MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota is condemning comments about Muslims a county GOP chair made on his Facebook page.

Big Stone County GOP Chair Jack Whitley called Muslims “parasites” and wrote “FRAG ‘EM!” when they travel to Mecca, slang for a fragmentation hand grenade.

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The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Thursday called on Republican leaders to repudiate Whitley’s comments.

In a statement, Minnesota GOP Chairman Keith Downey said Whitley’s comments “could not be further from the Republican Party’s beliefs.” Downey noted the party has endorsed its first Somali-American candidate for the Legislature.

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Whitley told The Associated Press the comments were on his personal Facebook page and have “nothing to do with the GOP.”

Whitley’s comments were first reported by the Bluestem Prairie blog.

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