Texas Republicans poised to vote on Muslim vice chair ouster

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Republicans in one of the most populous counties in Texas are scheduled to decide whether to remove a Muslim doctor as a party vice chairman amid infighting over some members’ claims about his beliefs.

A precinct chairman in Tarrant County has led the call to oust Shahid Shafi, a surgeon and City Council member in suburban Fort Worth. Top Republicans have condemned the effort to oust him, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

Some party members claim Shafi may be more loyal to Islamic law or connected to a terrorist group. Shafi denies both claims, and other Republicans have called the claims bigoted.

Former county GOP leader William Busby tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that some large corporate donors “don’t want to be associated with a party that’s going in the direction of excluding people based upon their religious beliefs.”

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