Fear Of A Republican Muslim
Nezar Hamze is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of South Florida. He is also, he tells me, a longtime registered Republican who wants to “fight the myth of the Muslim vote being Democratic.”
He is also the latest flashpoint in a battle over Islam within the GOP, seen most recently in the criticisms of Rick Perry for his ties to the Texas Muslim community and in Virginia, where a Muslim Republican candidate for the House of Delegates has come under attack.
In August, Hamze, 35, submitted an application to become a voting member of the Broward Republican Executive Committee, a body within which he would like to organize the Muslim Republican club.
“A lot of Muslims I know, their values really line up with the conservative values of the Republican party,” Hamze says. “I’m a strict social conservative, a fiscal conservative, a very strict constitutionalist. The protection of civil liberties for all Americans is supreme.”
He was not exactly welcomed with open arms. Following a report on Hamze’s plans on Shark Tank, a right-leaning Florida politics website, he was attacked as un-American by some commentators.