Muslim lawmaker: Cruz must stand up to Trump
© Anne Wernikoff

Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonProgressives ramp up fight against Facebook Judge threatens to put prison officials in same uncooled cells as inmates Minnesota students file federal lawsuit against school district alleging 'deliberate indifference' to racist incidents MORE (D-Minn.) said Wednesday that Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement Trump holds chummy meeting with Turkey's Erdoğan Overnight Defense: Trump hosts Erdoğan at White House | Says Turkish leader has 'great relationship with the Kurds' | Highlights from first public impeachment hearing MORE (R-Texas) should denounce fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE for suggesting a ban on Muslim entry into the U.S.

“This is the moment we’re in and I don’t accept Senator Cruz saying, ‘Well, I’m not going to pile on, I don’t really agree,’” Ellison said on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”

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“No, this is the moment when real integrity is on the line,” added Ellison, the nation’s first Muslim lawmaker in Congress.

“People have to step up and say that persecuting a religious minority and scapegoating them is absolutely unacceptable.”

Ellison said Muslim Americans are troubled by Trump’s rhetoric.

“People are very concerned,” he told Mitchell. "It’s obviously something that’s frightening [and] worrisome. Many are wondering, ‘Will our responsible leaders denounce this much the same way that [former President] George W. Bush did right after 9/11 when fear of backlash was ever-present?'  

“I’m concerned about the people who support [Trump]. He’s offering them absolutely nothing other than hate. He’s not trying to solve the problems of the American people.”

Cruz said Tuesday that he opposes Trump’s ban, but has no interest in attacking the GOP front-runner.

“I disagree with that proposal,” Cruz told reporters at the U.S. Capitol.

“A lot of our friends here have encouraged me to criticize and attack Donald Trump,” Cruz said. "I’m not interested in doing so.

“I recognize that a great many folks in the media would prefer that anyone running for president would engage as an ongoing theater critic,” the Texas lawmaker added. “Certainly in the media there has been no shortage of criticism for Donald Trump and I do not believe the world needs my voice added to that chorus of critics.”

Trump proposed a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslim immigration last Monday.

Most of Trump’s Republican rivals have criticized the idea as impractical and unconstitutional.

The GOP’s leadership in Congress and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus have also condemned the suggestion.