Derek Fenton’s 11-year career at the agency came to an abrupt halt Monday after photographs of him ripping pages from the Muslim holy book and setting them ablaze appeared in newspapers.
SHOCKER! Haven’t been able to confirm yet, but a news report on radio just said the ACLU would be coming to the aid of this man.
The protestor who burned pages from the Koran outside a planned mosque near Ground Zero was fired from NJ Transit over the controversial act, sources and authorities said yesterday.
Fenton was ushered from the protests by police and questioned, but he was released without charges. “He said this is America, and he wanted to stand up for it, in a Tea Party kind of way,” a police source said. Another police source said Fenton described himself as a “loyal American” exercising his “right to protest.”
Fenton burned the book during a protest on the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11 outside ofPark51, the controversial mosque slated to be built near Ground Zero. He was apparently inspired by Pastor Terry Jones, the Florida clergyman who threatened to burn the books that day but later changed his mind.
The man who burned the pages was heard to say, “If they can burn American flags, I can burn the Qu’ran”
Described by neighbors as a likable family guy with two children, Fenton was an assistant train consist coordinator, a job that entails ensuring there are enough train cars positioned to be put into service, sources said. He previously worked as a NJ Transit conductor.
“Mr. Fenton’s public actions violated New Jersey Transit’s code of ethics,” an agency statement said. “NJ TRANSIT concluded that Mr. Fenton violated his trust as a state employee and therefore was dismissed.”
Several neighbors in Fenton’s Bloomingdale neighborhood stood up for his right to express himself with flames.”Good for him for burning the Koran,” neighbor Jacqui Marquez, 40, said. “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion … by firing him, they’re sending a message that there’s no freedom of speech. They’re completely wrong for doing this.” NY DAILY NEWS H/T Adam