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Ted Cruz Wants Police To 'Patrol And Secure' U.S. Muslim Communities After Brussels

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 22/03/2016 Igor Bobic
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In the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday morning, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called on authorities to "patrol and secure" Muslim neighborhoods in the United States.

"We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al Qaida or ISIS presence," Cruz said in a statement. "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 proposal to single out Muslim communities in the U.S. drew immediate criticism. Reporter Cameron Joseph tweeted Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)'s reply: "That's not what we do in America."  

Yet Cruz appeared to dismiss concerns about discrimination and prejudice toward Muslims. He criticized President Barack Obama for what he sees as the president's refusal to acknowledge radical Islam due to excessive political correctness. 

“We need a president who sets aside political correctness,” he said. “In the wake of Brussels, we don’t need another lecture from President Obama on Islamophobia, we need a commander in chief.”

Cruz's suggestion to patrol Muslim American neighborhoods may be new, but other Republican hopefuls have also called for tighter border security and suggested that refugees should be barred from entering the country. Real estate mogul Donald Trump, the front-runner in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, said he would "close up our borders to people until we figure out what’s going on."

“We have to be very, very vigilant with who we let into this country. We are taking in people without real documentation," Trump said.

Obama administration officials have said that the screening process for refugees to enter the U.S. takes an average of 18-24 months and involves multiple security agencies.

Cruz also called on the Obama administration to intensify its fight against the so-called Islamic State. During a press conference in Washington earlier on Tuesday, the senator said he would fight ISIS by “carpet bombing them to oblivion."

"We should use overwhelming force, kill the enemy and then we should get the heck out," he said.

The top U.S. general in Iraq, Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, rebuked Cruz last month over the senator's proposal to "carpet bomb" in the Middle East, stating that the laws of conflict did not allow the U.S. to indiscriminately bomb civilian areas.

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