Ted Cruz calls out Texas county's GOP For Discrimination Against One Man's Religion

Texas Senator Ted Cruz called one of his state's largest county GOP parties "wrong" for campaigning to remove a member from a top position because he's Muslim.

The Tarrant County Republican Party, based in Fort Worth, will vote next month on whether or not they should remove Dr. Shahid Shafi from his post as vice-chairman of the Party.

Cruz, who is wrapping up his first term as a U.S. Senator, will begin his next six-year term in January after narrowly defeating Beto O'Rourke in November's highly-contested race that grabbed national attention. Cruz is a constitutional scholar who firmly backs Shafi.

He wrote this tweet Friday: "Discrimination against Dr. Shafi b/c he's Muslim is wrong. The Constitution prohibits any religious test for public office & the First Amendment protects religious liberty for every faith. The Party of Lincoln should welcome everybody & celebrate Liberty."

Shafi is a Republican trauma surgeon who has been involved in local politics since running for Southlake City Council in 2011. Southlake is a very affluent neighborhood north of Fort Worth. Shafi was initially told he couldn't win because of his Pakistani heritage in a post 9/11 America, according to this Texas Tribune report. Shafi lost in 2011, but won the seat in the 2014 election.

Shafi has represented Tarrant County with its GOP delegation for several state GOP Conventions — something not easily gained in the Lone Star State, which usually takes its conservative politics seriously.

In July, Shafi was appointed vice-chairman of his county's GOP and that's when some of his fellow Republicans began to take a second look at the doctor.

Days after his appointment, one of the chair women, Dorrie O'Brien, pleaded with county GOP chair Darl Easton to re-examine placing Shafi in a leadership position.

"The only reason she had was because he was a Muslim," Easton told The Washington Post. "That was the only reason she gave."

Since then, O'Brien and other precinct chairs who support her suggestion have requested Shafi's appointment to be reversed at their Jan. 10 meeting.

George P. Bush, the Texas Land Commissioner, showed his support for Shafi and called upon the TCGOP "stop the attempt" of removing Shafi.

The Post attempted to reach O'Brien for further comment but he declined. After attempting to contact the precinct chairwoman, The Post found social media posts in which O'Brien insinuates Shafi "promotes Sharia law" and "is affiliated with terrorist groups." Her main proof of that? He attends a mosque — as a Muslim.

The Post went on to say O'Brien accuses Shafi of being a "fake Republican" who merely has plans of shaking up the GOP through Muslim infiltration.

Shafi acknowledges he has been attacked because of his religion, and that it won't be the last.

"This is, unfortunately, not the first time that people or my political opponents have tried to use my religion against me to distract the voters," Shafi said in The Post. "And unfortunately, I don't think it will be the last either."

Tarrant County GOP leaders will hold a "training session" on Dec. 29 given by former FBI agent John Guandolo, who the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as an "anti-Muslim activist," according to the Texas Tribune.

Shafi was born in India, raised in Pakistan and moved to the United States to finish his medical degree. After surgery residences, he received his naturalization in 2009, which was 19 years after he moved to the States.

The surgeon said he got involved in politics as a way to get involved in his community, and that he preferred the Republican party because he believes in smaller government.

Tarrant County is one of the top polulated counties in Texas along with Dallas and Harris counties.