As many as eight statewide chapters of the Tennessee Republican Party have passed resolutions saying Haslam has shown “a consistent lack of conservative values” and calling on state party leaders to sanction the governor.
KNOX NEWS Meanwhile, the Williamson County Republican Party has passed a more narrow resolution that criticizes the governor for hiring a Tennessee-born Muslim, Samar Ali, to a high-level trade position as international director for the Department of Economic and Community Development. Ali is “a Sharia-complaint finance specialist” – a reference to Ali and her prior work as a financial adviser to Muslim-owned companies.
The groups have zeroed in on Ali’s resume as a corporate lawyer who helped Muslim-owned companies arrange deals to fit with Islam’s ban on collecting interest and comply with other religious rules. The groups have claimed she has and continues to work with “financial jihadists” who “seek to embed Shariah law into America’s financial system.”
The effort highlights the continued concern about Sharia, or Islamic law, among grass-roots Republicans throughout Tennessee. The resolutions also come as Haslam has been elevated to the state’s top spokesman for Republican candidates, including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Although Ali is not involved in finance in her current role, the Williamson County GOP says Haslam has “elevated and/or afforded preferential political status to Sharia adherents in Tennessee, thereby aiding and abetting the advancement of an ideology and doctrine which is wholly incompatible with the Constitution of the United States and the Tennessee Constitution.”
Republicans in Stewart and Carroll counties listed eight grievances. Those include Haslam’s decisions to retain personnel hired by his Democratic predecessor, Gov. Phil Bredesen; to allow openly gay individuals to make policy decisions in the Department of Children’s Services; and to hire Samar Ali, a Muslim lawyer from Tennessee, to serve as the Department of Economic and Community Development’s international director.