Trebor Gordon, the chaplain for the Harris County Republican Party, said Syed Ali should not be able to serve as a leader in the local GOP “on the grounds that Islam does not have any basis or any foundation."
“During my prayer, this man did not bow his head. During the pledge of allegiance, he did not utter a word," Gordon said at the meeting, as quoted by the Post. "He didn’t even try to fake it and move his lips. 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. There are things on our platform that he and his beliefs are total opposite.”
Mike Robertson, a precinct chair, also stood up during the debate that ensued to question Ali's religion.
“Can I have a point of information?” Robertson said, as quoted by the Post. “Has there been any factual information provided that Islam is a religion?”
The Post reported that Ali, who did not speak up during the meeting, has been an active Republican since the Reagan administration. His appointment was ultimately approved after Gordon's motion to block him failed to pass.
Ali told the Post that he was not affected by Gordon's words and that he has received an outpouring of support following the meeting.
“It doesn’t bother me at all, as a Republican, as an American, as a Muslim,” he told the newspaper. “Everyone’s entitled to their view.”
Gordon's words were captured on video thanks to chance timing.
Precinct chair Felicia Winfree Cravens was showing a friend how to use Facebook Live, a live broadcasting feature on the social platform, when the pastor began his outburst. Cravens told the Post she was "stunned" by Gordon's actions.
Watch below via The Washington Post: