Ted Cruz Just Gave Islamic State Exactly What It Wants
The Texas senator is wrong about Muslims
Authorities hadn’t finished counting the dead and wounded in Brussels when U.S. presidential candidate Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, uttered his latest vitriol against America’s millions of Muslims.
“We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” reads a statement the Cruz campaign released on social media hours after the March 22 terror attacks in Belgium that killed at least 30 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the coordinated bombings that struck airport and a subway.
I can think of no faster way to radicalize America’s Muslims than to follow through with Cruz’s despotic suggestion.
The senator’s authoritarian plan is, of course, exactly what the death-worshiping terrorists want. Islamic State has repeatedly said it aims to eliminate so-called “gray zones” — those spaces where Islam’s adherents live alongside non-believers.
“Muslims in the lands ruled by the apostate … will find themselves driven to the … the Islamic State as the [Western rulers] increase their imprisonment of any Muslim they think might have a mustard seed of jealousy for his religion,” Islamic State stated in a February 2015 issue of its official Dabiq magazine.
“Eventually, the gray zone will become extinct,” the terror group continued.
The idea that Muslims and non-Muslims could live together peacefully is anathema to the Islamic State. It proves that a cosmopolitan world is possible. That Islam can exist as part of the wider world. That total conquest is the only way for Islam to survive.
Cruz’s plan is disheartening because it plays into Islamic State’s propaganda. The idea of armed officers patrolling Muslim ghettos in America is sure to thrill Islamists who believe integration is impossible.
This kind of rhetoric is typical of Cruz. During a campaign speech in Iowa, the Texan implied that, if elected, he would nuke the Middle East.
Cruz’s plan to prevent radicalization would cause radicalization. When an oppressive regime segments a minority and forces it to live by different rules than the rest of society, trouble is sure to follow.
Worse, the senator’s rhetoric will only empower American vigilante groups that are already whipped into a frenzy by 2016’s perverse elections. As a Texan, I know what the frenzy looks like. It’s happening around me right now.
In the Dallas suburb of Irving, masked men sporting assault rifles made news a few months ago when they decided to “patrol” a local mosque. The “protests” culminated with the group of vigilantes posting on Facebook the home addresses of the mosque’s members.
Amid a public backlash, Facebook forced the group to remove the list. Days later, a counter-protest against the anti-Islamic organization effectively ended the threat the vigilantes posed to Irving’s Muslim community. Muslim supporters outnumbered the gun-toting thugs 200 to 12. In Texas.
Similar events have occurred in Europe, where millions of refugees — many of them Muslims, most of them fleeing death in their countries of origin — have risked their lives for a chance to start over in, say, Germany or Finland. Around 1,200 refugees have gone to Finland, where vigilante groups immediately formed to “police” them. “We are a patrol group looking out for the safety of people, the safety of women,” a member of a group calling itself “Soldiers of Odin” told The New York Times.
Other Finns have formed groups to police the vigilantes. One calls itself “Loldiers of Odin.” Its members dress as clowns and mock and jeer the Soldiers of Odin as the latter go on their patrols.
As long as Europeans dress as clowns to harass fascist thugs and Texans come to the defense of their Muslim neighbors, gray zones will persist. No matter how hard Ted Cruz and Islamic State work to destroy them.