ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Republican party county chair who came under fire for comments about Muslims on his Facebook page has resigned.

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.

Those comments were condemned by Muslim community leaders and GOP party Chairman Keith Downey.

Whitley told the Associated Press Friday he had no plans to resign but was asked to do so by other board members.

His resignation was effective Friday.

Whitley was also fired from his hardware store job in Ortonville.

Whitley declined to answer whether he still believes what he wrote about Muslims.

His comments were first reported by the Bluestem Prairie blog.