U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says “positive engagement” can help deter Islamic radicalism.
The Wisconsin Republican who chairs the Senate homeland security committee, reacted to Texas Senator Ted Cruz proposing more resources for police to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” in the wake of terrorist attacks on Brussels.
“My approach has always been, try and find areas of agreement, and I believe the vast majority of Muslims living in this country are here because they’re seeking opportunity, they want to live in peace, they’re not adherents of this extreme ideology,” Johnson said.
Cruz, who is campaigning in Wisconsin this week for the GOP presidential nomination, did not provide specifics on how his proposal would be implemented.
“Positive engagement in communities would be far more effective way of doing this,” Johnson said. “I’m highly supportive of what the Department of Homeland Security is trying to do, what this administration is trying to do.”
But Johnson, who’s locked in a reelection fight with Democrat Russ Feingold, is critical of the Obama administration’s response to Islamic terrorism.
“These threats are real, they are growing, and I don’t believe this administration is taking it seriously enough, and certainly not committed itself to its own stated goal of defeating ISIS.”