Sen. Ted Cruz reacted to the terrorist attacks in Brussels today by saying that the U.S. should “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” a vague proposal with troubling civil liberties implications.
It should hardly be surprising that Cruz made such a statement, however, since he has recently named as national security advisers several activists who have called for the severe curtailing of civil liberties for American Muslims.
One of Cruz’s new national security advisers, Family Research Council official Jerry Boykin, has said that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections” and has called for “no mosques in America”:
Perhaps giving a hint at the neighborhoods Cruz wants the police to “secure,” Boykin once absurdly claimed that the police refuse to go into the city of Dearborn, Michigan, because of its large Muslim population.
Boykin first gained notoriety as a Pentagon official during the Bush administration, when he was repeatedly rebuked by the administration for giving speeches framing the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as holy wars between Christianity and Islam (or, in his words, “our God” and the “idol” Satan).
Another of Cruz’s new national security advisers, the Center for Security Policy’sFrank Gaffney, believes that there is extensive Islamist infiltration of the federal government, the Republican Party and even the National Rifle Association, and once called for the establishment of a “House Anti-American Activities Committee” to investigate this supposed infiltration. To give you an idea of whom that committee would go after, Gaffney is the activist behind allegations that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, conservative activist Suhail Khan and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist are all aiding the Muslim Brotherhood. (Khan and Abedin are Muslim and Norquist’s wife is Muslim.)
Another Cruz adviser, Clare Lopez, said recently that Sen. Joseph McCarthy was “spot-on” in his notorious hunt for communist infiltrators. Another adviser, Andy McCarthy, has said that Islam may not deserve full legal protections because it may not be, “strictly speaking, a religion.”