Nezar Hamze, the executive director of the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a self-identified Republican, recently campaigned for a committee position with the Broward County Republicans in South Florida.
However, on Monday night, his bid for committee membership was rejected by a vote of 158-11. Adding insult to injury, the Miami Herald reports that he was attacked with offensive questions and called a "terrorist" by his fellow Republicans in a packed room at the Sheraton Suites in Fort Lauderdale. Florida.
Before the vote took place, the local party changed its rules to require that each new applicant to the executive committee answer questions for five minutes.
Joe Kaufman, chairman of the group Americans Against Hate and former vice-chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition of South Florida asked Hamze: “Are you willing to support Congressman Allen West… as a Republican? Will you denounce terrorism?"
At one moment, an attendee yelled out “terrorist!” as Hamze was trying to answer. Audience members also told Hamze that CAIR was identified as a terrorist organization.
After the vote, Broward Executive Committee Chairman Richard DeNapolis stated: "Mr. Hamze, your membership has been denied," eliciting a loud cheer from the crowd.
After the vote, Hamze said: "Wow, if I had realized it would be like that, I wish they had just sent me a letter saying I was denied.”
One Broward Republican member, blogger Javier Manjarres, objected to the process: “They singled him out. It was a set up.”
Before seeking a spot on his local party’s committee, Hamze told the Florida Independent that the main reason he was making his bid was to bring “Muslims to the mainstream political process.”