Republican 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz cautioned, “America should not make the mistakes of Europe,” during CNN’s Tuesday night town hall. He highlighted what it would mean to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods” to prevent radical Islamic terrorist plots in America.
Cooper asked Cruz:
You proposed: securing our borders, crushing ISIS, stopping refugees, but you also suggested law enforcement “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” John Kasich said about that proposal, “So what we want to do is start policing Muslim neighborhoods, create more division, start policing neighborhoods here in LaCross? This is just politics trying to appeal to people’s base instincts and fears.” Is that what you’re doing?
Cruz responded saying, “We need a Commander-in-Chief who’s actually focused on keeping this country safe.” He went on:
We had a terror attack in Brussels last week. It was a horrific attack. President Obama could barely be bothered to stop his baseball game with communist dictators to say anything about it. And when he did, he followed this bizarre pattern that he has followed for year after year after year, where he refuses to say the words radical Islamic terrorism. Instead what he does, what he did after the Paris terror attack, what he did after San Bernardino, is he goes on television and he lectures Americans about Islamophobia. Enough is enough.
Cooper honed in on the words “patrol and secure,” asking for a broader explanation.
What it means is we target the enemy. Now there is a difference between Islam and Islamism. Islamism is a political and theocratic philosophy that commands its adherents to wage violent Jihad, to murder or to forcibly convert all infidels, and by infidels they mean every one of the rest of us. Islamism is our enemy.
Cooper referenced New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton saying he called such a program complete bunk and that the prior program led to no prosecutions.
Cruz replied shortly thereafter, “Look I understand that the commissioner who works for Bill De Blasio has a political imperative. He is a left-wing radical.”
Cruz discussed the program that was set up under New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “to monitor and work cooperatively with the Muslim community to prevent radicalization and to stop radical Islamic terrorist plots before it occurs.”
He gave a specific example in the local bookstore “that was a locus for radicalization” and that under the program in New York law enforcement was able to go after the bookstore. The Texas senator then asserted that after Mayor de Blasio’s election he “gave into political correctness and shut the unit down.”
Listen, if you want to stop radical Islamic terrorism, the answer isn’t to go hang out in random neighborhoods, it is instead to focus on communities where radicalization is a risk. And I’ll tell you what Europe has done. Europe has followed the path that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to put us on. The tragedies, these terror attacks in Europe are a result of failed immigration policies where they’ve allowed vast numbers of Islamic terrorists to come into Europe and they’re in communities that are isolated. They’re called no-go communities where the law enforcement doesn’t engage in those communities. One in Brussels, Molenbeek, has been a particular incubator for radical Islamic terrorism. Many of these terrorist plots trace back to Molenbeek. And my point is very simple. America should not make the mistakes of Europe. We should not disengage. We should have law enforcement actively engage to stop radicalization before it starts.
He concluded saying that “every single day” he would “wake up fighting radical Islamic terrorism and working to defeat it.”
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana