After a tragedy like the one in Brussels, you can rely on people to do some awesome things — like opening up their homes to strangers, or giving rides to those in need.
Unfortunately, some people also took the opportunity to say rather rude things in the wake of the attack.
Like GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who said this:
“We will do what we can to help them fight this scourge, and redouble our efforts to make sure it does not happen here. We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al Qaida or ISIS presence. We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” (emphasis mine)
Needless to say, Ted’s proposal to patrol Muslim neighborhoods in the U.S. would be about as effective at stopping terrorism as swinging a broom in the general direction of the Middle East.
Besides, what does Cruz think Muslim neighborhoods look like, anyway?
Luckily, Twitter users were on hand to show Cruz just how not-scary Muslim neighborhoods are, using the hashtag #MuslimNeighborhood:
So, Ted, pay attention. Next time you’re in a Muslim neighborhood, you might see someone planting trees.
Or just hanging out and goofing around.
Or playing outside with this awesome puppy.
Or purchasing a delicious snack at The Nut House.
If you’re hungrier than that, you can always try some of this totally drool-worthy food.
You might see this woman on a walk with her son.
Or these girls who want you to remember that not all Muslims look the same.
In fact, you might not even know you’re in a Muslim neighborhood.
But, Senator Cruz, if you ever do find yourself in a Muslim neighborhood, never forget — the only thing they do that should scare you, in particular, is … vote.
Something tells me their informed decisions don’t involve voting for candidates who stereotype and discriminate against their entire religion based on the actions of a radical extremist group.
Besides, Mr. Cruz, patrolling “Muslim neighborhoods” wouldn’t do anything besides further ostracize and marginalize millions of American citizens.
The Muslim community has already had a pretty terrible election cycle. The rise in Islamophobia and violence against Muslims and the hateful rhetoric being spouted by those who presumably want their votes is neither encouraging nor welcoming.
But of course, Muslim neighborhoods aren’t hotbeds of radicalization or terrorist training grounds. They’re our neighborhoods. They’re our streets, our schools, our homes.
We should be proud of the diversity in our country, and we should expect a leader to embrace it. Not label it and cast it aside with hateful suspicion.