The Stewart County Republican Party says Governor Bill Haslam has “demonstrated a consistent lack of conservative values.”
At least two of the resolutions, from Stewart County and Williamson County, oppose the Haslam administration’s recent appointment of Samar Ali, 30, as international director at the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). Ali, a lawyer and a 2010-2011 White House fellow, received both her undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she was the first Arab-Muslim student body president. In an emailed statement, Clint Brewer, assistant commissioner for communications for ECD, called Ali “one of the brightest leaders of her generation from this state.”
But Republicans in the state denounce her as being an expert in “Sharia compliant finance.”
“Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has elevated and/or afford [sic] 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,” the Williamson resolution, dated July 10, 2012, states.
The Stewart County resolution, meanwhile, lists several grievances against Haslam beside Ali’s appointment. The document faults the governor for retaining state employees hired under former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen; for retaining gay people who work in the Department of Children’s Services, and allowing them “to make policy decisions”; and for refusing to sign legislation opposing Agenda 21, a non-binding UN plan concerning sustainable development that is the subject of numerous fringe conspiracy theories.