All eyes have been focused on President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order banning people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
People took to the streets and airports across the country to protest what is clearly a travel ban fueled by religious profiling.
However, amid all the chaos, another U.S. lawmaker came up with an equally — or maybe even more — Islamophobic proposal as Trump’s de facto Muslim ban.
In January, as the country and most of the world, fixated on Trump’s inauguration, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced “the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act,” which aims to designate the Egyptian religious-political group a terrorist organization and ban its affiliates in the U.S.
"This potent threat to our civilization has intensified under the Obama administration due to the willful blindness of politically correct policies that hamper our safety and security," Cruz said in an accompanying statement.
On the surface, Cruz’s bill seeks to protect Americans against “the violent jihad carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood affiliates,” but American Muslim advocates believe the Texas senator has an ulterior motive: a crackdown on American Muslim civil rights.
For instance, Cruz alleges the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil liberties group in the U.S., of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Although CAIR has vehemently denied the accusation, the organization fears if Cruz’s bill is passed, it could set off a “witch hunt” against similar American Muslim advocacy groups.
“You have radical Republicans and extreme Islamophobes deciding U.S. policy right now and I think that every minority is in for a very rough ride over the next few years," CAIR spokesperson Corey Saylor told Al Jazeera.
"Every Muslim organization in the U.S. has been subjected to extreme vetting at this point under both Bush and Obama. If they start coming after us, then the public should know that it's a witch hunt and nothing else. It has been investigated before."
CAIR also revealed last month that the original draft of Cruz’s bill was written by John Guandolo, “a disgraced former FBI agent who has made a career out of bashing Muslims and Islam.”
(FYI: Guandolo is the one who made the bizarre claim in 2015 that then-CIA Director John Brennan was “a Muslim who converted to Islam while stationed in Saudi Arabia.”)
“The fact that Sen. Cruz’s current legislation has its origins in the conspiracy theories of a notorious Islamophobe serves to prove that the bill is designed as the basis for an anti-Muslim witch hunt, not as a legitimate defense of national security,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.
Trump may be the country’s most infamous Islamophobe in the global spotlight, however, there are far more dangerous bigots who are working behind-the-scenes to introduce more stringent anti-Muslim policies — and Cruz is certainly one of them.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters