Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas called for police to patrol "Muslim neighborhoods" in response to the terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22 (video below).
“We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al-Qaida or ISIS presence,” Cruz said in a statement, notes Politico. “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
He added: “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."
During an interview on March 22 on CNN, Cruz insisted his policy was not targeting Muslims, reports Mediaite.
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CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Cruz, "So the question is, though, what do you mean by empowering law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized?"
Cruz replied, "We have seen for seven years that being afraid to confront what it is we are facing, being afraid to name it, that it is radical Islamic terrorism, has left us vulnerable to Jihad, to acts of terror. We've seen that in Paris, we've seen that in San Bernardino, we've seen that in Brussels."
But Paris and Brussels are not part of the U.S., and there is no evidence that any of the terrorist attacks mentioned by Cruz occurred because of anyone's refusal to say the words "radical Islamic terrorism."
The Obama administration has bombed seven different predominantly Muslim countries in its fight against Islamic terrorism, and has led a multi-nation coalition against ISIS in Syria and Iraq since 2014.
“That does not mean targeting Muslims," Cruz told Cooper. "It means targeting radical Islamic terrorism.”
But Cruz said in his earlier statement: "We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized."
Cruz went on to praise former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's New York City policing program, which included police informants purportedly being paid to bait Muslims, a failure to generate any leads in terrorism investigations and pitting the CIA and a secret team of NYPD intelligence officers against the NYPD and the FBI, according to a series of reports by The Associated Press in 2012.
Cooper asked Cruz again about his statement, and the GOP candidate said:
"It's very simple. It doing what law enforcement does in any circumstance. If you have a neighborhood where there is a high level of gang activity, the way to prevent it is you increase the law enforcement presence there and target gang members to get them off the street ... I'm talking about any area where there is a higher incidence of radical Islamic terrorism."
Cooper also asked Cruz to name a neighborhood with high rates radical Islamic terrorism, but Cruz wasn't able to do so.