by Colin Kalmbacher, Law and CrimeDecember 2018

The Republican Party of Texas is riven with fractures and infighting as a local branch attempts to remove a Muslim man from his leadership post simply because of his religious faith.

Shahid Shafi serves as a party official for the Tarrant County GOP. Shafi is a trauma surgeon and city council member in suburban Southlake, Texas. He’s also a practicing Muslim.

Being a doctor and elected official doesn’t appear to outweigh that third item–Shafi’s Muslim identity. The fact of his chosen religion is apparently none-too-pleasing for a not inconsequential number of Texas Republicans.

Immediately after being elevated to the position of vice-chairman on July 14 of this year, Shafi “began receiving communications opposing the appointment on the basis of [his] religion,” according to the Dallas Morning News. Republican Party Precinct Chair and anti-Muslim activist Dorrie O’Brien is one of Shafi’s detractors.

Dorrie O’Brien has repeatedly–and without evidence–made claims to the press and others that Shafi supports Islamic Sharia law and that the city councilman has connections to groups affiliated with terrorists. Click To Tweet
Authoritarians are highly ethnocentric, highly inclined to see the world as their in-group versus everyone else. Because they are so committed to their in-group, they are very zealous in its cause.

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