WASHINGTON (TIP): Republican Ted Cruz, who is currently second behind Mr. Trump in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, posted his response to the Belgium attacks on Facebook marking his entry in the anti-muslim rhetoric.
Cruz called for the US to stop admitting refugees from areas with a so-called Islamic State or al-Qaeda presence and asked the US Government to confront and identify – “radical Islamic terrorists.”
“We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” he said.
“Cruz, running for POTUS as a religious freedom purist, advocates we single out neighborhoods for extra policing based on inhabitants’ faith,” tweeted Betsy Woodruff of the Daily Beast.
Wired editor Emily Dreyfuss tweeted: “I live in a Muslim neighborhood. My neighbors spent the weekend cleaning up the playground so our children can enjoy spring. Screw Ted Cruz.”
Mr. Cruz’s post echoes similar remarks by Mr. Trump after the Paris attacks in November that the government would have “absolutely no choice” but to shut down some US mosques.
“Some really bad things are happening, and they’re happening fast,” he said at the time.
Shortly after the news of the Belgium attacks broke, Mr. Trump tweeted his first response.
“Do you all remember how beautiful and safe a place Brussels was,” he asked. “Not anymore, it is from a different world! US must be vigilant and smart!”
Mr. Trump continued on this theme during an interview with Fox News, saying that he would “close up our borders to people until we figure out what is going on”.
The interviewers did not press the New Yorker on whether he was announcing a new policy of closing US borders entirely or just reiterating his earlier call of a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.
“We don’t learn,” he said. “Brussels is an amazing example. Brussels was an absolutely crime-free city. One of the most beautiful cities in the world. And now you look at it, it’s a disaster.”
“You see what’s happening in London and other cities,” he continued. “It’s not pretty to watch. Many cities will be this way with what’s taking place.”
On NBC he said Belgium was a “total mess”. On CBS he called it a “horrible city”.
“They have areas in Brussels where the police can’t even go,” he said. “The police are afraid to go there. The police don’t even go there. It’s a mess. And if you look at Paris, believe me it’s the same thing.”