer checked for security breaches.
“I’m going to be much more cautious on the security of my Facebook now,” he said.
Kasper, who often carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his jacket pocket, is one of the most conservative lawmakers in the GOP-led Legislature.
He unsuccessfully pushed legislation last year aimed at giving North Dakotans more power over their personal data online. The measure would have allowed people to ask companies what personal data has been collected and how it has been shared. It also would have allowed residents to demand the data be deleted and not collected in the future.
The bill was amended to study the issue first.