Appearing last night on Fox News’s “Kelly File,” Senator Marco Rubio was asked about Donald Trump’s suggestion that mosques face increased surveillance in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Rubio declined to criticize Trump’s proposal directly; instead he suggested an even bigger government footprint.
It’s not about closing down mosques. It’s about closing down any place — whether it’s a cafe, a diner, an internet site — any place where radicals are being inspired.
The bigger problem we have is our inability to find out what these places are, because we’ve crippled our intelligence programs, both through unauthorized disclosures by a traitor, in Edward Snowden, or by some of the things this president has put in place with the support even of some from my own party to diminish our intelligence capabilities.
So whatever facility is being used — it’s not just a mosque — any facility that’s being used to radicalize and inspire attacks against the United States, should be a place that we look at.
Left unanswered was how Rubio planned to reconcile this with the Constitution’s protections of freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. Also left unanswered was whether Rubio was going to confine these closures to just “radical Islam” or he was going to target “radicalism” in general. The Patriot Act, which was passed in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks, has been used largely for non-terrorism-related crimes.
Rubio’s proposal was quickly criticized. Think Progress calls it “going further than Trump in advocating a crackdown on U.S. Muslims.” Even Noah Rothman of Commentary Magazine reprimanded Rubio for not taking a tougher stance against Trump’s comments. Meanwhile, Breitbart praised Rubio.
The ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was a known jihadist who was on the radar of Western intelligence services. He was killed during a raid on Wednesday by French police.