WASHINGON – Following the horrific attacks in Brussels today, Ted Cruz said that the U.S. should “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” In response, 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.”
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.