Press Release

ADL Condemns Ted Cruz Remark Calling For Patrols of Muslim Neighborhoods

Questions Choice of Two Anti-Muslim Bigots for His National Security Team

New York, NY, March 22, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned Texas Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz for calling for new powers for law enforcement to patrol “Muslim neighborhoods” and for including two anti-Muslim bigots on a list of members of a national security coalition he would assemble to provide guidance for him if he were elected.

ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt issued the following statement:

As we saw in Brussels today, violent terrorism is a legitimate concern for the home front. But demonizing all Muslims is a misguided and counterproductive response to the terrorist threat posed by those motivated by a radical interpretation of Islam.  It is an irrational approach that harkens back to the fear and bigotry that led to a dark and tragic chapter in American history – the relocation of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps during the Second World War simply because of their ethnicity.

The overwhelming majority of Muslims in America are law-abiding people who are as outraged by terrorism and bigotry as Americans of every other faith.  Sweeping generalizations about them can serve only to foment discrimination and hate crimes against innocent, devoted Americans.  Furthermore, our law enforcement agencies need the cooperation of Muslim communities and community leaders to combat and deter crimes, including violent extremism.

Ordering special patrols of Muslim neighborhoods will almost certainly create an adversarial relationship between law enforcement and the communities they have sworn to protect, making those communities more vulnerable, more frightened, and often less willing to help.  The approach is contrary to the principles of individual rights, equality, justice, and religious freedom on which this nation was founded.

In a related matter, ADL earlier today sent a letter to Mr. Cruz expressing concern with the inclusion of two individuals he’s identified as members of a national security coalition that he would assemble if elected president.

The letter noted that two of the individuals identified as potential candidates for that coalition, Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin and Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., have a history of anti-Muslim bigotry and have promoted outrageous conspiracy theories involving Muslims.

Boykin, for example, has asserted that President Obama supports al-Qaeda and that the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to take over the United States; and Gaffney contends that Muslims are seeking to impose Sharia law in this country.

“We urge you to reconsider the standards by which you assess who is qualified to serve as a senior advisor on national security policy,” Mr. Greenblatt wrote. “We do not believe that proponents of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories belong on that list.”

As a 501c3 non-partisan organization that does not support or oppose candidates for office, it is ADL’s view that anyone who aspires for a leadership role in this country should refrain from actions that divide us along religious and ethnic lines and make blanket condemnations of entire communities.