Washington, March 24: Criticising the Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for their anti-Muslim rhetoric, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has said demonising Muslims could alienate partners and undermine moderates needed to fight against ISIS.
"We need every American community invested in this fight, not fearful and sitting on the sidelines. So when Republican candidates like Ted Cruz call for treating American Muslims like criminals, and for racially profiling predominantly- Muslim neighbourhoods, it's wrong, it's counter-productive, it's dangerous," Clinton said in remarks at the prestigious Stanford University.
"As a spokesman for the New York Police Department pointed out last night, that kind of blanket bigotry would treat the city's nearly 1,000 Muslim police officers as threats," Clinton said. "It's hard to imagine a more incendiary, foolish statement," the former Secretary of State quoted the spokesman as saying.
The 68-year-old Democratic party front-runner asserted that demonising Muslims also alienates partners and undermines moderates needed around the world in the fight against ISIS. Noting that there has been a lot of talk from both Republicans and Democrats about the importance of building coalitions with Muslim nations, Clinton said, "Having actually done this, I can tell you, insulting allies and partners is not a good way to start."
"Another thing we know that does not work, based on lots of empirical evidence, is torture. Many intelligence, military and law enforcement experts have attested to this fact. It also puts our own troops and increasingly our own civilians at greater risk," she argued.
In her major policy speech on ISIS, Clinton criticised Trump's recent remarks to review US policy on NATO.
"Turning our back on our alliances, or turning our alliance into a protection racket, would reverse decades of bipartisan American leadership and send a dangerous signal to friend and foe alike. Putin already hopes to divide Europe. If Mr Trump gets his way, it'll be like Christmas in the Kremlin. It will make America less safe and the world more dangerous," she said.
Clinton said in the struggle against ISIS, allies are needed as much as ever. "We need them to be strong and engaged, for they are increasingly on the frontlines. London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Istanbul -- they've all been hit by terrorism," she said.
"So it's essential that the US has strong partners who can work with it to disrupt plots and dismantle networks in their own countries before they lead to attacks in the United States," she added.