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.