Secretary of State John Kerry called U.S. presidential candidates’ anti-Muslim rhetoric an “embarrassment to our country”. Kerry made the March 27 comments on CBS’ "Face the Nation."
Kerry, the top U.S. top diplomat, described world leaders as being “shocked” at the current presidential campaigns, reports CBS.
“It upsets people’s sense of equilibrium about our steadiness, about our reliability ... it’s clear to me that what’s happening is an embarrassment to our country,” said Kerry.
Kerry's comments came after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas called for a ban on Muslim entry to the United States and surveillance on Muslim communities, reports RT.
In the aftermath of the March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels, Trump reportedly called for a return to the controversial waterboarding interrogation tactic.
“If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people,” said Trump on NBC.
Ted Cruz called for enhancing law enforcement’s capability to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods” following the attacks.
The controversial calls by the presidential candidates to ramp up surveillance of Muslims comes amid outrage at the Islamic State’s activities in the Middle East and attacks around the world.
Secretary Kerry emphasized that the U.S. is making progress in the fight against the terrorist group.
“And I mean real progress. In 2014 when they began to sweep across Iraq, that is when President Obama ordered the initial bombing that stopped them from moving towards Baghdad. And since then, we have recouped about 40 percent of the territory in Syria which they had captured,” said Kerry.
Kerry added that the U.S. and its allies are also consolidating intelligence to prevent future terrorist attacks around the world.
“We’ve been engaged, actually, with the Belgium authorities for some period of time now trying to fill gaps that they’re aware exist,” said Kerry.