WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that this election seasons anti-Muslim rhetoric was an embarrassment to the United States.
In an interview to CBS News Face the Nation show, Mr Kerry said that such statements had baffled every overseas leader he met this season.
Everywhere I go, every leader I meet, they ask about what is happening in America. They cannot believe it, he said. I think it is fair to say that theyre shocked.
They dont know where its taking the United States of America.
After last weeks terrorist attacks in Brussels, some Republican politicians have reiterated their demand for banning Muslim immigrants. Others demanded continuous surveillance of Muslim homes and worship places in the United States. Some also called for torturing Muslim terrorism suspects for extracting information from them. Asked if world leaders saw this rhetoric as part of the election circus or took it more seriously, Secretary Kerry said: It upsets peoples sense of equilibrium about our steadiness, about our reliability.
Explaining why this rhetoric was an embarrassment to the United States, he said: And to some degree, I must say to you, some of the questions, the way theyre posed to me, its clear to me that whats happening is an embarrassment to our country.
Reacting to the Brussels attacks, which killed 35 people last week, Republican front-runner Donald Trump promised to bring back torture and do a lot more than waterboarding, while his rival, Senator Ted Cruz, suggested stepping up policing of Muslim neighbourhoods across the country.
Frankly, the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or had the laws, waterboarding would be fine, Mr Trump told NBCs Today.
If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people, he said.
Senator Marco Rubio, who suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination earlier this month, said in November that whatever facility is being used its not just a mosque any facility thats being used to radicalise and inspire attacks against the United States, should be a place that we look at.
The bigger problem we have is our inability to find out where these places are, because weve crippled our intelligence programmes, he told Fox News.
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