A community outreach director for a Houston city councilman has decided that Muslims don’t belong in the Republican party. Trebor Gordon, a staffer for at-large councilman Mike Knox, tried to block the appointment of Syed Ali as precinct chair claiming Ali’s religion was at odds with Republican principles. “I move to remove the chairman and founder of the Muslim Council of USA Syed Shaid Ali on the ground that Islam does not have any basis or any foundation. It is in total opposite of our foundation. I would ask you to take into consideration the fact that Islam and Christianity do not mix.” Gordon went on to accuse Ali of not showing sufficient reverence during opening prayers or the Pledge of Allegiance at the party’s quarterly meeting last week. Gordon took to the microphone to declare “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.”
In addition to his political career, Gordon serves as chaplain to the Harris County Republican Party and is a part-time pastor for a Near North Side church.
After Gordon’s remarks, fellow precinct chair Mike Robert stood to question the validity of Islam as a religion, asking “Has there been any factual information provided that Islam is a religion?” but was summarily booed by other members.
For his part, Syed Ali did not seem disturbed by the comments. “I don’t have anything against him. That’s his point of view. Freedom of speech, Constitution of the United States, his belief, his thought, his experience, his individual mind – that was his mind, and that was his speech. That’s fine with me.”
Councilman Knox has no plans to fire Gordon, stating “To be honest with you, I like to think that I’m a fair person, I understand people make mistake in judgment on occasion. This is the first time that I’ve seen any of this in him since he’s been employed with me. We’ve had a discussion about it. He understands our position here and I believe that he’ rethinking hi position, and we’re going to be monitoring him a little bit to see how he does, and provided he’s making progress in the right direction, I just think the fair thing to do is work through that.”