Farouk Shami is a Palestinian-American businessman, a Houstonian from Ramallah who made a bunch of money in cosmetology after inventing the first ammonia-free hair color. In November, he announced he was running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and like all American politicians, especially in the South, discovered he needed to say what his religion is. As Corrie MacLaggan of the Austin American-Stateman lays it out, that’s not been so easy.
Some of his campaign officials say he’s a Quaker, others say no. Family members claim the family’s Muslim, but not very observant. “My religion is American,” Shami said in December. “I’m a Muslim Quaker.” On Monday, he took an Abrahamic tack: “I was born in the land of Abraham, believing in Moses, Jesus and Mohammad, and believing in one God.” Texas Democrats, take your pick. Is it real or is it…Shami?