Date :Monday, December 3rd, 2018 | Time : 09:02 |ID: 79724 | Print

Texas Republicans want to remove Muslim from Vice Chair Post of Local GOP

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SHAFAQNASome GOP leaders in Tarrant County in Texas want to remove Shahid Shafi from local GOP leadership, because he’s Muslim.

This issue is a controversial effort that began months ago when a small group of local Republicans began pushing to remove Shahid Shafi, a Muslim, from the post of vice chairman.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus also posted a message on social media about the situation that has gained increased media attention.

“Some in the Tarrant County Republican Party want to remove a party officer because of his religious faith,” he wrote. “This effort is disgraceful and un-American, and Republicans in Tarrant County should defeat it handily.”

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who lived in Fort Worth before being elected to statewide office, was the first to weigh in on Friday.

“I urge the Tarrant County GOP to stop this attempt to remove a hardworking county party official based on religious beliefs,” Bush tweeted. “We must move towards a more inclusive Republican Party and stop tearing down our own if we are to keep Texas red.”

Some in the party say Shafi, a surgeon and city council member in a Fort Worth suburb, may be more loyal to Islamic law or not supportive enough of the party’s pro-Israel platform.

Shafi counters that he supports American laws and the court system, and says he has no affiliation to “any terrorist organization,” as some have alleged. Shafi, who became a U.S. citizen in 2009 and shortly after joined the Republican Party, says he supports the Second Amendment and has never promoted Sharia, or Islamic law.

The emails delivered anonymously to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram indicate the Tarrant County GOP executive committee plans to vote Jan. 10 on whether to remove Shahid Shafi from his leadership position.

One email by a Republican activist said, “We have become overly lax.”

The Star-Telegram reported earlier this week that the effort to remove Shafi has expanded and others now targeted include the party chair, Darl Easton; a precinct chair and area leader, Kelly Canon; and a precinct chair who is married to a Muslim, Lisa Grimaldi Abdulkareem.

Lisa Grimaldi Abdulkareem told that it will be the downfall of the Republican Party if it “doesn’t stand up against those who want to discriminate against others.”

“Where does the discrimination end? I believe people need to speak up loudly and let the few know that this is not right and it won’t be tolerated,” she said, huffingtonpost told.

Support Shafi

A common thread in many Republicans’ statements in support of Shafi is that local attempts to oust an official based on religion will smear the party’s name.

Mackowiak, who called the efforts “outrageous and disgusting,” said that the headlines the story is generating could hurt Republicans locally, statewide and even nationally.

“Our opponents claim the Republican Party is bigoted or racist,” Mackowiak said. “The last thing we want to do is take an action that would make that argument for them.”

Easton, who is optimistic that Shafi will retain his leadership position, said some of the damage has already been done.

Others to weigh in on the issue include the State Republican Executive Committee, which posted online a resolution supporting Shafi as a vice chair in Tarrant County.

It states that Shafi “demonstrates through deed and voice his dedication and servant leadership to Republicans in his community and beyond.”

“Dr. Shafi brings vitality and the rich background of an immigrant who came to the US legally and sought out the American Dream,” the resolution goes on to say. “These are the values of the Party of Lincoln and Reagan, and we fully support his involvement and contributions to our shared cause.

“The resolution calls on Tarrant County Republicans to stand by Shafi and party platform planks “protecting and preserving religious liberty for all Americans.”

“Regardless of whether he’s removed or not, we’ve got a long-lasting label,” Easton said. “Just the fact that there was a movement to remove him is embarrassing.”, usposts told .

 

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