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  1. #1
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    Texas Republicans defend county GOP leader as group pushes to oust him because he is Muslim

    (CNN)A proposal to remove a Texas county GOP leader from his post because he is Muslim is being met with forceful opposition from Republicans on the county, state and national level, ahead of a vote this week.

    The Tarrant County Republican Party is scheduled to decide Thursday whether to keep Shahid Shafi, who was appointed vice chairman of the county GOP in July. His ratification received near unanimous support from the group's executive committee.

    The lone dissenter, however, created a small group that brought forth a motion to oust Shafi, Jeremy Bradford, executive director of the Tarrant County GOP, told CNN. Tarrant County includes the city of Forth Worth.

    Sources within the party say the dissenter is Dorrie O'Brien, who has been outspoken on Facebook about her concerns about Shafi's religion.

    "We don't think he's suitable as a practicing Muslim to be vice chair because he'd be the representative for ALL Republicans in Tarrant County, and not ALL Republicans in Tarrant County think Islam is safe or acceptable in the U.S., in Tarrant County, and in the TCGOP, and there are big questions surrounding exactly where Dr. Shafi's loyalties lie, vis a vis Democrat and Republican policies," O'Brien said on Facebook.

    CNN reached out to O'Brien, but she declined to comment.

    Tarrant County GOP Chairman Darl Easton said he appointed Shafi to the position after observing his work on an outreach committee and a campaign committee.

    "When it came time to appoint vice chairs, it was kind of an automatic choice," Easton said.

    Easton says that while religion is a vital factor to some members of the party, it is not to him.
    "I'm standing by him," Easton said. "I have no doubt what his allegiance is to, he's not a radical jihadist or terrorist. I think he's more dedicated to the party than many of the ones who are asking for his resignation."

    Shafi, a father, trauma surgeon, US citizen, and immigrant from India, said the group calling for his ouster is working against America's values and the Republican party.

    "What we cannot do, and we don't do, is discriminate against a specific person based on their religion, caste, creed, color, ethnicity or country of origin. Our party has very specific rules that prohibit religious discrimination. Our country has specific rules and our constitution prohibits it," Shafi told CNN in December. "So when this controversy arose because of a small number of people at the fringes of our party, it's been really very -- they're doing a disservice to our party."

    Support for Shafi within the Republican party has been widespread.

    "Religious freedom is at the core of who we are as a nation and state," Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement, according to the Dallas Morning News. "And attacks on Dr. Shafi because of his faith are contrary to this guiding principle."
    Senator Ted Cruz tweeted his support in December.

    Shahid Shafi, the vice-chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party, has been accused, without evidence, of supporting Sharia law and being affiliated with terrorist groups.

    "Discrimination against Dr. Shafi b/c he's Muslim is wrong. The Constitution prohibits any religious test for public office & the First Amendment protects religious liberty for every faith, The Party of Lincoln should welcome everybody and celebrate liberty."

    George P. Bush, grandson of George H.W. Bush and Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, encouraged people to vote to keep Shafi.

    "I again urge my friends in the Tarrant County Republican Party to do the right thing and vote to support Shahid Shafi as vice chairman of the party. Religious litmus tests are wrong—whether they occur in my party or whether its Democratic Senators who have questioned Catholic judges' ability to be unbiased. What matters is a person's character, judgment and values. Shahid Shafi has all three."
    In an open letter, Shafi said he is confident in the Tarrant County GOP's "fundamental sense of fairness" and called on those in doubt to "build trust by breaking bread with our neighbors who don't look like us or talk with an accent."

    "A nation divided by hate and fear makes us weaker, and our enemies stronger," he wrote. "It is through inclusion, and not exclusion, that we will be able to build strong communities, where neighbors trust and protect each other, and our enemies cannot find refuge."

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/10/u...afi/index.html


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  2. #2
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    Republicans in the third-most-populous county in Texas voted overwhelmingly against the removal of one of their party leaders from his post on Thursday.

