Sunday, May 10, 2009

DFW Muslims offended by speech at Republican Women's meeting

Original Link:


Some members of the Islamic community are troubled by a recent meeting of a local Republican club after the speaker alleged that most American Muslims are involved in terrorism.

Dorrie O’Brien of Grand Prairie was the guest speaker at the Metroplex Republican Women’s monthly meeting April 17 in Hurst. She is the head of the Grand Prairie chapter of ACT! for America, a Pensacola, Fla.-based group that describes itself as dedicated to fighting "the assault of radical Islam," according to its Web site.

O’Brien’s speech described most or all Muslims in America as cooperating with terrorist organizations and supporting the overthrow of America, said people who were there.

Jamal Qaddura is a Republican Party precinct chairman and president of the DFW Islamic Education Center in Arlington.

He attended the meeting and took Tarrant County Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani as a guest after learning about the topic.

"We were upset about the subject matter of the speech," Qaddura said. "This is a Republican Party event, and usually the Republican Party and the Democratic Party try to stay away from attacking religions or attacking Americans at large."

Peerwani, who is not affiliated with any political party, said the speech did not represent the views he associated with local Republicans.

"I was concerned because I’ve lived here for nearly 35 years and had never heard anything like that before," Peerwani said. "As I perceived it, it was nothing but hate speech."

O’Brien, who is also a Republican precinct chairwoman, declined to comment.

Judy Strzinek, the Metroplex Republican Women’s Club president, also declined to comment.

Kim Martin, a club member and Republican precinct chairwoman, said she wrote the club's president about her concern with O'Brien's speech.

"She was very derogatory toward all Muslims," Martin said.

Martin said the meeting was not representative of normal Metroplex Republican Club meetings.

"They’re wonderful people. They have great hearts. They are very patriotic," Martin said. "It was just an unfortunate incident."

Tarrant County Republican Party Chairwoman Stephanie Klick did not attend the club meeting.

She said she had received some complaints but declined to comment.

In response to the speech, Peerwani said he spoke to the board of directors at the Al-Hedayah Academy, an Islamic school in Fort Worth where he is president, about encouraging local Muslims to become more active in the community as a way to help dispel inaccurate notions.

"If people know you, they will not believe all this nonsense," Peerwani said.

No comments: