Broward News

Muslim Nezar Hamze Kept Out of Broward GOP Committee Amid "Pit of Discrimination"

Nezar Hamze -- a Muslim and executive director of Florida's Council on American-Islamic Relations -- is no stranger to taking heat from right-wing politicos in Broward County.

He's feuded with Rep. Allen West, U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner, radio host Joyce Kaufman, and pretty much anyone else in South Florida who believes that freedom of religion doesn't include Islam.

Recently, Hamze, who says he aligns with the values of the Republican Party, applied to become a member of the Broward Republican Executive Committee -- the governing body of the Republican Party of Broward County -- and to create a Muslim Republican Club.

Those events did not unfold in his favor last night, as Hamze says he found himself in a "pit of discrimination."

The Broward Republican Executive Committee just so happened to change the rules for yesterday's process of bringing people onto the committee, which included a question-and-answer session before the crowd -- which Hamze says included around 200 people last night.

Hamze said he fielded about 15 minutes' worth of questions, some of which weren't even questions, as he says people called him "terrorist" and said "You're in al-Qaida," which is just about as bad as having to take questions from Americans Against Hate Chairman Joe Kaufman -- which Hamze also had to do.

"It was a living, breathing group of discrimination," Hamze tells the Pulp. "It's disgusting."

People also distributed page-length fliers -- which you can see at the bottom of the post -- encouraging people not to vote for Hamze.

The flier claims going against him is because of his job with CAIR and says voting against him "has nothing to do with [his] religion."

If you don't believe that, we wouldn't blame you.

Kaufman has been at odds with Hamze for quite some time, and he's the kind of guy who calls Afghan children "Future Terrorists of Afghanistan" and protests a Muslim family day at a Six Flags theme park.

By the time the vote came around, which was done by secret ballot, the results didn't come as much of a surprise to Hamze -- he was denied by a vote of 158-11.

The ten other people who applied for membership were all admitted, and the Miami Herald says no one in the room could remember another time of someone being denied membership.

After the crowd cheered the chairman's announcement of Hamze's denial, Hamze says one of his African-American friends in the room turned to him and said, "I know what you're going through; I went through this when I was a kid."


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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley