In the wake of the Brussels terrorist attacks which left over 30 dead and hundreds wounded, Ted Cruz decided to take the mic to respond to the tragedy. In a statement released just hours after the attacks, Cruz proposed the necessity to “patrol and secure” neighborhoods that are predominantly Muslim. “For years, the West has tried to deny this enemy exists out of a combination of political correctness and fear,” Cruz further elaborated. “We can no longer afford either.”
According to Cruz, the United States’ “European allies are now seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated, radical Muslim neighborhoods.” Along with Muslim surveillance, Cruz proposed to “immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al Qaida (sic) or ISIS presence… and secure the southern border to prevent terrorist infiltration.”
It wasn’t long before a variety of people – from the President to people on Twitter – responded. Here they are in all their glory:
1. President Obama
In various media appearances after the Brussels attack, Cruz criticized Obama for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” in his speech addressing the attack from Cuba and reiterated that he would “carpet bomb” ISIS-controlled territory if he were to win the presidential race.
In response, Obama remarked on Wednesday during a press conference in Argentina that Cruz’s plan was “counterproductive” that would “isolate American Muslims.” However, Obama furthered slammed Cruz by stating: “I just left a country [Cuba} that engaged in that kind of neighborhood surveillance, which, by the way, the father of Senator Cruz escaped for American, the land of the free.”
2. William Bratton, Police Commissioner and Mayor Bill de Blasio
During a press conference in Times Square shortly after Cruz’s comments had reached far and wide, Bratton and de Blasio tag-teamed to respond to Cruz.
“I just have to say its reprehensible,” de Blasio said. “His comments are not about saftey and security. It’s demagoguery.” De Blasio also noted that NYPD includes 900 Muslim-American officers and stated that there are “peace-loving, law-abiding Muslim Americans in neighborhoods all over New Your City [who] should be respected like all other members of our community.” De Blasio also went on to state Cruz’s comments were “immoral” and “counterproductive,” because they could “alienate thousands and thousands of people and make them feel like they don’t belong in this country, and that’s no good for anyone.”
Bratton went in on Cruz even harder than de Blasio: “The statements he made today is why he’s not going to become president of this country,” Bratton said. “We don’t need a president that doesn’t respect the values that form the foundation of this country… as the mayor mentioned, I have over 900 very dedicated officers in this department, many of whom do double duty, and they serve as active duty members in the U.S. Military in combat, something the senator has never seen… so before he starts denigrating any population, he should take a close look at who he’s denigrating… I take great offense.”
3. Anchor Norah O’Donnell
When Cruz appeared on CBS This Morning to defend himself against the comments made by de Blasio and Bratton, it didn’t seem as if he was expecting O’Donnell to come after him as well.
“New York City, under Mayor Bloomberg, had a program that focused on, worked proactively with Muslim communities to stop radicalization to prevent attacks from radical Islamic terrorism before they occur,” Cruz said. “Now what happened? Mayor de Blasio came in and decided political correctness mattered more than keeping people safe. He disbanded the program.”
O’Donnell noted that this particular program never proved to work, Cruz responded “it is true that the de Blasio political henchman say that. It is also true that the NYPD said it provided valuable intelligence.”
O’Donnell didn’t stop there, and the following ensued:
NORAH O’DONNELL: Let me ask you this. This raises a lot of civil liberty concerns. Let me ask you. How many Muslims are in America?
SEN.TED CRUZ: I don’t know the number off the top of my head.
O’DONNELL: So you’re saying that law enforcement should surveil a number of Muslims, and you don’t even know how many Muslims are in America? There are three million Muslims in America. Law enforcement is overwhelmed.
CRUZ: So you’re saying we can’t defeat radical Islamic terrorism?
O’DONNELL: We have a chief of police, one of the mostrespected chiefs of police who was here earlier, who said there are no Muslim neighborhoods. It’s not like Europe, it doesn’t exist that way. It’s impractical what you’re suggesting. Also, it doesn’t suggest it would lead to anything. It’s more of a political point that you’re making.
CRUZ: Norah, actually you brought up Europe and it’s a good example. If you look at the attack in Brussels, it’s a direct result of the failed immigration policies in Europe that have allowed vast numbers of radical Islamic terrorists to come to Europe and they have been ghetto-ized in neighborhoods that have become isolated, that have become separate, and they become incubators for radical Islamic terrorism.
O’DONNELL: That’s not a similar problem that we have here in the United States.
CRUZ: Of course, it is. There are communities in America —
O’DONNELL: Name one community, one city where we have a large group of radicalized Muslims.
CRUZ: You have communities,for example,in Minnesota, you have communities in Michigan with heavy concentration, and you have incidences of radical imams preaching jihadism, preaching Islamism.
4. Random American Muslims who were interviewed by ABC
Within the article, American Muslim Wathiq Bilbeisi stated that “the politicians, they say whatever the constituents want to hear. I don’t think they mean what they say, and in the end, they’ll have to come to terms with themselves… When they go to Congress to get laws to watch the Muslims, nobody’s going to do anything about it. It’s against American values.”
Another Muslim living in America, Ahmad Tarek Rashid Alam, publisher of the weekly Arab World newspaper, stated that anti-Muslim statements were becoming all too familiar. “This has been going on in every Islamic neighborhood for years,” he said. “But now our kids are in the police, in the Army. Are they going to watch us?”
5. A score of people on Twitter with the hashtag #MuslimNeighborhood
— Dilshad D. Ali (@DilshadDAli) March 23, 2016
— Mark Bravura (@memphomofo) March 23, 2016
In my #MuslimNeighborhood no dish goes back to it's owner empty. Mamas out-do themselves in generosity & calories (hence the powerwalking)
— Hind Makki (@HindMakki) March 23, 2016
— Hannah Kardon (@hannahkardon) March 23, 2016
Out of shape dads playing a slightly-too-intense game of volleyball during a holiday picnic in my #MuslimNeighborhood.
— AbdelRahman Murphy (@AbdelRahmanM) March 23, 2016
— Irfan Shuttari (@iShuttari) March 23, 2016
— Tamer Y. Abouzeid (@tyabouzeid) March 22, 2016
— Amal (@dsrtprincess) March 24, 2016
— Rachael McNeal (@RachaelKMcNeal) March 23, 2016
— Susanna Williams (@SusannaDW) March 23, 2016
In #mymuslimneighborhood… Well, it's basically the same as others except it has Muslims in it. They tend to overfeed me. Otherwise normal.
— Tim Brauhn (@timbrauhn) March 23, 2016
— Suehaila Amen (@SuehailaAmen) March 23, 2016