Plans To Oust Republican Leader In Texas Because "He Is Muslim"

Local Texas GOP rejects outing vice chair over his faith

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

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

Dr Shahid Shafi has the support of the Republican leadership in Texas but his fate along with that of the party's future depends on members who will vote.

Infighting over Shahid Shafi has deterred some potential donors from giving to the Tarrant County Republican Party's main fundraiser ahead of the vote set for Thursday, one party leader told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

"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", Dorrie O'Brien, a member of the GOP's executive committee, said on Facebook. They also stated that Islamic ideologies run counter to the US Constitution.

Shafi has been accused of being part of "Islamic terror groups", and has been forced to deny the connections.

"This is, unfortunately, not the first time that people or my political opponents have tried to use my religion against me to distract the voters".

Mr Shafi, born in India and raised in Pakistan, travelled to the U.S. to study medicine.

Shafi, who has worked as a trauma and rehabilitation expert in various universities and hospitals in Texas, joined the Republican Party soon after receiving USA nationality in 2009.

"When I made a decision to run for the City Council in Southlake, many people did not believe that a Muslim had a chance of winning an election in post-9/11 America", he recently wrote in an open letter.

"Here are the facts".

"I believe that the laws of our nation are our Constitution and the laws passed by our elected legislatures".

A supporter outside called for Shahid Shafi not to be ousted from the Tarrant County GOP. "I am honoured to be an American and a Republican", he was quoted as saying.

Several prominent Republicans like Senator Ted Cruz are standing behind Shafi despite their nonstop attacks on Muslims themselves. Some have even speculated that the ouster of Shafi could drain fundraising efforts and jeopardize the party's 2020 campaign.

Easton has also criticized the faction against Shafi, saying, "Most of them already have a prejudice against Muslims, and a lot of that comes from the attack on 9/11 and the Shariah law they claim all Muslims must obey".

It's unclear whether Thursday's vote will happen in public, behind closed doors or be delayed indefinitely, Easton said.

Though party leaders say they typically have security at the entrances of every meeting, there was a noticeable police presence inside and outside the church and a large group of local and national media covering the meeting.

"It's just outrageous that we are doing this", he said.

The movement to oust Shafi has divided the GOP in Texas' third most populous county, as some have alleged that he has a preference for Sharia, opposes the GOP's pro-Israel stance and has affiliations with terrorist organizations. "The only press the Tarrant GOP has gotten with Darl at the helm is bad press", the petition states.

"Regardless of whether he's removed or not, we've got a long-lasting label", the chairman, Easton, said.

"I disagreed with them because I believe that in this country, what matters is who you are as an individual - not where you came from".

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