Wednesday, 12 Dec 2018
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Some Republicans want to be a Muslim doctor from his leadership role – because he's Muslim

Shahid Shafi, right, with Gov. Greg Abbott (R) at the Tarrant County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner. (Courtesy of Shahid Shafi) (Courtesy of Shahid Shafi) The first time Shahid Shafi ran for a seat on the city council in Southlake, Tex., In 2011, advisers assured him a Muslim in post-9/11 America who spoke with an accent and emigrated from Pakistan would never win an election in Texas. It's a story that Shafi, a Republican trauma surgeon, likes to tell because he did not believe them. He won the Southlake City Council seat on his second try, in 2014, has appointed a delegate to multiple Texas GOP conventions and, in July, was appointed vice chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party, located in Fort Worth. But that's when his religion somehow became a problem again – in the eyes of some Republican colleagues. Shafi had been held in Darling Easton, chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party, to "reconsider" Shafi to fill a leadership role, a request that was soon echoed by several other precinct chairs. "The only reason she was a Muslim," Easton told The Washington Post. "That was the only reason she gave." Since then, that precinct chairwoman, Dorrie O'Brien, and a small group of her supporters slated for a vote on Jan. 10. To Easton, who oppose the measure, the move is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. And to Shafi, it amounts to exactly what he thought he did not exist in the United States when he arrived here 28 years ago: a religious test. Over the past week, the Shafi movement has drawn heavy condemnation from Texas GOP leaders, including Land Commissioner George P. Bush and House Speaker Joe Straus. On Saturday, the Texas GOP Executive Committee passed a formal resolution reaffirming the GOP's commitment to religious freedom and seeking to distance the party from xenophobia it fears the motion against Shafi may embolden. In Texas, it would not be the first time to participate in GOP leadership roles. Houston City Council Staffer attempted, unsuccessfully, to block Republican Harris County in 2016. "Let's show everybody, this is the Republican Party of Texas. We are not the party of bigots, "said J.T. Edwards, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee, on the Austin American-Statesman report. I urge the Tarrant County GOP to stop this attempt to a hardworking county party official based on religious beliefs. We must move towards a more inclusive Republican Party and stop tearing down our own if we are to keep Texas Red. https://t.co/kr0zv0NCPT- George P. Bush (@georgepbush) November 30, 2018 O'Brien, who has declined to speak with The Post, has publicly asserted that Shafi is promoting Islamic law and is affiliated with terrorist groups. In lengthy tirades on Facebook The Shafi of being a "fake Republican" who could become one of the Muslim Brotherhood so that he could infiltrate the party – again, without any evidence. "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," Shafi, who has proudly denied O'Brien's assertions, told The Post, "and unfortunately, I Do not think it will be the last one. "The pleas of state Leaders to the Shafi. Forty-one Star-Telegram showed O'Brien and fellow Tarrant County Precinct Chair Dale Attebery inviting John Guandolo, who is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an "anti-Muslim activist," to give a Dec. 29 "Training" session on the dangers of Sharia law. A trainer FBI agent, Guandolo has described it as a political leader "should be Christians." Attebery, in an email obtained by the Star-Telegram, said the reason for the class was "because we need to know the truth 10, "the date of the vote on Shafi. When asked about the event, Easton stressed that while members of the Tarrant County GOP organized it, the party itself does not endorse the session. "They promote it," We want to be extremely vigilant of Muslims in this country, especially the ones running for political office … because they will take over and start implementing aspects of the law. He said. Easton said that it does not expect such an event to be successful. The false generalizations about his religion, Shafi said, have been disheartening and offensive. Born in India but raised in Pakistan, Shafi came to the United States in 1990 to finish his medical degree and became a resident in the United States. overreach of Pakistan's leaders. He saw the office as merely an extension of his mission as a surgeon, he said, with the difference being the opportunity to help at least one patient at a time. "This is my way of giving back to the community that has given me so much," he said. On Saturday, he traveled to the GOP meeting that he could be there to answer any questions. He was delighted, he said, that he did not want to convince them that he was just a regular Republican, free of terror and focused on lowering property taxes and improving school safety. They voted 63-0 to pass the resolution – in turn, reaffirming Shafi's belief in the party, he said. "Shafi told the room, the American-Statesman reported. He revealed that "there have been moments of doubt in my mind" over the past six months, as he feared his own local party would really be him. The easiest thing he could have done, he told The Post, was resign. But he did not want to, believing it would signal to loss for religious freedom. "The reason I have stayed here before the party is not about who the vice chair should be. It's much more fundamental than that, "Shafi said. "It is about religious freedom, and if we are going to have a test of religion in the party, where will we stop? If Muslim Americans are not welcome in the GOP, who will be excluded next? " .

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