WNY Muslims Condemn Cruz's 'Divisive' Police Patrol Proposal
The terror attacks in Brussels have U.S. officials on high alert to make sure the Islamic State doesn't strike on American soil. Presidential hopefuls are also sounding off about strategies to fight terrorists. Republican Ted Cruz raised a few eyebrows by proposing police patrols in Muslim neighborhoods. Time Warner Cable News reporter Kevin Jolly talked with some local Muslim leaders about the proposal.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- For many Muslims what Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said following the terror attacks in Brussels doesn't do anything to unite communities.
Following the deadly attacks, Cruz called on law enforcement to increase police patrols in Muslim neighborhoods as a way to fight terrorism. Buffalo Imam Yayhe Usef Omar says politicians like Cruz use fear and the threat of terrorism to divide people.
"We don't have to fear. So, if you want to do your own politics, do it in your way, but don't divide the other people, divide Muslim and non-Muslim. We are all in the United States," said Omar.
"Whether it is Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, they are going after quick votes, low hanging fruit, and they are not showing statesmanship, and I am afraid they are not fit to lead this country," said Faizan Haq.
Haq, a professor of Islamic cultural history and U.S. and the Muslim world at SUNY Buffalo State, agreed proposals like Cruz's would only drive a wedge between not just Muslims and non-Muslims in the U.S., but everywhere.
"What kind of president will he be when he will alienate about 2 billion people of this world and he will be also alienating a community and a people, Muslims, who are serving in armed forces, working in law enforcement agencies, who are putting their lives on the line for the safety and security of America every single day?" said Haq.
Despite the tragedy in Brussels, Haq believes the current intelligence strategy of relying on intelligence, sources and assets on the ground, as well as going after terror group leadership is working. He says targeting Muslim communities is not the answer.
"It can be worked out. There can be a strategy in place to undo this organization and those strategies are being implemented, we are making progress. But we cannot make progress like this when we alienate whole communities because it's going to increase our work," said Haq.