Dr. Shahid Shafi
GOP members in Tarrant County were faced with a decision: accept that a man of Islamic faith had been elected to lead the party, or vote to have him thrown out of office simply for being a Muslim.

Are Islam and conservatism inherently at odds? That the question a group of Republicans officials in one Texas county were forced to tackle last week.

Dr. Shahid Shafi – a trauma surgeon from India who became a U.S. citizen in 2009 – was recently elected to head the Tarrant County Republican Party. This angered a faction of the party who became convinced that not only was Shafi unqualified to lead the GOP due to his Muslim faith – but that he may even try to institute “Sharia law” in Texas. So great was this supposed threat, that opponents organized a vote to have him booted from the position to which he’d been elected.

“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.,” wrote Dorrie O’Brien, one of those calling for Shafi’s removal.

Cooler Heads Prevail

Thus, GOP members in Tarrant County were faced with a decision: accept that a man of Islamic faith had been elected to lead the party, or vote to have him thrown out of office simply for being a Muslim. Numerous concerned politicians chimed in, urging Tarrant County to stand behind Dr. Shafi.

“Religious freedom is at the core of who we are as a nation and state, and attacks on Dr. Shafi because of his faith are contrary to this guiding principle,” explained Governor Greg Abbott.

In the end, Tarrant County decided that praying to Allah does not in fact disqualify you from being a conservative representative; the final vote was 139 to 49 in favor of keeping Dr. Shafi as the party’s vice chair.

“As an immigrant to this great country, I am honored and privileged to receive the support of my fellow Republicans,” announced Shafi following the vote. “We need to learn to trust each other so we can create a more perfect union every day.”

Opponents Remain Bitter

Tarrant County precinct chair Sara Legvold refused to cast a vote, instead choosing to sit outside the meeting in a burqa to protest the so-called “Islamization” of America. “You already see it in the workplace where Muslims demand they’re able to wear their hijab and demand they get a prayer room,” she told the Texas Tribune. “When was the last time a Christian was allowed to have a separate place to say their prayers?”

Several other vocal opponents resigned following the vote, insisting they didn’t want to be involved with a party that supported the growth of Islam in the United States.

The Constitution Wins

On the one hand, you’d think that a medical professional who has lived in U.S. since 1990 would be spared the disrespect of having his allegiance to American values challenged for no other reason than he worships a different God than others do.

On the other hand, Dr. Shafi’s successful fight was not only a win over bigotry – it was also an affirmation of religious freedom in America. The Constitution forbids any sort of religious requirements for public office specifically to guard against cases of religious discrimination. This time, at least, it seems reason prevailed.  

Islam and the West

Unfortunately, things don’t appear to be trending in the direction of harmony.

The Tarrant County incident is just the latest in a series of clashes between Muslim politicians and those uncomfortable with Islam becoming more mainstream in the United States. Following the 2018 midterm elections – which saw the first two Muslim women elected to Congress in the country’s history – we wrote about how some representatives were opposed to the idea of hijabs being worn in congressional chambers.

But the West’s testy relationship with Islam runs much deeper than issues of symbolism and identity. Amid concerns about how
Islam is on track to become the world’s largest religion, there exists no shortage of people who remain convinced that Islam and Western values are wholly incompatible. And disturbingly, this type of thinking has been connected to a rise in hate crimes against Muslims.

To be fair, there are some critics who operate in good faith – seeking not to instill fear of “the other,” but instead to highlight important issues such as human rights abuses in Muslim countries and the subjugation of women under certain interpretations of Islamic doctrine. However, there clearly exists another faction of detractors – this one governed primarily by fear and bigotry toward a faith dissimilar to their own. Within this group, cries of “Sharia law” are plenty, but evidence for such claims is hard to come by.

Unfortunately, things don’t appear to be trending in the direction of harmony. In Europe, which has seen a massive influx of immigrants from Muslim countries in the past decade, polls show that 1 in 5 people would be uncomfortable having a Muslim neighbor.

When hearing stories like that of Dr. Shafi, one wonders what the responses would look like if this poll was conducted in the U.S.

54 comments

  1. Don says:

    Simply pull the hateful violent passages from his holy book and ask for each one if he agrees or disagrees. One “agree” and he can be pulled for displaying anti-American values.

    Same can be done for hateful Christians.

