Ted Cruz remarks on Muslims show he owes them more effort

Khadija Saifullah

When Ted Cruz was introduced as a Donald Trump supporter at the Texas Tribune Festival, attendees took countless stabs at him.

When asked by Zoya Zia, an international relations and global studies sophomore, about how she can feel comfortable voting for Trump, who is outwardly xenophobic, his response was, “That is a question you are going to have to ask yourself.”

His response, which came off as a terrible attempt of dodging the question, was met with boos from the audience, which demanded him to give a response to her valid question.

This was the first question he was asked at the Texas Tribune festival, and to me, it was one of the most important points that he was approached with that afternoon. More often than not, sweeping things under the rug creates only more divisions among society. His response portrayed his apathy towards the issue and inability to eloquently respond to the issue of diversity and religious freedom.

Although his father’s exodus from Cuba was because of the discrimination of minority groups, his views prove that he has a knack for repeating history’s mistakes — even when his family had suffered from those same mistakes in another country.

Months ago, when running for the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, his stances on issues such as the surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods were openly xenophobic and critical of anyone who is not white enough for his radar — even though he himself comes from a not-so-white background.

Interestingly enough, Cruz, who uses the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” at least 10 times when discussing Muslims, acts like it’s the only association he has with this minority group of 3 million American citizens. His overly-used phrase is just another way of categorizing the Muslims he’s afraid are too religious, too covered and too fresh-off-the-boat from Arabia for his liking.

According to Pew Research, the state of Texas itself has some of the most Muslim-populated cities in the country, including Austin. Islam has also become the second-most practiced religion in the Lone Star State. His criticisms of Muslims and other minority groups should be concerning and serve as a wake-up call to the ever-present white supremacy.

Although religious freedom and diversity were the major characteristics that this country was founded on, we still have a long way to go. Every generation has its own unique struggles, and with every generation, more work needs to be done to improve the situation.

Saifullah is a neuroscience junior from Richardson. Follow her on twitter @coolstorysunao