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Texas county Republicans set to vote on Muslim vice chairman's ouster

Press Trust of India  |  Houston 

Shafi, an India-born in may be ousted as the party's for being a Muslim and allegedly preferring Islamic over US law, according to

A group of Tarrant County Republicans will vote on Thursday on whether to remove Shafi as of the county party after a small faction of the members put forth a formal motion to oust him because he is Muslim, The Tribune reported.

Those in favour of the motion to recall Shafi, a of the Southlake City Council, have said he does not represent all Tarrant County Republicans.

They have also said Islamic ideologies run counter to the US Constitution an assertion many Republican officials have called bigoted.

Shafi himself has denied the allegations.

"This is, unfortunately, not the first time that people or my political opponents have tried to use my religion against me to distract the voters. And unfortunately, I don't think it will be the last either," Shafi told

Shafi, born in and raised in Pakistan, travelled to the US to study medicine. He became a naturalised citizen in 2009 and, since then, has been involved with the

In an open letter, he wrote that he believed "much of the hate against Muslims is driven by a fear of terrorism", report said.

"Here are the facts. I have never had any association with the nor (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) nor any terrorist organisation," he wrote.

"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. I fully support and believe in American Laws for American Courts. I am honoured to be an American and a Republican," he was quoted as saying.

Several prominent Texas Republicans have rallied behind Shafi leading up to Thursday's vote a list that includes US Senator Ted Cruz, and former

Thursday's motion "is about religious prejudice", said Darl Easton, the who appointed Shafi to his role in July.

"(Shafi's) very active with the party, but most of the people don't even care about what he's done. Most of them already have a prejudice against Muslims, and a lot of that comes from the attack on 9/11 and the Sharia law they claim all Muslims must obey," Easton said.

He said it was unclear whether Thursday's vote will happen in public, behind closed doors or be delayed indefinitely, Easton added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 15:40 IST