    1. Lionheart. says:

      There are of course hateful passages in the Bible which many politicians use during the swearing in ceremony. Should your philosophy also be used with Christian politicians? Just asking!

      1. Don says:

        ABSOLUTELY!! Hence my last sentence “Same can be done for hateful Christians.”

        Just answering!

        1. Daniel says:

          Just for your knowledge, yes, there are hateful Christians, let me clarify : those who combine and read the old and new testament as one are doing so without knowledge, after the day of Pentecost, the old testament laws were done away with and the new birth ushered in……That means a lot of different things but one is that Christ did away with the law by saying this : Love thy neighbor as thyself ” But God also instilled within humans common sense, don’t stand next to man who hates you and is going to kill you……..I can go on and on

          1. John Owens says:

            Just exactly what scripture actually says the old testament laws were done away at Pentecost? That contradicts the promise of the New Covenant.

          2. Don says:

            “the old testament laws were done away with”

            Not according to Jesus:
            Matthew 5:18
            For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

          3. John Owens says:

            You are one hundred percent correct on your reference here, Don. Most of the poor Protestants try to twist the meaning of “fulfilled’ into basically, “destroyed”.

            1 John 3:4
            and 1John 5:2&3 bear this out. Also Isaiah 8:20, not to mention the actual New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31

        2. Minister Post says:

          Auto correct got me

      2. Minister Post says:

        Hey Christian haters!!!!! Below your steam off somewhere else.

        1. Lionheart says:

          I think you mean “bellow”, but anyway, those if us that don’t have the same point of view as yourself don’t hate Christians one bit, we merely state our points of view and list concerns of those things you believe.

          We don’t understand how you could believe such rediculous nonsense, but if you choose to believe the unsubstantiated narrative written in that book, that’s totally up to you.

          Just because many of us see things differently to yourself, in a blog where people can air their views, shouldn’t elicit a rude comment like yours, especially if you say you are a Christian. Where is your love for your fellow man? Where are you getting your morals from?

          I know your mythical god had temper tantrums to the detriment of many lives being lost, but there’s really no need to follow is behavior.

          Just relax, breathe, and state your points of view in a pleasant and gentlemanly way. Have a very good day!

        2. Carl Elfstrom says:

          If you are having delusions of persecution, Posty there is medication to combat that. That might be something you could discuss with your psychiatrist. Nobody here hates Christians, but some are against Christianity, or the way it is used. Big difference.

    2. Andrew says:

      Shall we start with the hateful passages from the bible first? The Koran, like the bibke is a cultral, historical, anthropological and philosopbically relevant document . both will and do become dangerous sources of radicalisation when they become dogma.

      1. Don says:

        As I stated in my original comment, yes, fanatics who follow the Bible are as dangerous as any Jihadi terrorist.

    3. Minister Post says:

      I agree completely. That’s a ingenious way to do it. Jesus,s disciples did it with Holy scripture to identify demons in people so they could cast them out.

  2. Alicia says:

    On a Council, no ONE member can change the law. Does hate make us that paranoid?

    1. BethKCZ says:

      It appears so!

  3. William Rogers says:

    This reminds my of that old, lovely hymn, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love ….”

    What most people fail to realize is that a large portion of the Koran comes directly from another book most of us have in our homes, the Old Testament. That’s because those whose faith is based in Christianity, Judaism and Islam all have their roots in Abraham.

    1. Jack minot says:

      And thus I believe we all worship the same God, but in different ways. Number1dog

    2. Daniel says:

      If you had read the Koran, you would have realized that they are like oil and water, there are similarities in names only and that’s all. Whoever wrote the Koran infused great men of God in the Bible and infused them into a crazy hateful idiotic book called the Koran, you don’t have to believe me, read it for yourself !
      By being Islam, you cannot place your hand or your heart on the Bible and swear to Almighty God in any way shape or form, it is forbidden by Allah, if you are Islam and do, it is only because you are lying……….The God of Christianity who created the heavens and earth is nothing like Allah, if you think so, than once again you have not read the Koran.

      1. Dan Anderson says:

        Daniel – The reason why you see the same “great men of God” in both the Bible and the Qur’an is because Judaism, Christianity AND Islam all worship the same deity, the God of Abraham. This is why all three are called in the theological world as the three major Abrahamic faiths. Allah means “The God”, not a “moon god” as some claim.

