Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wrote a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr Thursday, asking Barr to investigate public officials cracking down on religious freedom in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I urge you to pay specific attention to the growing tendency of local leaders to target communities of faith,” Cruz wrote.
The senator’s letter comes days after Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio singled out the Jewish community in a tweet, where he threatened to arrest people who were not abiding by social distancing regulations. (RELATED: Anti-Israel Boycott Movement Exposes Schism Within The Squad And The Democratic Party)
New: Cruz points to de Blasio’s singling-out of “the Jewish community” this week as he asks Barr to “investigate local officials who target and discriminate against members of individual religions … under the guise of protecting public health.” https://t.co/L7Fr7FqEUF
— Elana Schor (@eschor) April 30, 2020
“I also strongly urge you to investigate local officials who target and discriminate against members of individual religions or denominations under the guise of protecting public health,” Cruz wrote. “The fact that the Mayor made this threat mere days after tweeting in support of a program that would bring ‘hundreds of thousands [of meals] to the 32 sites most frequented by our Muslim communities’ and attending large gatherings with health care workers without protective equipment suggests that the Jewish community is being singled out for special burdens.”
Cruz also highlighted other violations of religious liberty across the country, mentioning incidents that occurred over Easter Weekend in Mississippi and Kentucky. (RELATED: How The Coronavirus Is Infecting Americans’ Civil Liberties)
Barr sent a memo to U.S. attorneys earlier this week, ordering them to be on the “lookout” for abuses of power that violate Americans’ constitutional rights and civil liberties.
“As the Department of Justice explained recently in guidance to states and localities taking steps to battle the pandemic, even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers,” Barr wrote in the memo.