Patterico's Pontifications


Condemning All Bigotry and Discrimination With Equal Force

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:36 am

[guest post by Dana]

Jaweed Kaleem, the national race and justice correspondent at the Los Angeles Times, considers whether Muslims can find a home in the Republican Party. Central to his inquiry is a report that the Tarrant County GOP in Texas is voting on whether to remove Shahid Shafi as vice chairman. This because he is a Muslim:

Muslim Americans will reach a milestone next week when Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar join the House of Representatives. The Democrats from Michigan and Minnesota will be the first Muslim women in Congress, and many have hailed their election as a sign of rising diversity in politics.

On the other side of the aisle, a brewing controversy over a GOP leader in Texas targeted by fellow party members because of his Muslim faith is also drawing national attention. It has become a test case for an issue the Republican Party struggles with as voters in Texas and beyond grow more racially and religiously diverse: Is there room for Muslims?

Members of the Tarrant County Republican Party will vote Jan. 10 on whether Shahid Shafi, a 53-year-old trauma surgeon and city councilman in the Fort Worth suburb of Southlake since 2014, should be removed as a vice chairman.

A precinct chairwoman forced the vote after making unproven claims that Shafi, who has served as a delegate to several GOP state conventions, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorism and wants to impose sharia law. Other precinct chairs have joined in the calls to remove Shafi.

Shafi, who has forcefully denied the accusations, declined to be interviewed. In a statement, he said he would not “allow this small group of closed-minded people to damage our party.”

“I have never had any association with the Muslim Brotherhood … nor any terrorist organization,” Shafi said. “I believe that the laws of our nation are our Constitution and the laws passed by our elected legislatures — I have never promoted any form of sharia law.”

It was after his appointment to the position in July that ugly Facebooks posts about Shafi and his faith, started appearing. The calls for the vote to remove him come from a bigoted precinct chairwoman:

Dorrie O’Brien, a precinct chairwoman from Grand Prairie, called for the vote — under party rules, a single chairperson can propose an appointee’s removal — and is among those spearheading the campaign against Shafi. On a Facebook posting about him, O’Brien appeared to say Muslims were inherently extremist.

“ISIS is Islam with all the public fakery removed,” she wrote, referring to the Islamic State militant group. In an interview, she said she and allies “certainly have enough votes” to oust Shafi.

O’Brien declined to answer further questions and referred The Times to a December article on the website Jihad Watch that quoted her. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists Jihad Watch, which it says is based in Sherman Oaks, as an anti-Muslim hate group.

“We believe that Dr. Shafi is unsuitable to be the face and voice representative for all Republicans in Tarrant County,” O’Brien says in the article. “There are too many questions surrounding him on too many issues.”

Aside from targeting Shafi’s religion, O’Brien and her allies have questioned whether he is sufficiently pro-Israel and whether he’s really a conservative.

In his statement, Shafi said he believes in “Israel’s right to exist” and listed his conservative credentials, including training local GOP candidates and founding a Republican club in Southlake.

To their credit, and as they should, notable Texas GOP leaders have come out in support of Shafi, condemning all religious tests:

[S]tate party leaders this month passed a resolution [in a vote of 63-0] to “reaffirm our core values of religious liberty and the freedom to practice all faiths.”

Prominent party members, including Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz, have spoken out in his favor. “The party of Lincoln should welcome everybody & celebrate liberty,” Cruz tweeted this month.

It seems unbelievable that this is where a wing of the GOP is at in 2019. In Tarrant County, at least, the Big Tent party appears to have been replaced by a Little Pup Tent of bigotry and discrimination, designed for only a few of the right kind of Republicans from a county of 2 million people. In spite of the swift condemnation by Texas GOP members, the impact of this discrimination could spell trouble for Republicans down the line:

“There is no doubt that the Republican Party has lost American Muslim support,” said Republican activist Suhail Khan, a Muslim who was a White House appointee under President George W. Bush and volunteered with Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. A corporate attorney living in Washington, D.C., Khan founded the Conservative Inclusion Coalition eight years ago to recruit Muslims and other racially and religiously diverse groups to conservative causes.

Khan called Shafi one of the “most prominent” sitting elected Muslim Republicans today. He described the politician as among a handful of remaining lines of defense for the Republican Party in a time when it has been accused of being anti-Muslim through its association with Trump.

“Dr. Shafi’s situation is an unfortunate case of discrimination and bigotry,” Khan said.

Darl Easton, the Republican Party chairman in Tarrant County who appointed Shafi to his position, agreed.

“There are some people in our party who are plain anti-Muslim,” Easton said.

Both were in firm agreement that the president had nothing to do with this situation or for anti-Muslim sentiment.