        May I suggest you read both the Bible and the Qur’an. You will see that there are more than three times the number of passages of violence in the Bible than in the Qur’an. The vast majority of those passages have no “pre-existing conditions” or qualifications, where the Qur’an has tons of exception to the rule, where the person one wishes to inflict harm must meet numerous conditions before doing so.

        If you still think that Allah and the God of Abraham are two different entities, please show your reasoning with examples.

        1. Darrell says:

          Muslins deny Christ’s position as God’s Son… they don’t worship the same God. They left Him behind at the Cross.

  4. Lea says:

    You can’t have freedom of religion without freedom fro religion..I’m a survivor from Christainty. All religions should stay personal.

    The Republicans and the Democrats have extremists on both sides that is going to kill us all..We just don’t learn from history.

  5. Gail D says:

    Hallelujah for the Constitution and those willing to uphold it! Probably ALL Republicans don’t think Christianity is “safe or acceptable in the U.S” either.

  6. Pastor Xal says:

    Relying on ancient books to guide civilization in 2019 & forward is folly. Eating shellfish, selling daughters into slavery, a woman’s “duty” to a husband etc. Whichever holy text a person decides as being “right” or “true” is exactly that, a personal decision.
    My issues with this story are twofold.
    #1- The author is perpetuating division of religions, faith & spirituality by stating … Whichever God a person chooses to follow. There is One god. The problems occur when differences if opinion arise on how God is held high (or not).
    #2- How can such an educated person choose to participate with a group of hate seeking people? In this case Republicans. Are the members who resigned really so ignorant to believe that 1 man will instigate Sharia Law?
    If they were so concerned, why wouldn’t they stay in the group to ensure Christian(?) law prevailed.
    Serioulsly people, turn off Fox media circus. They are registered with the FCC as ENTERTAINMENT. It is NOT a news agency.

    1. Don says:

      “There is One god.”

      Sorry, but there are thousands of gods, many of which are still worshipped in some parts of the world. Your monotheistic worldview is just that, YOUR worldview.

      “How can such an educated person choose to participate with a group of hate seeking people?”

      Hate seeking? Have you ever read the Qur’an?

      “Are the members who resigned really so ignorant to believe that 1 man will instigate Sharia Law?”

      They people 1 man instigated Christianity.

      “Serioulsly people”
      Seriously.

      1. Pastor Xal Garcia says:

        Thank you for the correction. I should have said hate perpetuating.
        The Bible is similar to the Quran with references to stoning adultery, turning people into pillars of salt, brother against brother.
        As to one god. Please note god is not capitalized. The one god(s) a person bases their faith upon is their 1 god(s).
        I’m all for choice & fully support the U.S. Constitution whose authors whom many had themselves fled from religious persecution.
        Christianity did not start with 1 person, did it? Wasn’t his story told by many of which are in the Bible. Who picked those gospels? Mary & Judas both wrote about Jesus.
        Becoming hostile when someone expresses a differing viewpoint or belief system doesn’t promote any religion. It closes minds.

        1. Don says:

          “The one god(s) a person bases their faith upon is their 1 god(s).”

          Or many gods. Polytheism still exists, and to discount them as real people is immoral. And willfully ignorant.

          “Who picked those gospels?”

          Rich clergy, over 3 CENTURIES after Jesus supposedly lived. Council of Nicea – read it and learn that the Bible was edited, torn apart, re-written, edited several more times, roughly translated, and THAT is the copy we read today.

          “Becoming hostile when someone expresses a differing viewpoint or belief system doesn’t promote any religion. It closes minds.”

          Remember that the next time you accuse a polytheist of worshipping ONE god.

    2. Daniel says:

      Sorry you are entirely incorrect. There is Nothing New under the sun. your statement as regarding the Bible as folly leads me to believe that you are your own God who makes his own decisions based on his own personal needs. The greatest nation ever assembled on Earth to this time is the U.S. this country was founded upon the basis of Christianity, sorry if you don’t like that but it’s true, it’s etched in granite all over Washington D.C……You can say it’s a coincidence if you want but the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and all the other documents along side it had more wisdom than any men since, and they relied on the God of the Bible for Guidance and direction, that is a historical fact, sorry if you don’t like history or maybe you just don’t know it, and I apologize if you don’t…….We are not evolving, we are all De- volving as proved scientifically and legally by Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo.
      Good luck.

