A Facebook executive who shared an anti-Muslim meme at an internal meeting apologizing, “Sorry, I thought you were a Muslim,” has since recanted and submitted an apology letter to the company.
Facebook design manager Andrew Bosworth, who works on the site’s diversity program, shared a meme on Twitter last week that calls Muslims a “terrorist-filled faith” and that translates to, “Muslims don’t love America. They love death.” The meme has since been deleted.
“We all made a terrible mistake,” Bosworth wrote in an email obtained by CNN. “As I explained yesterday, we as a team should have never posted this meme. I will apologize directly to any employees who were offended. Given that my wife is Muslim, I also want to personally apologize to her. I very much regret what happened.”
In his apology letter to Facebook, Bosworth writes that “I was exposed to the fullness of prejudice, bias and intolerance in my own community, and while I’d like to believe that we have made progress at Facebook in educating my peers and mentoring them so that they can better reflect the world in which we live, it is clear that we need to do more.”
While Bosworth does not further elaborate on the internal meeting, a Facebook spokesman said “All employees were thoughtful and upset by this. At that meeting, the executive team did apologize, and apologized unequivocally. No one is more committed to our efforts to build a inclusive environment than our leaders, and they committed to taking all steps needed to ensure this never happens again.”
In an internal email, Facebook employee Imran Shajwan, who runs the company’s diversity website, told employees “we are all horrified by this and, however, felt like we had to take steps to prevent this type of thing from happening again.”