Campaign mailer angers Tarrant County Muslims



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Posted on May 2, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 2 at 6:43 PM

TARRANT COUNTY  — Itamar Gelbman says he was born in New York, raised in Israel, and now wants to be the next congressman from the state's 6th District, which covers much of Tarrant County.

His mailers began arriving this week. Gelbman said he sent them to about 40,000 homes.

Next to his picture, the card states: "Army lieutenant for Congress."

Gelbman served in the Israeli army, and among the issues he wants to fight for is to stop what he calls the "Islamization" of America.

"I would like to ask him how he plans to stop the 'Islamization of America?'"  asked Jamal Qaddura. "Where is the 'Islamization of America?'"

Qaddura received one of Gelbman's campaign cards because he votes Republican in the 6th District. In fact, Qaddura is a precinct chair in the Tarrant County GOP and a frequent spokesman for the Islamic community.

He's more than a little offended by the Gelbman campaign.

"I simply picked up the phone and called that number," he said, referring to the number on Gelbman's mailer. Qaddura said he didn't hear back from Gelbman.

The candidate told us by phone his mailer drew a huge, 100 percent positive response. Gelbman said he did not have time to talk to News 8 on camera about it until next week.

His campaign address is a PO Box at the post office in Joshua in Johnson County. Gelbman told us by phone he doesn't live in District 6, but does plan to move into the district.

If so, he will have thousands of Muslim neighbors — many of them conservative Republican voters.

"Bad news for him, I guess," Qaddura said. "He just offended 50,000 people."