Time: 10:56 p.m. CEST
President Barack Obama is not supporting the idea outspoken from the Republican Senator and a candidate for a presidential nomination Ted Cruz for “increased surveillance of Muslims in the United States.
“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. The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. It is contrary to who we are, and it is not going to help us to defeat ISIL.”
Obama responded to the question of Josh Lederman of the Associated Press who asked if the attacks in Brussels change anything for him in terms of his anti-ISIL strategy and what he would say about the state of the debate when a major presidential candidate is calling for the surveillance of the Muslim American communities.
Obama pointed out the level of integration of the Muslim Americans in the society and said that, “any approach that would single them out or target them for discrimination is not only wrong and un-American, but it also would be counterproductive, because it would reduce the strength, the antibodies that we have to resist terrorism.”
Obama did not signaled possibility to change the strategy to defeat Islamic State group and explained that his “top priority is to defeat ISIL and to eliminate the scourge of this barbaric terrorism that’s been taking place around the world.”
Once again Obama recalled on the vicious attacks, which targets not only Europe, but also Muslims “throughout the Middle East — people who are innocent, people who are guilty only of worshipping Islam in a different way than this organization.” But, for the first time Obama faced anyone that the counter-terror efforts are not easy “because it’s challenging to find, identify very small groups of people who are willing to die themselves and can walk into a crowd and detonate a bomb.”
The President absolutely opposed to the approaches that are going to be counterproductive. Carpet-bombing is not an option. “So when I hear somebody saying we should carpet-bomb Iraq or Syria, not only is that inhumane, not only is that contrary to our values, but that would likely be an extraordinary mechanism for ISIL to recruit more people willing to die and explode bombs in an airport or in a metro station. That’s not a smart strategy,” Obama said.