(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/22/16) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today decried GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruzâ€™s call for law enforcement to â€œpatrol and secure Muslim neighborhoodsâ€ and the naming of notorious Islamophobe Walid Phares as one of leading GOP candidate Donald Trumpâ€™s policy advisers.
CAIR called on Cruz to retract and apologize for his unconstitutional policy proposal and for Trump to drop Phares as an adviser.
In a Facebook post, Cruz said: â€œWe need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.â€
In a recent meeting with The Washington Post's editorial board, Trump named Phares as one of his foreign policy advisers. As the Post pointed out, â€œPhares was once a leading ideologue in an armed Christian faction during Lebanon's grim, bloody sectarian civil conflict of the 1980s.â€
A 2011 Mother Jones article noted: â€œDuring the 1980s, Phares, a Maronite Christian, trained Lebanese militants in ideological beliefs justifying the war against Lebanon's Muslim and Druze factions, according to former colleagues.â€
Also in 2011, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) was forced to drop Phares as a witness at one of his controversial hearings on alleged Muslim â€œradicalizationâ€ once Pharesâ€™ past associations and extremist views were made public.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
â€œThe actions and policy recommendations of the two leading GOP presidential candidates send an alarming message to American Muslims who increasingly fear for their future in this nation and to all Americans who value the Constitution and religious liberties. Mr. Cruzâ€™s call for law enforcement to â€˜patrol and secureâ€™ neighborhoods in which American Muslim families live is not only unconstitutional, it is unbefitting anyone seeking our nationâ€™s highest office and indicates that he lacks the temperament necessary for any president.
â€œMr. Trumpâ€™s naming of a policy adviser who was once linked to a foreign anti-Muslim militia sends the message that American Muslims would be targeted in a Trump administration.
â€œWe urge Ted Cruz to retract his call for fascist-like treatment of American Muslims and to offer an apology to all Americans.
â€œWe ask Donald Trump to immediately drop Walid Phares from his team of advisers because of his extremist views and his past associations with a violent foreign militia.â€
Last week, CAIR called on Cruz to drop designated hate group leader Frank Gaffney Jr., retired Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin and other Islamophobes as foreign policy advisers.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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