By Zaki Khan
About three weeks ago, republican presidential candidate Ben Carson made statements on live television expressing his sincere belief that a Muslim should never become the President of the United States. The backlash was severe, and media outlets – both left and right – called him out on his bigoted remarks. They even brought him in for follow up interviews to give him a chance to clarify his viewpoints. Hey, the man made some uninformed, rash remarks on live television. He probably didn’t mean what he said… Let’s give him a chance to clear the air; to reaffirm that the Constitution protects individuals against this sort of blanket bigotry, and that of course a Muslim can be president! That’s what he said, right?
Dr. Carson doubled down on his position. When asked if he believes if Islam is consistent with the constitution, he said no (3:15 of this video). He said he wouldn’t “advocate” having a Muslim in charge of this nation. His reasoning? Dr. Carson doesn’t believe that any Muslim who embraces all “doctrines” of Islam, including all the tenets of Sharia Law, should be considered a candidate for U.S. presidency. However, if a Muslim rejects his/her religion, then perhaps, they can be considered for the job.
But here’s the troubling part, and something that CNN’s Jake Tapper eloquently pointed out to Dr. Carson in their recent interview (video above). When Dr. Carson thinks of a Muslim in America, he immediately thinks of an extremist version of a Muslim that would put his religious values above the Constitution. He doesn’t have this same immediate concern when he thinks of a Christian or Jewish candidate running for president, only Muslims. I think this is the most concerning part.