Tarrant County Republicans are set to vote on whether to remove Dr. Shahid Shafi from his position as the county party, Vice-Chairman, after a group of people complained about his religious beliefs.
Texas Republicans will have to fight a local group to oust the efforts of GOP county official about his Muslim religious beliefs.
The Republicans are in Tarrant County – one of the most populous counties in Texas to vote on whether to remove Dr. Shahid Shafi of his position as the party, the Vice-Chairman on Thursday.
Shafi, a trauma surgeon and Southlake city Council, was born in India and raised in Pakistan, was appointed as the county party Vice-Chairman in July, according to the Austin American-Statesman. As Precinct Chairman Dorrie O’brien has led the efforts to reconsider his appointment, claiming that his religious beliefs are not in harmony with those he represents in Tarrant County.
“We do not believe that he is suitable, as a practicing Muslim to be the Vice-Chairman, because he would be the representative for ALL of the Republicans in Tarrant County, and not ALL of the Republicans in Tarrant County think Islam is safe or acceptable in the United States, in Tarrant County, and in the TCGOP, and there are big questions, where exactly is Dr. Shafi loyalties lie, vis-a-vis Democrats and Republicans on policy,” O’brien wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. They often have background posted on social media about their efforts to the elimination of the Shafi and criticize their religious.
Shafi, became a U.S. citizen in 2009, has rejected accusations that he favors Sharia law over and above the American court system. He denied any connections to terrorist organizations, or the Muslim brotherhood.
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Despite the push by some in the Tarrant County GOP, Shafi received the support of prominent Republicans, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Land Commissioner George P. Bush has.
“The discrimination against Dr. Shafi [because] he is a Muslim, is wrong,” Cruz said in a December tweet. “The Constitution prohibits any religious test for public office [and] the First amendment protects religious freedom for every faith. The party of Lincoln welcome all, and celebrate freedom.”
Bush said the ” GOP ” must move “to a more inclusive Republican party and stop the demolition of our own, if we keep Texas red,” as he called to stop for the County party, the efforts for the elimination of the Shafi.
In addition, the Texas GOP Board of Directors adopted a resolution last month affirming its commitment against discrimination. The resolution States reiterates to the state party, “and all Americans supported the right to practice their religion … and to recognize the contributions of the Republicans of any faith who advance conservative policy and ideals.”
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Shafi said that the resolution “reaffirmed my faith in our party and in our country.”
“Today we have removed all doubt, as what we are and what we believe as conservatives and Republicans, and I’m going to take that message back to Tarrant County,” he said, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “This is and remains, and the party of Lincoln and Reagan should always be.”
Tarrant County GOP Chairman Darl Easton, who ordered Shafi, chalked, to displace the efforts of the doctor to “religious prejudices”.
Shafi is “very active with the party, but most people don’t even care about what he has done. Most of you have already said a prejudice against Muslims, and a lot of that comes from the attack on 9/11 and Sharia law, which they claim, and all Muslims must obey,” Easton, The Texas Tribune.
Easton is also the subject of an online petition for his removal as the Tarrant County GOP Chairman.
“No matter from which side one takes, the appointment of Shahid Shafi … Darl Easton, the possibility should be provided for such a controversial appointment would fall, the Tarrant County GOP in the pitch and created a PR nightmare for our party. The only press the Tarrant has become the GOP, with Darl at the top of bad press,” the petition States.
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Tarrant County includes the cities of Fort Worth and Arlington in Texas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.