More from Shafi’s statement:

“The call to remove me from the party of Lincoln and Reagan because of my religion is wrong for several reasons,” Shafi said. “First, discrimination based upon religion is illegal, immoral, unethical, un-American, and against the foundations of our country and the principles of our party. Second, it plays right into the false narrative of racism and bigotry fomented against the Republican party. Third, it distracts from our core value of religious liberty.”

In his statement, Shafi touted his conservative values: “I support our 2nd Amendment rights unconditionally, and I believe in the sanctity of life from conception onwards. I believe in small government, lower taxes, individual responsibility, religious freedom, school choice, energy independence, rule of law, and secure borders.”

So, what’s not to like?

A few observations. First, with regard to whether the president has anything to do with anti-Muslim sentiments and this case specifically: I think to say he does is to give him to much credit while taking ownership away from the bigots for their own indecency. While the president clearly has his own issues with bigotry, let’s let adults be responsible for themselves and the choices they make. Whether an individual’s choice is to love their neighbor or whether it’s to “otherize” their neighbor because of their faith and/or skin color and subsequently cast them into their little smug, bigoted basket of deplorables, it’s on them. Let them own their own choices, and let them own the consequences of those decisions. Why give them any room to blame someone else for what they themselves have chosen to do?

Also, because this is ugly bigoted and discriminatory behavior that is rightfully being condemned, all bigotry should be as equally condemned. With that, while Jaweed Kaleem, author of the LAT report about the mistreatment of Dr. Shafi by members of Tarrant County GOP, praises the milestone of two Muslim American women of color joining the House of Representatives, he conveniently neglects to mention their own public bigotry and anti-Semitism:


(Yes, the tweet is from 2012, but if the rule makers said it was okay to “resurface” tweets from a Heisman trophy winner from six years ago when he was a 15-year old kid, how much more important coming from a then 30+ year old adult who happens to also be a newly elected official?)

And while Kyler Murray apologized for his bigoted tweets, Omar hasn’t. In fact, she’s double-downed, making her views unequivocally clear:

During her campaign, Omar met with members of the district’s large Jewish population to address concerns over past statements about Israel. In a commonly referenced tweet from 2012, when the Israeli military carried out an aerial campaign against rocket attacks by Hamas, Omar wrote that Israel had “hypnotized the world” and made reference to its “evil doings.”

In a recent interview with the Star Tribune, Omar characterized attention to her tweets about Israel as an effort to “stigmatize and shame me into saying something other than what I believed.”

This year, Omar also referred to Israel as an “apartheid regime”.

Moreover, newly elected Rashida Tlaib outs herself with regard to Israel:

Tlaib has embraced a one-state solution and denying the Jews their right to a sovereign nation. “Separate but equal does not work,” she said in an interview, citing her Palestinian heritage as her rationale. (Funny how fellow Rep. Justin Amash, who is largely isolationist on foreign policy, has never used his Palestinian heritage as a scapegoat; Amash publicly supports a two-state solution.)

Like [Rep. Steve] King, the company Tlaib keeps gives the lie to her intentions. In 2014, she headlined a BDS rally with a fellow speaker, Dawud Walid, a flagrant anti-Semite who has blamed the “wrath of Allah” on “the Jews.” Tlaib is also a friend of Linda Sarsour and an admirer of Rasmea Odeh, an anti-Semitic terrorist.

Quite clearly, in certain circles, all acts of bigotry and discrimination are not equal. Nor are they equally condemned, as they should be. And that dishonesty is perhaps the greatest shame of all.


49 Responses to “Condemning All Bigotry and Discrimination With Equal Force”

  1. Clearly, the obvious answer is that Jaweed Kaleem agrees with Omar and Tlaib’s views regarding Israel and her people. No equal opportunity condemner of bigotry there. Meh.

    Dana (023079)

  2. Tghey;ve sentenced an Arab American to liofe for helping sell land to Jews

    Who says Israel doesn’t allow the PA some self rule?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  3. It’s nice to see segments of the conservative movement realizing that the best position they can offer America is George W. Bush’s same strong anti-Arab/Muslim profiling stance that brought us 9/11 and all of its diversity-enriching overseas war and domestic surveillance. Open your hearts, bigots, citizenship is just a piece of paper!

    But between this and their loud and continuous forced sympathy for people like Jamal Khashoggi, it’s probably just another case of “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”:

    “With the reality setting in that domestic dollars are becoming harder and harder to find, it appears that the NeverTrump movement may be pivoting overseas.

    “GOP media guy” Rick Wilson, who has made a name for himself on liberal networks as a Trump-obsessed media pundit, attended the Doha Forum in Qatar this weekend alongside other establishment Republican voices and a delegation of congressional Democrats.”

