Continuing a theme from the happy hour debate Thursday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz zeroed in on President Obama’s reluctance to use the term Islamic terrorism, when asked how he would address the growth of ISIS. He also cited an unlikely counterexample:
Let me contrast President Obama, who at the prayer breakfast essentially acted as an apologist. He said well gosh the crusades, the inquisitions … We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt’s President al-Sissi did—a Muslim—when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.
Sisi, who took power in a military coup in 2013 and became president in what international observers called a deeply flawed election last year, has presided over what Human Rights Watch calls “the flagrant abuse of human rights,” including “killings of protesters by security forces, mass detentions, military trials of civilians, hundreds of death sentences, and the forced eviction of thousands of families in the Sinai Peninsula.” The most recent U.S. State Department human rights country report on Egypt cited “unlawful killings and torture; the suppression of civil liberties and limitations on due process in trials” as part of Sisi’s reign.
Ironically, by praising Egypt’s authoritarian leader as a defender of democratic Western values in the face of religious radicalism, Cruz might be ignoring reality but he’s very much in line with Obama’s State Department.