Republican presidential candidate John Kasich said profiling Muslims and banning them from entering the country is a "knee-jerk" reaction to what is going on in the world. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
NEW YORK, March 27 (UPI) -- Republican presidential candidate John Kasich says profiling Muslims and banning them from coming to the United States is a "knee-jerk" reaction to terror attacks across the world.
Speaking Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, Kasich, the Ohio governor, said such calls by fellow Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz -- who lead him in delegates -- make Muslims "concerned and very nervous.
"And so it's sort of a knee-jerk [reaction], I think, Chuck."
Meet the Press host Chuck Todd was asking Kasich about the Brussels terrorist attacks March 22 and why he thinks so many Republicans who have voted in the primaries agree with notions that the United States should temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country and patrol U.S. Muslim neighborhoods.
"But let's talk practically here," Kasich said. "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."
It is that communication that will allow the intelligence community to find out about "radicalized friends and neighbors" they might not otherwise know about, he said.
"This has to be a coordinated effort worldwide," Kasich went on.
Just last week, Trump divided viewers opinions in a television interview with Piers Morgan saying British Muslims were failing to report terrorist activity when they become aware of it, the International Business Times reported.
"When they see trouble, they have to report it," he responded when Morgan asked him about the Brussels terrorists attacks. "They are not reporting it. They are absolutely not reporting it, and that is a big problem."
Those remarks came just one day after Trump, at a rally in Louisville following the attacks in Belgium, said "we're having a problem with Muslims". He called for mosques to be surveilled by authorities.
That same night, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton attacked her Republican counterpart, calling Trump as a "demagogue" who is "inciting bigotry and violence."
Trump was not alone.
Just hours after explosions rocked the airport in Brussels and a metro station killing 31, Cruz, a Texas senator, proposed that law enforcement "patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods" in the United States.
Cruz, who was in New York as part of his Republican campaign for president, released a statement. "We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized."