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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Every so often, Ted Cruz or one of his surrogates reminds us that he’s no better option for the Republican nomination than Donald Trump. Like on Tuesday, when Cruz national security advisor Clare Lopez appeared on a Wisconsin radio show to claim that Muslims were establishing “no-go zones” (i.e., apparently, neighborhoods with high percentages of Muslims) in Minneapolis.

“No-go zones, well we’ve got them in America, in the beginning stages,” said Lopez during her appearance on “Ox in the Afternoon,” a radio program. “In Minneapolis, for example. Places where the police don’t go because they know they’ll be attacked, have been attacked in the past already, and places where the police know that Sharia is being practiced.”

Minneapolis begs to differ.

“This is Islamophobia, pure and simple. Of course, our police serve every part of the city. There is no part of our Minneapolis that the police, residents, and visitors should avoid,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges to The National Memo in response to the claims.

“The Ted Cruz campaign needs to get its facts straight – our Muslim community is one of our most important assets. Minneapolis would not be the city we are today without it.”

This wasn’t the first time a Cruz devotee has made claims that so-called “no-go zones” have been imported stateside. Last year, Toni Perkins, who has since become a Cruz supporter, said that Dearborn, Michigan had fallen to Sharia law.

“We have the same problem here, by not assimilating these people, we are creating the same kind of situation that France and Britain and much of Europe has,” he said in January 2015.

The term “no-go zones,” increasingly brought into the mainstream after the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels, appears to have been coined by Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, who used the term in the title of a 2005 blog post called “The 751 No-Go Zones of France.” Pipes later visited these alleged no-go zones in person in 2013, and eventually retracted his characterization of the neighborhoods.

“For a visiting American, these areas are very mild, even dull,” he wrote in a subsequent update to his No-Go Zones post. “We who know the Bronx and Detroit expect urban hell in Europe too, but there things look fine. The immigrant areas are hardly beautiful, but buildings are intact, greenery abounds, and order prevails.”

Photo: Minneapolis Skyline from Tower Hill Park, Flickr user Tony Webster.

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