The Tarrant County Republicans in Texas will vote this week to remove their vice chairman because he is Muslim.
Republican Dorrie O’Brien is leading a group of colleagues in an attempt to unseat Shahid Shafi, a trauma surgeon in Forth Worth, the largest city in Tarrant County.
“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.,” O’Brien wrote in a Facebook post.
She added that there are questions surrounding Shafi’s political leanings and that she is confident her side has enough votes to remove him.
O’Brien also said that the desire to reconsider his appointment is not because of his religion, but instead because Shafi may be loyal to Islamic law or connected to “Islamic terror groups.”
Darl Easton, the GOP party chairman for the county who appointed Shafi, called the effort to remove him “disgusting.”
“It’s just outrageous that we are doing this,” Easton told the Star-Telegram.
Shafi came to the U.S. from Pakistan in 1990 before becoming a naturalized citizen in 2009. He was appointed by Easton to the serve as vice chairman last year and is a member of the Southlake City Council.
In an open letter from Shafi, he said concern from his party over him being a Muslim is rooted in fear.
"I can’t allow this small group of closed-minded people to damage our party that I’ve supported and served for several years,” he writes. “The call to remove me from the party of Lincoln and Reagan because of my religion is wrong for several reasons. First, discrimination based upon religion is illegal, immoral, unethical, un-American, and against the foundations of our country and the principles of our party.”
Reports of Shafi’s possible ousting has brought out several prominent Texas Republicans to defend him, including Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMatthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' Professor tells Cruz that Texas's voter ID law is racist Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks MORE and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.
In her post, O’Brien said a compromise regarding Shafi’s position fell through. A vote by the county GOP board is reportedly scheduled for Thursday.