- (Photo: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi )
A Muslim has been denied the privilege of joining the Broward County, Fla., GOP’s executive committee, McClatchy Newspapers reports.
Nezar Hamze, South Florida director of the Center for American-Islamic Relations – or CAIR – said he aligns himself with the values of the Republican Party. He applied to become a member of executive committee, the top group within the Republican Party of Broward County. He also wanted to start a Muslim Republican Club.
The Broward County GOP allegedly changed their rules, according to McClatchy Newspapers, in order to vote on his application in secrecy. The GOP denies that he was turned down because of his religion; rather, they claim, it is because he is associated with CAIR. The Islamic organization is under investigation for being a co-conspirator in a federal terrorism indictment.
The Internal Revenue Service has submitted a congressional complaint against CAIR for further investigation. The complaint was initially brought by U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), after the organization was stripped from its title as a “nonprofit” organization for failure to file annual tax reports as required by law.
Furthermore, in the complaint letter, Wolf raised the issue of a 2009 letter from the CAIR director to Muammar al-Gaddafi in which the director referred to the brutal dictator as “Your Excellency” and asks him for financial support.
The Cypress Times also uncovered a diplomatic cable in which CAIR Chairman Larry Shaw, a convert to Islam, followed up the letter by praising Gaddafi's "leadership."
"We have felt for years pride and glory in your leadership," Shaw, a longtime North Carolina state senator, told the terrorist leader in 2009. "We want to assure you that Muslims in America are your brothers and supporters. They share with you your interests and aspirations."
Gaddafi is an infamous human-rights violator and supporter of terrorist attacks. He ordered the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, which killed 270 people.
For those reasons, the Broward GOP maintains, Hamze was denied membership. He was voted down 158-11. He is still allowed to attend meetings, but must do so as a member of the public.
“The state party works from the bottom up. Counties have the authority to operate under their rules. If anyone opposes those rules they can petition the state and then try again,” Brian Hughes, the communications director for the Florida GOP, told The Christian Post.
Regardless, there are reports that Hamze might not have been treated civilly while addressing the convention of 300 guests at the Sheraton Suites in Fort Lauderdale. A few members shouted out among the crowd and according to the McClatchy Newspapers, one man yelled "terrorist!"
The Broward County GOP did not return phone calls from the Christian Post.