Bronx Muslims fear backlash after Brussels attacks
Muslims in the Bronx were upset Wednesday after presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, called for increased surveillance of Muslim communities in the wake of deadly terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium.
Cruz praised a now-defunct program of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYPD that scrutinized Muslim communities in a bid to fight radicalization and prevent terror attacks.
At least 34 people died Tuesday in a string of attacks in Brussels, which is the seat of the European Union. Dozens more were injured.
Bronx Muslims criticized Cruz's comments as unfair and illogical. They say terrorist actions do not represent Islam as a whole.
Charles Cooper, chairman of the Bronx African Advisory Council, says anti-Muslim rhetoric has increased since the attacks.
"They just don't know what will happen," Cooper says of Muslims around the borough. "There's a safety issue, and it's very real."
Two months ago, two teens attacked a Bronx Muslim man, screaming "ISIS" as they attacked him.
Cooper says that each new act of major terrorism around the world makes it worse for Muslims living here.