In the wake of the horrifying terrorist attacks in Belgium early this morning, religious extremist Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has decided to get ahead of rival Donald Trump when it comes to calling for unconstitutional and discriminatory actions against the American Muslim community when he demanded that the United States began “patrolling” Muslim neighborhoods with “law enforcement”. Before any information about the attacks was known, Cruz began calling to isolate and persecute Muslim-Americans and punish them for the actions of radicals two continents away – and for tearing up the American Constitution in response to a terrorist attack in a far away nation.
“Today radical Islamic terrorists targeted the men and women of Brussels as they went to work on a spring morning. In a series of coordinated attacks they murdered and maimed dozens of innocent commuters at subway stations and travelers at the airport. For the terrorists, the identities of the victims were irrelevant. They –we—are all part of an intolerable culture that they have vowed to destroy. 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.
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 are are at an end.”
Mr. Cruz’s horrendous words can serve as an excellent foil to show just how Islamophobia and fear play right into the hands of terrorists – and how astonishingly quickly this so-called “Constitutionalist” wants to deprive our citizens of their freedoms. Let’s rework his statement to describe what has really happened:
Today, a radical Christian targeted Muslim men and women across the world as they went to work on a spring morning. In a series of discriminatory statements, they blamed innocent civilians for the murderous work of a small group of extremists that was created by the heartless and hyper-aggressive foreign policies that Ted Cruz . For the Islamophobes, the identities of their victims are irrelevant. They attempt to portray Western civilization as incompatible with Islam, encouraging the false perception that conflict and strife between the two is inevitable. For years, the United States has struggled to uphold the values of tolerance and diversity that our nation was founded on, and he would have us discard them out of cowardice and hate; and to violate the “religious freedom” that this self-serving hypocrite claims to hold so dear.
According to Ted Cruz, it is time that we abandoned those principles and debase ourselves to level of Daesh or Al-Qaeda. He would have us capitulate to the terrorists, playing into their hands by closing our doors to those in need and seeing threats in the faces of children. He would have us discriminate against our own Muslim populations, feeding frustration and resentment and cultivating fertile ground for extremism. By and large, the police forces of the United States do not exactly have the greatest track record when it comes to minority relations, but he is proposing to increase their powers and send them on a mission to persecute, thus giving credibility to the terrorist propaganda which paints our nation as Islamophobic. His statements are an extreme overreaction that will be celebrated by both white supremacists and by Daesh terrorists alike, and that alone should be enough evidence to prove that this is not the way to respond to terrorism. The days of Republican fear-mongers voluntarily playing into the hands of our enemy must come to an end.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.