President hopeful Cruz's campaign raises “Islamophobic” posture

By Aaron Kassraie

WASHINGTON, March 26 (KUNA) — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has conducted a series of activities over the course of the week that may threaten the freedom of Muslims in the US and abroad. Spearheading his campaign’s anti-Islamic posture is the selection of Frank Gaffney to his foreign policy team, Bloomberg reported.
Gaffney has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights group, as “one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes” who is, “gripped by paranoid fantasies about Muslims destroying the West from within.” Gaffney has claimed that President Barack Obama is a practicing Muslim and was not actually born in the US. He has also argued that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s former aide, Huma Abedin, to be a covert agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. This statement was then condemned by prominent conservative Republicans including Senator John McCain and then House Speaker John Boehner.
He served in the administration of Former President Ronald Regan as a Pentagon official. In 1988, he founded the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank that has been accused of spreading conspiracy theories primarily regarding jihadi threats against the US. One of its reports concluded that 25 percent of US Muslims support violent jihad (holy war) against the US.
Cruz’s team includes three others from Gaffney’s think tank but also consists of former officials who reject Gaffney’s “Islamophobic” views, Bloomberg reported. This includes Mary Habeck, a former staffer to George W Bush’s Security Council, and Elliot Abrams, who under the Bush administration helped crafted policies in favor of Muslims in the Middle East against radicals.
After the terrorist attacks in Brussel, Belgium, this week, Cruz said on Facebook, “We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant Al Qaeda or ISIS presence” — alluding to the so-called Islamic State (IS), also called in Arabic as “Daesh.” The IS occupies large swaths of land in northeastern Syria, north and west of Iraq.
He added, “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods,” later stating, “We don’t need another lecture on Islamophobia.” Although Cruz’s rival Donald Trump has made similar statements about sealing the border against Muslims, some analysts argue that Cruz’s appointment of Gaffney positions the candidate to be a greater threat to Muslims than Trump. His selection of officials with such imposing views of the Muslims could be much worse than the “politically incorrect” comments of Trump when “Islamophobic” ideas are engrained policy. (end) ak.rk