After Brussels Attack, Ted Cruz Calls for U.S. Police Patrol of Muslim Neighborhoods, Ban on Syrian Refugees

Only hours after a bombing attacks in Brussels against its subway and airport that left at least 34 people dead, GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz released a statement calling for police to "patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods."

Cruz's comments, which echoed Donald Trump's post-Paris Attack statement on potentially shutting down mosques, were condemned by The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Ibrahim Hooper, the organizations spokesman, told the Washington Post:

It’s really beyond belief that you have one of the leading presidential candidates calling for law enforcement to target religious communities totally based on the fact that they are of a particular faith.In normal times, this would be the sort of thing that would disqualify someone from running for dogcatcher, much less president of the United States. We call on voters to reject this. It just shows you what happens when you appoint policy advisers like Frank Gaffney and Jerry Boykin to your team.

At a press conference in Washington, Cruz also called for a ban on Syrian refugees and implied that President Obama was too concerned with the issue of Islamophobia. Cruz also suggested that terror attacks could be prevented through more social network monitoring.

This is not the first time Cruz has stirred fears of the Muslim menace on the campaign trail. Earlier this year his campaign sent out mailers warning that the country was under assault from "Islamic fanatics" and imagined a Washington taken over by ISIL. At a Fox debate in January, Cruz vowed to "carpet-bomb" ISIS.

While Cruz's call for total surveillance of Muslim communities represents a rhetorical escalation, there is a clear precedent for such a program in the mapping inititiatve that the LAPD implemented in 2007. Though that mapping program was defeated by local Muslim opposition, it continued for years in New York City through the NYPD's secret and now-defunct "Demographics Unit," and persists under the auspices of the FBI, which relies on a network of thousands of informants. 

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.