Hours after three bombs killed 34 people and injured at least 230 others in terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate and suspected Zodiac killer Ted Cruz took to Facebook and urged Americans to "empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods."
By Tuesday evening, Muslims on Twitter had issued their response. The hashtag #MuslimNeighborhood was started as a means of counteracting Cruz's Islamophobia by showing what really goes on in Muslim communities across the United States — i.e., the same funny, odd, boring, sweet and sometimes moving stuff that happens in any other American community.
The rest, as they say, is history. Here's a selection of the #MuslimNeighborhood tweets:
Cruz's attempt to criminalize an entire religion based on the actions of a few has precedent in the U.S. Between 2003 and 2014, the New York City Police Department's Demographics Unit was deployed to heavily Muslim neighborhoods in the Tri-State area to surveil and sniff out upcoming terrorist attacks.
Ironically, not a "single piece of actionable intelligence" was generated by the unit, according to NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton. The unit was disbanded in shame in April 2014. Plus, the pictures the police took were really, really boring: random, everyday people entering and leavings mosques, shopping for baked goods, grabbing coffee, parking their cars — the same stuff that happens in any other American neighborhood each day.
The silver lining here is that Cruz will probably never be president. The bad news? Another virulent Islamophobe has a pretty good chance.
h/t NBC News