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John Kasich: Profiling Muslims Is A 'Knee-Jerk' Response To Terror

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 27/03/2016 Daniel Marans
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GOP presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) politely dismissed his rivals’ calls for targeting Muslim Americans as a way to prevent terror on Sunday, emphasizing instead the need for collaboration with the Muslim community.

On NBC’s "Meet the Press," Kasich told Chuck Todd that fear in the wake of attacks, like the bombings in Brussels this week, is prompting Republican voters to embrace Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. or Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) plan for surveilling Muslim communities.

"I think when they see things, it makes them very concerned and very nervous, and so it’s sort of a knee jerk, I think, Chuck," he said.

Kasich argued that Muslim Americans play an essential role in helping identify emerging security threats.

"In order for us to have great human intelligence -- I want the public to hear this -- we are going to have to have intimate communication and coordination with our friends in the Muslim community," Kasich said.

"In order to find out about the radicalized friends and neighbors, or people that you may not even know at all, who you observe doing things, this has to be a coordinated effort worldwide," he added.

Kasich later said that part of that effort would involve getting "a message out there, particularly by the Muslim imams, about the fact that [terrorism] is not tolerable, this is murder and it is not acceptable in our civilization."

Kasich also drew a veiled contrast between his approach to foreign policy and that of Trump, who has described NATO as "obsolete" and said the United States should not be funding it so much. Kasich seemed to share concerns that NATO is not properly oriented for today's security needs, but he called for repurposing the military alliance to help Europe fight terrorism.

"Right now, we think of NATO as a military organization," Kasich said. "I think it needs to involve itself in policing, in intelligence gathering, because when we look at Europe right now, we find there are so many holes and an inability -- of their ability to get their act together."

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