Ted Cruz’s Appallingly Un-American Plan to Patrol Muslim Neighborhoods

Ted Cruz’s response to the Islamic State’s terror attack in Belgium was typically Republican: further radicalize Muslims – to feed, rather than starve terrorist groups.

“We will do what we can to help them fight this scourge, and redouble our efforts to make sure it does not happen here. We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al Qaida or ISIS presence. We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.

“We need to secure the southern border to prevent terrorist infiltration. And we need to execute a coherent campaign to utterly destroy ISIS. The days of the United States voluntarily surrendering to the enemy to show how progressive and enlightened we can be are at an end. Our country is at stake.”

Because treating an entire group of people like pariahs and second-class citizens on account of a few, by singling them out as more likely to commit crimes than others, shows how progressive and enlightened we are. As one commenter on Drudge Retort remarked, “Right, because nothing keeps people from becoming radicalized like having a boot on their neck.”

It is interesting that acts of domestic terrorism do not bring calls for similar profiling of Christians. Or toddlers. Toddlers kill more Americans than ISIL. Why aren’t we taking action against them?

According to Cruz, letting Muslims live in our country just like other Americans is surrendering to political correctness:

“For years, the West has tried to deny this enemy exists out of a combination of political correctness and fear. We can no longer afford either. 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.”

The problem with this plan is, if they’re not radicalized yet, then religiously and ethnically profiling them, then ghettoizing their neighborhoods will certainly do the trick: His campaign criticized New York Mayor DeBlasio for “eliminated the efforts of law enforcement to work with Muslim communities to stop radical Islamic terrorism” – in other words, spying on them. To no one’s surprise, New York Muslims did not like being profiled because of their religion.

Cruz spokesperson Alice Stewart elaborated on this latest harebrained scheme:

“We know what is happening with these isolated Muslim neighborhoods in Europe. If we want to prevent it from happening here, it is going to require an empowered, visible law enforcement presence that will both identify problem spots and partner with non-radical Americans who want to protect their homes.

“Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies all have divisions that target threats like drugs, gangs, human trafficking and organized crime. Radical Islamic terrorism is a significant and growing threat in this country, but this administration refuses to recognize it because they are afraid of being labeled ‘politically incorrect.’”

In response to Cruz’s claim that the U.S. should “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” People For the American Way President Michael Keegan released the following statement:

“From proposing an all-out ban on Muslims entering the U.S. to calling for Muslims to be patrolled in their own communities, Republican candidates have spent 2016 smearing an entire faith group because of their religion. Cruz’s comments are anathema to the fundamental American value of religious freedom, a principle Cruz claims to champion. This brand of anti-Muslim bigotry is not acceptable anywhere, and especially not from someone who is running to become the leader of our country.

“Unfortunately, Ted Cruz has chosen to surround himself with some of the most extreme and bigoted figures in America today. Cruz recently named anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, who has compared President Obama to Osama bin Laden and accused everyone from Huma Abedin to Grover Norquist of having covert connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, as an adviser on national security. He also selected Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, who has described Islam as ‘a totalitarian way of life’ and called for ‘no mosques in America.’

“Americans should reject Islamophobia and stand up for the essential American values of equality and justice for all under the law. Anti-Muslim bigotry is profoundly un-American and entirely unacceptable, whether it comes from a conspiracy theorist, a presidential candidate or anyone else.”

Republicans, as Bernie Sanders pointed out Tuesday from San Diego, Republicans despise democracy. As both Trump and Cruz have proved, they despise the First Amendment as well. Everything they do is designed to preserve certain privileges for Fox News’ “white Christian Americans” and deny those same freedoms to others.

Claims that Islam is a political system rather than a religion are more true of Republican ideology than of Islam, and if you are looking for examples of terrorism, you can find them in Oregon, where a band of white Christian American terrorists now face trial. If you are looking for totalitarianism, you need look no further than Kansas, Oklahoma, or any other Red State.