    But of course, there’s collusion and then there’s collusion.

    Fjordstalker (686437)

  4. Vote for the Sharia Law Rino near you.

    mg (8cbc69)

  5. If being against Sharia Law is Racist bigotry, count me in.

    mg (8cbc69)

  6. Fjordstalker,

    I have no clue what you mean.

    Dana (023079)

  7. Dana, he’s just repeating a new excuse the Trumpniki have invented for despising “neverTrumps”

    kishnevi (bb03e6)

  8. I dont know enough about dr. Safi to render a judgement, but the race and gender columnist for the dog trainer is the last person I’d consult, sohail Khan is the second.

    Narciso (738bd4)

  9. Kishnevi,

    Also note the creepy handle.

    Dana (023079)

  10. Now as to the content of the link, that’s undeniable a is qatars ties to hamas and the taliban

    narciso (d1f714)

  11. Keith Ellison, is another #metoo piece of work, shura judge of Minneapolis emirate

    Narciso (9f1d9b)

  12. It depends on skin color too:

    “The organizers of the annual Women’s March have decided not to hold a rally in Eureka on Jan. 19, as previously planned, because they say participants do not represent the diversity of the area.

    “This decision was made after many conversations between local social-change organizers and supporters of the march,” organizers said in a press release…..

    …..”Up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community,” the press release went on to say. “Instead of pushing forward with crucial voices absent, the organizing team will take time for more outreach. Our goal is that planning will continue and we will be successful in creating an event that will build power and community engagement through connection between women that seek to improve the lives of all in our community.”

    harkin (d82f96)

  13. SPLC srsly?

    that doesn’t really burnish the credibility of our friendly “national race and justice correspondent” does it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  14. Vote for the Sharia Law Rino near you.

    I suppose you can provide us with a couple of examples of Republicans who are Muslim and support Sharia Law?

    Chuck Bartowski (a2c25f)

  15. Well Bob Corker, but we didn’t know it till Chattanooga, stay puft, those are two that come to mind.

    Narciso (9f1d9b)

  16. Those Israelis and their paranoia. Why can’t they live side-by-side with Fatah and Hamas? What has the world ever done to the Jews, I ask you!

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  17. Considering that a majority of the Top 50 Conservative Websites is a dog’s breakfast, and considering that Breitbart, The Daily Caller, Gateway Pundit, Infowars, WorldNetDaily and Newsmax in the top 14, then you know there is a problem with present-day conservatism. So no, I’m not surprised that some Texas chuckleheads would be bigoted toward Republicans who practice Islam, even though said Muslims prioritize the Constitution and our rule of law over sharia law.

    Paul Montagu (c0e0d4)

  18. If being against Sharia Law is Racist bigotry, count me in.

    Under the rules I cannot agree with you.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  19. It seems unbelievable that this is where a wing of the GOP is at in 2019.

    o rly?

    The GOP’s current ayatollah (PBUH) issued a fatwa against Muslims back on December 7, 2015. It helped him win the presidential nomination and eventually the presidency:

    At a rally in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina on Monday evening, Trump pointed to the statement he released earlier in the day.

    “Should I read you the statement?” he asked.

    The crowd enthusiastically agreed that he should.

    “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” he said, adding the word “hell” for emphasis this time.

    Supporters erupted in applause.

    Dave (1bb933)

  20. 17. How do you know that they really do value our constitution over sharia law? Is it even possible that they may be practicing taqiya?

    Gryph (08c844)

  21. Sick and counterproductive. Dr. Shafi is exactly what Islam needs most: reasonable, open-minded, and moderate. Every movement, religious or not, needs the capacity to challenge the status quo, and Islam makes that very hard to do. When someone tries to do it, critics of Islam who stomp them out are actually ensuring Islam cannot modernize the way other major religious could.

    I’m glad this blog covered this particular incident, which I’ve been following for a few weeks.

    The classic and easy response will be to name some bad thing a democrat did and ignore the problem. The GOP is supposed to be the party that believes we are all equal before the law, and from there, free to pursue whatever dream we want with only the minimal government interference. It’s fundamentally just wrong for the party to become what it is today.

    I’m glad Ted Cruz spoke up.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  22. I couldn’t find any piece on Dr. Safi since August seven moths ago. Does the name Khalid saffuri ring a bell, he was right hand man to Grover norquist, but also an associate of
    Abdularam Al amoudi, where do we find him.

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. In prison, for trying to assassinate the previous king of Saudi Arabia.

    narciso (d1f714)

  24. Ms. Omar today “educated” us as to our true history: the Wounded Knee incident. Did she leave Somalia because it was so peaceful and egalitarian? IOW why does she choose to live here?

