A Texas county Republican committee voted Thursday to block a push from a small group of party members to oust a Muslim vice chairman from his post within the party, Anadolu Agency reports.
Shahid Shafi defied many odds by being appointed to serve as vice chairman of the Republican Party in Tarrant County, the third most populated county in Texas. He initially won a city council seat, serving as a delegate to Texas Republican conventions.
The trauma surgeon accomplished all this while maintaining his Muslim identity, which prompted a small faction within the party to put forth a motion calling for his dismissal.
"I believe in freedom of speech. I believe in freedom of expression, and I think diversity of opinion within any group is good for the group, is good for the party. But what we cannot do, and we don't do, is discriminate against a specific person based on their religion, caste, creed, color or country of origin," Shafi said in an interview with CNN.
"They're doing a disservice to our party. That's not what our party is about."