Muslim group responds: Nihad Awad Ben Carson
Published: September 22, 2015
Muslim group responds: Nihad Awad Ben Carson, Washington’s leading Muslim civil-rights organization on Monday called for Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson to withdraw from the race for saying a Muslim shouldn’t be president.
“We really urge politicians, the general public, community leaders and presidential candidates to repudiate his views and we ask Mr. Ben Carson to withdraw from the presidential race because he is unfit to lead and because his views are inconsistent with the United States Constitution,” Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said during a Monday press conference in Washington.
Mr. Awad said CAIR would be providing copies of the Koran to each of the 2016 presidential candidates and said it would send one, free of charge, to any American who requests one and pays the shipping charge.
Mr. Carson on Sunday told Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” that Islam is inconsistent with the Constitution and said no Muslim should be president.
“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Mr. Carson said. “I absolutely would not agree with that.”
Mr. Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist who denounces evolution as part of his regular stump speech, told The Hill newspaper in an interview Sunday evening that Muslims can’t be president because they are more apt to make their religion part of their public life.
“Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”
Mr. Carson’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination have rebuked him.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz invoked Article VI of the Constitution, which states that there will be no religious test for public office.
“The Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office and I am a constitutionalist,” Mr. Cruz told Iowa Public Television Sunday.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote on Twitter that Mr. Carson should apologize and said he is “clearly not prepared” to be president.
And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in Iowa, told Bloomberg that the discussion about Muslims, first started last week when Donald Trump didn’t correct a man at a New Hampshire rally who asserted President Barack Obama is a Muslim, is bad for the party.
“I don’t think that’s helpful for the discussion going forward,” he said.
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