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Ted Cruz Faces Backlash For Call To ‘Patrol And Secure’ Muslims

Senator Ted Cruz, supposedly the sober alternative to Donald Trump, said in a statement about the Brussels bombings that U.S. law enforcement should patrol Muslim neighborhoods looking for signs of radicalization. He faced criticism for those remarks from his GOP colleagues.

“That’s not what we do in America. We don’t take a race, religion, creed, color and say we’re monitoring everybody. We look for terrorism where it is, and we pursue it relentlessly. That’s what we should do; that’s what I believe the administration is doing,” Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said at a press conference.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who offered lukewarm support to Cruz, said he’s wrong about this and his suggestion to “carpet bomb” the areas where the terrorists are.

The Hill reports:

Cruz’s comments came hours after a series of attacks killed dozens in Brussels, with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) quickly claiming credit.

The Texas Republican said, “Our European allies are now seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated, radical Muslim neighborhoods,” adding that the United States must “secure the southern border to prevent terrorist infiltration.”

Civil liberty groups immediately pushed back at Cruz, saying his plan is akin to discrimination.

Credo Action Political Director Murshed Zaheed said Cruz and GOP presidential front-runnerDonald Trump are “in a race to the bottom to gin up racism-fueled xenophobia.”

“Scapegoating entire communities and encouraging Americans to be suspicious of their Muslim neighbors may score points with some Republican primary voters, but it won’t do anything to make us safer,” Zaheed added in a statement.

The group previously launched a petition calling on the Republican presidential field to “denounce Islamophobia and stop spreading head.”

Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), warned that Cruz’s plan is “unconstitutional, un-American and dangerous.”

“It’s shocking that a leading presidential candidate in our nation in 2016 would suggest monitoring a section of our American society just because of its religious faith,” Awad told The Hill on Tuesday. “He claims in his speeches to defend religious liberty, but he seems to be fake when it comes to this.”

Awad linked the comments to Cruz’s announcement last week adding Frank Gaffney — a figure who has made controversial statements about Muslims and questioned President Obama’s birthplace — to his foreign policy team.

“To appoint such extremist conspiracy theorists like Frank Gaffney says a lot about his mindset and what he may implement in terms of conspiracy theories and make them into policies,” Awad said. “This is going to be devastating to our democracy.”

Conservatives have been distrustful of CAIR, in part because of alleged ties to Hamas.

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