An executive committee meeting of the Tarrant County GOP has been scheduled to consider removing vice chairman Dr Shahid Shafi, MD. As a practicing Muslim, Shafi is said by some members to be unrepresentative of Fort Worth area Republicans.
“We don’t think he’s suitable as a practicing Muslim”
Born in India, Shahid Shafi became a US Citizen in 2009. Now a two term city councilman in Southlake, Texas, he was appointed vice chair of the Tarrant County Republicans last summer by chairman Darl Easton.
Soon afterwards party activists began to complain.
One notable critic of Easton is Dorrie O’Brien, who serves as precinct chair in Grand Prarie. On New Year’s Eve she launched a fresh attack against Easton on Facebook:
“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 has also previously accused Shafi of being a Muslim Brotherhood operative.
O’Brien has outlined a solution to what she describes as Shafi’s “unacceptable position.” She has urged Easton to “promote him away” to a different role that would, for unexplained reasons, be more acceptable than vice chairman.
Since the complaints about Shafti first became public in August, efforts to purge the party leadership have also spread to include Lisa Grimaldi Abdulkareem, the Tarrant County GOP vice chairman of recruitment. Abdulkareem, although not a Muslim, is married to one.
Party chairman Darl Eastman has tried to resist what he sees as religious discrimination.
“It’s just outrageous that we are doing this,” he said. “It’s disgusting.”
A meeting to decide removing Shafi as vice chairman has been scheduled for January 10th in Richland Hills, Texas.
Texas Republicans divided over Tarrant County GOP
Aware of the terrible optics the Tarrant County GOP feud is creating, prominent Texas Republicans have been quick to condemn the efforts to remove Shafi. US Senator Ted Cruz, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and outgoing Texas House Speaker Joe Straus have all condemned the move.
Several Tarrant County GOP officials have also joined the condemnation, including County Judge Glen Whitley, Sheriff Bill Waybourn and District Clerk Tom Wilder.
Other Texas Republicans remain keen for Shafi to be removed, however. Sara Legvold, who describes herself as a conservative activist and Trump Campaign Chair, wrote on the Protect Texas Facebook page:
“Dr. Shafi is a practicing, Mosque-attending muslim who claims not to follow sharia law or know what it is. As a practicing muslim that is an overt falsehood. Sharia law is anathema to our Constitution because Islam recognizes no other law but shariah. As the most conservative county in the nation, this is a demoralizing blow to the conservative rank and file of the Republican Party across the nation and in Texas…
“Those of us who follow this islamisation issue closely are very concerned at this infiltration of the nation’s most conservative county and the ramifications to our continuing to remain a red State.”
[Quote uncorrected for grammar]