US President Barack Obama has lashed out at Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz over his call for surveillance on America’s Muslim communities.
“As far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where Muslims are present, I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance, which, by the way, the father of Senator Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free,” Obama said Wednesday in Argentina after leaving Cuba on his Latin America tour.
Obama called such an idea “wrong and un-American,” adding that it would undermine the US campaign against extremists.
“The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense,” he noted.
A day after deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, some Republican hopefuls have called for drastic measures to prevent similar strikes in the US.
Cruz said Muslim neighborhoods in America should be put under special watch in order to prevent any attacks.
Also, GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump renewed his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country and for waterboarding to be used as a torture method on terror suspects.
Last month, an influential Muslim advocacy group in the United States condemned Trump for “inciting violence” against Muslims, after he narrated a hoax story about Muslims being killed with bullets “dipped in pig’s blood.”
“Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric has crossed the line from spreading hatred to inciting violence,” Nihad Awad, the national executive director for the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement on Feb. 20.
The New York real-estate mogul has previously called for a database to track Muslims across the US, and also said that his country would have “absolutely no choice” but to close down mosques.