    The vote was not over qualifications or any misdeed by the party leader, Shahid Shafi, a surgeon and longtime Republican who was appointed vice chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party six months ago.

    It was over whether Dr. Shafi’s Muslim faith disqualified him from the job. The vote — and the bitter clashes leading up to it — came as Democrats have been heralding the arrival of the first two Muslim women in Congress last week.

    “Religious liberty won tonight,” Darl Easton, the Republican Party’s county chairman, said after Dr. Shafi was supported, 139 to 49, in Thursday’s vote. “And while that makes a great day for the Republican Party of Tarrant County, that victory also serves notice that we have much work to do unifying our party.”

    Dr. Shafi, who emigrated from Pakistan 29 years ago, sailed into his role in July, with a single dissenting vote. Since then, Texas Republicans have tried to smother the brush fire lit by Dorrie O’Brien, who cast the lone vote against him and who began to agitate for his removal soon afterward.

    Ms. O’Brien was one of the 269 Republican representatives eligible to vote, each one representing a voting precinct in the county. On Thursday night, those precinct captains voted in a two-and-a-half-hour executive session behind closed doors in a church.

    Mr. Easton said the vote demonstrated the party’s allegiance to the Constitution and its prohibition of religious and racial discrimination.

    “This vote reaffirms the commitment by a majority of Tarrant County Republicans to our core values and moral compass,” he said.

    Ms. O’Brien had spent the last several months persuading precinct chairs to oppose Dr. Shafi, and she was able to gain another 48 dissenters by Thursday night. One of them, Dale Atteberry, was upset with the results and quit after the vote.

    “We don’t think he’s suitable as a practicing Muslim to be vice chair because he’d be the representative for ALL Republicans in Tarrant County, and not ALL Republicans in Tarrant County think Islam is safe or acceptable in the U.S., in Tarrant County, and in the TCGOP,” Ms. O’Brien wrote on Facebook in December.

    This was not the first effort to block a practicing Muslim from a Republican leadership role in Texas. In 2016, a local precinct chair tried unsuccessfully to prevent another Pakistani-American from becoming a precinct chairman in Harris County, which encompasses Houston and is the fourth-largest county in the nation.

    But this latest controversy brought out the biggest Republican luminaries in the state, and they offered resolute support for Dr. Shafi, 54, who became a citizen in 2009 and who has served as a City Council member in Southlake, Tex., since 2014.

    “The promise of freedom of religion is guaranteed by the First Amendment in the Constitution; and Article 1, Section 4 of the Texas Constitution states that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust in this state,” Gov. Greg Abbott said this week in a statement.

    Mr. Abbott was joined by Senator Ted Cruz and George P. Bush, the state land commissioner and grandson of former President George Bush.

    Tarrant County, whose biggest city is Fort Worth, has been solidly Republican. But in November, a majority of voters there backed the Democratic nominee for United States Senate, Beto O’Rourke, and other State Senate and House seats flipped to the Democrats.

    Dr. Shafi declined to comment. But during the campaign to remove him, he has reaffirmed his political beliefs and tried to swat away the attacks on himself and his faith.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/10/u...afi-texas.html


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    (CNN)A proposal to remove a Texas county GOP leader from his post because he is Muslim is being met with forceful opposition from Republicans on the county, state and national level, ahead of a vote this week.
    "Shafi, a father, trauma surgeon, US citizen, and immigrant from India", seems like an immigrant success story.

  4. #4
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    Why would he want to join a party where are close to a 1/3 of the GOP see only his religion and nothing about his politics or his ideology.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    Why would he want to join a party where are close to a 1/3 of the GOP see only his religion and nothing about his politics or his ideology.
    Up until 9/11 most asians and muslims supported the GOP becausr of their conservative values, a lot of Desi doctors also support the GOP because socialized medicine would really decrease their earnings, doctors are some of the highest paid people here so many of them don't want a single payer system. Another Pakistani doctor is the mayor of Paris, Tx and I know many more that support the GOP.


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