On Saturday, Heidi Grubbs told atombash.com in an exclusive interview that she was fired from her job at a Belk outlet in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Making matters worse, she was banned from the mall where she worked for a full year. She was fired and banned for her outspoken criticism of Islam, she said. Part of the problem was a sign critical of Islam she had in her car window.
Grubbs did not deny that she made overly strong comments regarding Islam while at work, but, she said, the comments were part of a private conversation with a friend. Nevertheless, store management apparently did not approve and terminated her.
“Heidi, You have seriously violated our policy which clearly prohibits harassments (sic) of our associates and customers for their religious affiliations and their national origin by displaying your signs on our parking lot and sending your disparaging texts to our associates,” said the termination notice Grubbs provided to Examiner. “What you have done is highly offensive and intolerable. For that reason you are being terminated immediately.”
Grubbs said she refused to apologize for her comments and her sign. She punctuated that by signing the termination notice, “Proud American standing up for my rights 100%.” A screen capture of the termination notice can be seen in the slideshow above.
Her termination was followed up with a one-year ban issued at about 4:17 p.m. local time. The “serious offense” listed by the ban relates to the mall’s “code of conduct,” which apparently means drivers cannot display signs critical of Islam on their vehicles.
Grubbs provided Examiner a picture of the strongly-worded sign, which we left out of the slideshow due to some of the graphic language on the sign. “I eat bacon,” says one slogan on the sign. “I spit in Mohammed’s face,” reads another line.
According to the ban, Grubbs is prohibited from stepping foot on no less than seven area shopping centers, including the Northgate Mall where she worked, the Hamilton Place Mall, Gunbarrel Pointe and The Shoppes at Hamilton Place.
We contacted the Northgate Mall Security office for further comments but received a message that the voicemail box was full. We also contacted Grubb’s former employer, but was unable to reach anyone willing to confirm or deny the incident.
Grubbs said she has been very outspoken about Islam since moving to Chattanooga from Memphis. “What happened to our soldiers” is more offensive than anything she might have written on paper, she added. Recently, four Marines and one sailor was killed in an attack on a recruiting center. The gunman, Muhammad Abdulazeez, was killed in a gunfight with law enforcement officers.
Since the shooting, Grubbs said, the Muslim presence in Chattanooga has grown. She also said she’s been heavily scrutinized as a result of her outspoken criticism. On Saturday, for example, Grubbs told Examiner that she was visited by two officers who said people complained about anti-Islamic signs on her SUV. According to Grubbs, the officers said she could be pulled over because of the signs.
Police, she said, were also called when she visited a gas station next to the mall where she once worked. No citations or warnings were issued, she added, and officers went their way.
Grubbs said she intends to take legal action provided she can find an attorney willing to defend her First Amendment right to free speech — even speech some might find offensive. “I think they’re afraid,” she said. Or, she added, they support the harassment she believes is coming directly from the Muslim community. On Saturday, she said that only three people have said they support her point of view.
Adding insult to injury, Grubbs said none of the local media outlets will cover her story. One local station, she said, told her it would be “unfair” to the many Muslims in their audience. Worse yet, she said, the station banned her from its Facebook page.
In late July, Politico said Tennessee has become the “Capital of American jihad,” and it’s not something that just happened in the last few weeks. The shootings in Chattanooga are just the latest fruits of Islamic jihad in the homeland.
“The names of the murderers Abdulhakim and Abdulazeez are now written on the side of the ledger where evil is reckoned, but they are not alone there,” Politico said. While some have lost their lives to jihad, it seems that many others, like Grubbs, are quickly losing the right to exercise their Constitutional freedoms in an effort to appease the Muslim community.