      1. Dan Anderson says:

        Daniel – Sorry, but the US was not based on Christianity. It may have numerous similarities to the teachings of Christianity, but it also has similarities to other religions as well. The US is a secular country, not a theocracy by any means.

        What does your very unscientific claim that “we are not evolving” have to do with anything in the issue of Islam and Christianity being of a common deity? No, Evolution has been proven time and again, it has not been shown to be “devolving” scientifically or legally.

        For your information, the Constitution of the US was structured by many people, including that of Benjamin Franklin, who was not a Christian. He took the Articles of Confederation of the Five Great Tribes of the Iroquois to build the structure or “skeleton.” They were not Christian, either.

  7. Morgan S French says:

    They say Allah like it’s a different God to the Christian God. Do people still not realise that Allah is the God of Abraham? The same God of the Jewish and Christians. Allah is just another name for Yahweh like Adoni, the holy trinity, tetragrammatron, Jahovah etc

    By the way, this fellow doesn’t look the type to instigate sharia law, he doesn’t even have a beard.

    1. Pastor Xal Garcia says:

      Nicely put Morgan 🙂

    2. Liinheart says:

      So “what difference does it make”, they are all mythical deity’s anyway.

      1. Daniel says:

        I find myself in a predicament, I wish for all to be saved and to be born again, but than I realize there are less and less people who believe in God which is awesome in another way, because when there is no one left on earth who believes in the bible that is when Armageddon will occur and when Christ returns, I really hope for my sake it happens today, for your sake if it did you would be so sorry.

        1. Lionheart says:

          I too used to find myself in a predicament wishing everyone was as indoctrinated into my religion as I was. Then I saw the light, by realizing my brain had truly been taken over. I had completely stopped thinking for myself and had rejected the brain I had been born with.

          Now, I can truly love people for who they are, and because “I” want to do it, as opposed to loving and forgiving because a mythical god wants me to, or I will fear a mythical Armageddon, or go to a mythical hell. Do you see the difference?

          It’s a tremendously freeing experience knowing I can love and treat people with care because “I” want to do it.

          I understand you want Armageddon to happen today “for your sake”, but try to not feel so selfish, and truly love your fellow man. You’ll find it tremendously uplifting.

          I truly wish you well.

          Peace.

        2. Stoodie Baker says:

          Therein lies one of the fundamental flaws in a religion that espouses an afterlife. People who believe in such a thing openly, or secretly, desire for the end of things; either their own life or the “end of the world.” Seize what you have in this life, be the best person you can be because it’s the only life you’re getting. If you live for an afterlife, you live an apathetic existence looking forward to your life in the clouds that, in all likelihood is a childish fantasy.

          1. Carl Elfstrom says:

            Carpe diem !

      2. John Owens says:

        Even among mythical deities, some are worse than others. To paraphrase one of the whores in Catch 22, “The God I don’t worship is a just God, a True God, a merciful God.”

    3. Dan Anderson says:

      Morgan – Thank you for giving the facts and not fall prey to the myriad rumours running wild online and through major populations in the west.

      (Minor and picky correction: Allah is not a name as the Muslim believes that God would be limited by a label or name. Allah is translated into English as “The God”.)

  8. Thomas L Williamson says:

    Viewing mankind’s world history over the past 5,000 years – it’s apparent that a civil war is on the horizon for the United States. I don’t see how this can be avoided. I personally am against this tragic tribulation. I feel that we are in the period of the Anti-Christ….the global war between the descendents of two half brothers.

  9. James Jones says:

    I’ve read both the Bible and the Karan!
    Even with its good points I still consider the Karan to be an indoctrination course for terrorists! Only in Islam does it call for the death of all infidels an non believers . So I ask you how can one say they believe in Islam but also support the constitution an American way? These beliefs are complete opposites! There is more to be studied here for many an it should not be taken lightly! Most other religions can be excepted openly because of common values! If you read it’s history you find it was created to bined the desert tribes together to concer the world and assure loyalty!

    1. Don says:

      “Only in Islam does it call for the death of all infidels an non believers”

      Ignoring where Jesus taught to murder nonbelievers? Or just pretending that verse isn’t there?

