GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz called for police to patrol Muslim neighborhoods in response to Tuesday's attacks in Brussels that killed at least 31 people.
"We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized," Cruz said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Cruz: "We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized." pic.twitter.com/7iZa49l4gq
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) March 22, 2016
The Texas Senator's calls for increased police patrols of Muslim neighborhoods rival Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.
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Cruz, running for POTUS as a religious freedom purist, advocates we single out neighborhoods for extra policing based on inhabitants' faith
— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) March 22, 2016
Cruz's comments come as he trails Trump in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Democrats quickly fired back.
"That’s not what we do in America," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of Senate Democratic leadership said in response to a question from a Mashable reporter. "We don’t take a race, religion, creed, color and say 'we’re monitoring everybody.' We look for terrorism where it is and we pursue it relentlessly."
The Council on American–Islamic Relations — a Muslim advocacy group in Washington — was also quick to condemn Cruz's plan.
"It’s really beyond belief that you have one of the leading presidential candidates calling for law enforcement to target religious communities totally based on the fact that they are of a particular faith,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told The Washington Post.