The Tarrant County Republican Party has voted to not recall its vice-chairman Shahid Shafi after a segment of the party rebelled at his appointment, according to The Texas Tribune. Shafi is a trauma surgeon and City Council member in Southlake, TX who moved to America in 1990, and became a naturalized citizen in 2009. He’s also a Muslim. For some reason, Shafi’s local Republican Party didn’t trust him. Hmm.
Last July, Shafi was chosen by Tarrant County GOP Chair Darl Easton to be vice-chairman of the local party. Then, all hell broke loose: a minority of the county Republican Party opposed Shafi’s role in leadership, saying that he couldn’t represent them, as he was a Muslim. Some in the local party suggested that Islam is inherently opposed to American values, while others speculated, with no evidence, that he had ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Where could they have gotten those ideas??!?
As the controversy came to a head last month, a motion to recall Shafi was proposed by local party members. At the vote yesterday, it lost by 149 to 49.
From the Tribune:
The failed attempt to oust Shafi by a small local faction drew national attention as well as condemnation from some of the state’s top Republicans. In a statement Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said “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.”
“Religious freedom is at the core of who we are as a nation and state, and attacks on Dr. Shafi because of his faith are contrary to this guiding principle,” the governor concluded.
Those who questioned Shafi or suggested he had ties to terrorism included Dorrie O’Brien and Sara Legvold, present and former Tarrant County precinct chairs, respectively.
Levgold herself didn’t vote on Shafi’s removal, instead opting to sit outside of City Hall wearing a burqa to “represent the Islamization of our county, our state and our country.” Cool!
“You already see it in the workplace where Muslims demand they’re able to wear their hijab and demand they get a prayer room,” she told the Tribune. “When was the last time a Christian was allowed to have a separate place to say their prayers?”
Levgold also complained that her and other critics of Shafi were being demonized in the media.
“They’ve said nothing but horrible things about us—that we’re bigots and Islamophobes and white supremacists—when we’re just patriots who care for our country,” she said.
How could anyone call you a bigot for suggesting that Muslims are inherently untrustworthy and on a nefarious quest to “Islamize” our country?!
A State Republican Executive Committee representative from District 22, which includes part of Tarrant County, had some choice words for the Islamophobes.
“In my personal opinion, they need to pull their heads out of their fourth point of contact and they need to focus on winning elections and stop pointing the finger at Muslims,” Tripp Bryant said (yes, that’s his real name).
It’s awful that Shafi is being discriminated against due to his religion. But the idea that Islamophobia is an aberration rather than a standard feature in the modern-day GOP is beyond delusional. The only people that our President Trump likes attacking more than Muslims is Latinx immigrants. The remarkable thing about this story is not that the GOP is racist, but that any Muslim would want to serve in the Republican Party in the first place.