    Patricia (3363ec)

  25. It seems unbelievable that this is where a wing of the GOP is at in 2019.

    There’s a wing of the Democrat Party that hates white people. There’s always a wing that’s nuts.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  26. Ms. Omar today “educated” us as to our true history

    It’s a shining city on a hill, not heaven itself. Progress, not perfection. Pick anywhere in Africa, Latin America or Asia — ANY WHERE — that is even close, and move there. I’ll pay the airfare.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  27. black lives matter was a sick hate movement from the beginning

    but it took thousands of just absolutely ruined brunches before people caught on

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  28. Let’s recap.

    Ms Omar comes here from one of the world’s worst sh1tholes, is given residence and succor, and rises to become one of the nation’s leaders as a Congresswoman. And then complains about there not being enough opportunity?

    YEE GODS, what amazing perspective loss.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  29. This must be part of that Minnesota Nice we hear so much about.

    Kevin M (cb624b)

  30. now the splc can get you banned from amazon, google, places that matter:

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. Dr. Shafi is exactly what Islam needs most: reasonable, open-minded, and moderate. Dr. Shafi is exactly what Islam needs most: reasonable, open-minded, and moderate. Every movement, religious or not, needs the capacity to challenge the status quo, and Islam makes that very hard to do. When someone tries to do it, critics of Islam who stomp them out are actually ensuring Islam cannot modernize the way other major religious could.

    Well, we’ve seen that the GOP struggles with someone like Dr. Shafting, but maybe the Muslims will fare better with him. We

    Dana (023079)

  32. I don’t know that he is or he isn’t, we know effendi khashoggi was not what was advertised, and his demise was used by elements, not related to any real outrage, but the interests of iran Qatar and turkey

    narciso (d1f714)

  33. now those rather generic questions, really have little to do with his post as Tarrant county chairman, but the point that the sjw scribe intends is no discussion about immigration, or race or gender,

    narciso (d1f714)

  34. marco rubio was bizarrely enthusiastic about finding ways to exploit shoggy doggy after his untimely demise

    but that’s just kinda how he is

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  35. because they could, I told you who their content officer was,

    narciso (d1f714)

  36. unlike the al dura incident that the French have really refused to acknowledge the truth,

    narciso (d1f714)

  37. 17. How do you know that they really do value our constitution over sharia law? Is it even possible that they may be practicing taqiya?
    I dare say that I trust Mr. Shafi to abide more by the Constitution than our current president, and I agree with Mr. Geraghty in that there’s no coherent reason to oppose him, and the “what if he’s practicing taqiya” makes it a lose-lose argument against Shafi.

    This means that no amount of denials or counter-evidence produced by Shafi will ever be enough. His work as a surgeon, his community service with the Lions Club, historical society, nature center, schools, churches, his family — everything he’s done in his life will be dismissed as just an ever-more elaborate disguise for his nefarious intentions.

    Paul Montagu (c0e0d4)

  38. “practicing taqiya”

    Did you know??? Only Muslims lie about things???

    Davethulhu (9a0ae2)

  39. Isn’t the attacks on Catholics by US Senators a more critical issue? Of course since those Senators are Democrats, all will be forgiven…sigh

    jason stewart (f8653f)

  40. “Dr. Shafi is exactly what Islam needs most: reasonable, open-minded, and moderate.”

    They said basically the same thing about Muzzammil Hassan, founder of Bridges TV, an Orchard Park NY network designed to present the followers of Islam “in a more positive light”.

    They stopped saying it after he beheaded his wife.

    harkin (d82f96)

  41. Texas politics is a soap opera.

    nk (dbc370)

  42. Norquist and Cocaine Mitch : Whipped by their Beards

    urbanleftbehind (8241bf)

  43. It did kill us all however:


    Narciso (68e7c7)

  44. 37. Right. I get that he’s done lots of good work. And I can’t discount the good work that he’s done. But I still can’t help but wonder, if he called for sharia compliance at any point in the future, what would be the reaction? “Well, at least he’s not trying to kill us…”

    38. Muslims, politicians, lawyers, and law enforcement officers are all equally trustworthy in my opinion. Make of that what you will.

    Gryph (08c844)

  45. It’s actually a step in the right direction. Under PA “laws”, the “crime” is punishable by death.

    Kishnevi (59d33b)

  46. Gryph, can you make room for dentists and mechanics?

    Kish, pardon me for reading bottom up, almost mistaking Palestinian Authority for Pennsylvania; but then again they have jailed catfish throwers in response to visiting hockey fans brandishing an “instrument of crime“.

    urbanleftbehind (8241bf)

  47. It’s a matter of degree not kind, so the latest Manchester spree killer, is a Somali, who had come via holland.

    Narciso (78c5dc)

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