South Florida Muslim discusses push to become member of Broward GOP Executive Committee

By | 09.13.11 | 12:57 pm

Nezar Hamze, executive director of the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has applied to become a member of the Broward Republican Executive Committee and to create a Muslim Republican Club.

According to the conservative blog Shark Tank: “The Republican Party is close to reading on to its local Broward Republican rolls a new Muslim member, as Nezar Hamze, the controversial Florida director of  the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), has submitted his formal application to become a member of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC).”

CAIR’s ”mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”

“This is my personal political view,” Hamze tells The Florida Independent about his desire to join the GOP cause. “CAIR is a nonprofit. As the director for CAIR, I can’t engage in supporting or not supporting one party or the other, or a candidate. This is not a CAIR thing. As a matter of fact, I got questioned about this from CAIR.”

Hamze says that while growing up he admired Ronald Reagan, and is proud of GOP social conservatism.

“I’m a very strict social conservative,” Hamze says. “I have strong family values — traditional Islamic values really line up with the Republican Party’s family values platform.”

He also highlights his fiscal conservatism: “This country has gone bonkers in the war machine. We are in every country in the world and can’t afford to pay our own bills.”

“Islam teaches responsibility in fiscal spending,” he says. “If you don’t have it, it’s OK to borrow it, but you have to pay it back. If you don’t pay it back, you have to default, you have to make it right, not just get more.”

He also calls himself a strict constitutionalist, saying he supports civil liberties that are “absolutely supreme in this land regardles of race, religions, gender, anything.”

“That’s where my political platform is. When you look at it, it is almost mirrored with traditional Republican values, not with the new neo-con conservatives,” Hamze explains. “You have some individuals like Ron Paul, Chris Christie that are out there, who stand by their values and treat all Americans equally.”

“Here’s the problem: The neo-cons and the neo-Zionists are absolutely opposed to any Muslim participation in the political process,” Hamze says. “We are very wealthy, very well networked, but not active politically, and that is our problem as a Muslim group.”

He says that those opposed to Muslim political activity know this. “Their claim to fame — and you can use Rep. Allen West — is, ‘Let’s bash the Muslims and get the vote.’” Hamze says he wants to “bring the Muslims to the mainstream political process.”

Hamze adds that if he does not get into the Broward Republican Executive Committee he’ll address the issue with the Republican Party of Florida: “I’m not a quitter.”

He says Muslims vote Democratic because of that party’s strong stance on civil liberties, but the majority of values don’t line up.

Follow Marcos Restrepo on Twitter


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