This piece is about two stories of Islamic bigotry.
They’re both from North Texas, and they both had key events occur yesterday.
First, Tarrant County Republicans voted yesterday not to remove the vice chairman of their county GOP, Shahid Shafi. Trauma surgeon Shafi is an immigrant and a staunch Republican. He’s also married with three kids. He’s also a Muslim.
Note: his Facebook page has an image of him and his family on it; his wife and his daughter are not wearing burqas. There is no indication anyone has been able to find that he is a radical. There are no indications that anyone at his mosque is a radical.
That was irrelevant. Dr. Shafi – a trauma surgeon, recall, whose “day job” is saving the lives of Americans – won the recall vote and posted happily about it to Facebook and Twitter:
The Daily Caller described it this way:
A small but vocal minority of the county’s 269 precinct chairs were behind the push to remove Shafi from his leadership position.Daily Caller
Recognizing the political danger involved in revealing how strong the enabling of racists and bigots has become in the Republican party, however, they did not include images of the Republican leader who attended the vote in a burqa.
Nor did they focus on the fact that during the vote, 49 of the Precinct Chairs – not the rank-and-file Republicans, but the people in charge of organizing and leading local party efforts – voted to oust Shafi and another 10 abstained. 139 voted to retain him. Tarrant County is the home of the cities of Fort Worth and Arlington, the 15th and 48th most populated cities in the United States. This means that more than a quarter of the Republican leadership in a major metropolitan area refused to support keeping a person in their party leadership based solely on his religion.
This is the story that is known by the Democrats. The Republicans, if unusually informed, may have heard of the attempt. They may have even had the vote total provided, because it is a key part of the story and readers would find its absence conspicuous. But they have had it presented as a tiny portion of the party which was abnormally bigoted. It is not.
The other story involves a Muslim couple, also from Tarrant County. Mohamed Toure and Denise Cros-Toure were found guilty yesterday of harboring an alien for financial gain and conspiracy for said harboring.
The case involved a five-year-old girl, Djena Diallo, brought from Guinea to help care for one of their children. She had been an aide and playmate for the child while they lived in Guinea.
Djena Diallo of Guinea spoke no English when she was brought to Texas 18 years ago and had no friends or family here. She was made to cook, clean, perform yard work, paint and serve as nanny for the couple’s five children, all while being denied academic and other opportunities given to the children despite being of similar age.Dallas Morning News
Toure is the son of the former President of Guinea, and Cros-Toure is the daughter of the country’s former Secretary of State.
An observer’s view of the trial, which presents the situation without the certitude of guilt or innocence typically developed from short summaries, can be found at D Magazine.
While that case, like the case of Dr. Shafi, has received national attention, the fact that they are Muslim has been absent from most reporting. Nevertheless, this is the story known by many Republicans.
There is, however, a documented history of domestic slavery of young girls in Guinea, as recorded at gvnet. Guinea is predominantly Muslim. There is absolutely an inferred – and thus potentially faulty – connection to be made. Most Republican-leaning sites avoid making the connection in their stories. That connection is not merely made, but declared to be the absolute cause of the event, among commentary groups such as the one at Brietbart.
There is no evidence that their religion either is or is not a factor in what the couple did. Keeping it from the reporting, in the absence of such evidence, is the correct course of action.
The apparent, but not proven, connection needs to be discussed, though. Not addressing it allows people to promote the narrative that evils committed by adherents to Islam are being covered up, because those wishing to find examples are making that emotional connection. Worse, there have been many cases where Islamic violence has been ignored or diminished by the press.
The situation is complex, and demands more than reflexive attacks or defense. Ultimately, every situation needs to be reported due to the people and events involved, not slanted for or against a position merely because of the actors’ religion.