I actually find this story very encouraging. The fact that a group of Republicans wanted to remove Shadid Shafi from his position as the Vice Chairman of local Republican organization in the state’s third largest county because he is a Muslim is horrendous. The fact that he received so much support from fellow Republicans when the vote was held was wonderful. The effort to oust him failed miserably-139 votes for him and 49 against.
The argument used by his detractors was ridiculous. They argued that because he was a Muslim he could not represent all of the members of the Republican Party in the county. This is one step below these people arguing that you can’t elect Muslims to public office because they don’t represent all the people in their constituency. The problem with this argument, of course, is that it is too easy to turn on his head. Using their misguided, bigoted logic, you could then argue that anyone – Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, you name it – could not be elected to a position in the Republican party because they don’t represent everybody.
If you put Mr. Shafi and me in a room and asked us to state our political positions, we probably wouldn’t find that much in common. But I totally support his right as an American citizen to take part in the political process, regardless of his religious beliefs.
And kudos to Republicans in Texas for doing the right thing.