      Luke 19:27
      But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

      And no “parable” or “out of context” excuses, since Christians have used this very same verse for centuries to kill heathens.

      And please, learn some basic grammar before responding. It’s the Qur’an, not “Karan”.
      *and *bind *conquer

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      If you read the book why do you do such a poor job of spelling the name of it. I don’t think some ministers are as truthful as they would have us believe. I’ve always known the names of all the books aIve read. If I didn’t I might have read the wrong books. I can even spell Tikitikitimbonosorimbacheriberinosorimba, and I haven’t read that book since I was a child.

  10. oldaabill says:

    If people want to give up all their personal liberty and become Muslim, then there is nothing in the Constitution preventing that.

  11. Neda Valadanzouj says:

    So I’m the resident Islam expert, as I used to be Muslim. There is so much willful ignorance and stupidity on this thread, that I’m baffled some of you can even speak let alone type.

    First of all, it’s spelled Qur’an.

    Second of all, Sharia(h) means law in Arabic, so you’re just calling it “law law.” Sharia only pertains to Muslims, and it’s not just a set of legal proceedings. It is a way of life. Hijab, which is not just a head scarf, is part of Sharia. Dietary restrictions are part of Sharia. Following the law of the land that you live in, is a huge part of Sharia. And most important of all, you can’t force Islam upon the unwilling. As the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (s.w.t.) repeatedly said, “There is no compulsion I’m religion.”

    Third of all, Allah means god in Arabic. Christian Arabs even use this word when speaking about the Christian god.

    If you all seriously have further questions, or think you know everything and want to try arguing with me, you can E-Mail me.

    1. Lionheart says:

      Thank you Neda. If you are no longer Muslim it might be of interest to this group to let us know why you left the faith, and did you leave religion altogether?

      Also, if you have left the faith, is there a reason you still add the postfix ‘Subh’anaHu Wa Ta-A’la (s.w.t.) after mentioning the name of Muhammad?

      1. Neda Valadanzouj says:

        I left because I honestly just didn’t believe in any of it. The whole higher power concept seemed at odds with who I was. It was the religion of my family, and I was just along for the ride so to speak. I was an atheist long before I ever realized that there was a word for what I felt. I took what I considered the best from it, and left anything I disagreed with. I feel a bit differently about religion now, but that’s a conversation for another day.

        Out of respect for tradition and customs, I used (s.w.t.). I do the same when I visit a Catholic church (veiling before the tabernacle), and when visiting a synagogue or temple (also veiling).

        1. Lionheart says:

          Thank you. I know that must have taken great courage. I’m extremely impressed.

          Welcome to the wonderful world of free thought, and freedom from religion.

  12. Andrew says:

    Thank You!

  13. Gary says:

    Christianity does not require Christians to institute any political system over and above or in place of the United States Constitution. Contrarily it requires Christians to honor the law of the land.

    Islam requires Muslims to institute Shariah over and above and in place of the Unites States Constitution. Therefore no Muslim can take an honest oath of office. Islam is the enemy of every political system on earth outside of Shariah Law. Islam which means “submit” will not stop causing termpil everywhere until Shariah reigns. If you don’t like they will kill you. Everywhere Islam gets a foothold is in chaos and death abounds.

    Go ahead hug Islam and baby it. Useful idiots will be slaughtered by the baby you raise.

  14. Gary says:

    The problem is everyone that matters is cloaking a Political Ideology which is Islam, with the title of a religion. So you end up protecting a hostile political ideology, a Trojan horse, in the guise of protecting religion.

  15. Carl Elfstrom says:

    I can’t see how his religion or politics makes any difference. We are all children of the same universe, according to the ULC, which we all abide by as ULC ministers. He’s only a city councilman, not a world ruler. City councilmen only vote on things for the good of the the communities in which they live. H, so ite was undoubtedly voted for by the majority of registered voters,who undoubtedly make informed decisions about who they vote for, so it could only be the disgruntled minority losers who (like democrats) are putting up a fuss. Our election system is fair, in favor of the majority. Losers have already been defeated, and like other crybabies, should be ignored.

  16. Mary says:

    These people came here because they did not want to live in their homeland
    We do get Christian privileges, we get Sunday off from work( mostly) and Christmas is a holiday, in some places Easter Monday too.
    There is extreme Islam just like the religious right wants more control of everyone, not just their believers.

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