Source: The Washington Post
A Christian pastor in the nation’s third-most-populous county tried to stop a Muslim man from serving in the local Republican Party because of his religion.
The massive jurisdiction of Harris County, Tex. — with 4 million residents in the city of Houston and its surroundings — has more than 1,000 precincts, and the Republican Party appoints a chair for every single one. Approving the people picked by a committee to fill some of those spots should have been a run-of-the-mill task.
But Trebor Gordon stood up at a meeting of the county’s GOP on Monday night. He said that Syed Ali — a 62-year-old Houston resident who has been a loyal Republican since the Reagan administration — should not be appointed.
Gordon said that Ali should be blocked “on the grounds that Islam does not have any basis or any foundation. It is the total opposite of our foundation.”
“Islam and Christianity do not mix,” Gordon said. Party chairman Paul Simpson said that Gordon serves as chaplain for the Harris County Republican Party and is a part-time pastor at a Houston-area church.
“During my prayer, this man did not bow his head. During the pledge of allegiance, he did not utter a word. He didn’t even try to fake it and move his lips,” Gordon said at the meeting, where attendees said nearly 200 people were present. “If you believe that a person can practice Islam and agree to the foundational principles of the Republican Party, it’s not right. It’s not true. It can’t happen. There are things on our platform that he and his beliefs are total opposite.”
Seeing her party chaplain make such a motion, precinct chair Felicia Winfree Cravens said she was stunned. “There were more shocked faces in that room than you could count,” she said. Cravens’s camera happened to be rolling — she said she was showing a friend how to use the new Facebook Live tool, so she was broadcasting the otherwise humdrum party meeting. Suddenly, she found herself capturing the discussion of Ali’s religion on tape.