Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson isn’t retracting his statement that he would not support a Muslim.
Carson’s comments came Sunday when Chuck Todd of NBC asked him if he thought Islam was consistent with the Constitution.
Carson said: “No I don’t. I do not. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz said this week that “the Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office.” Candidate John Kasich also said that presidential qualifications aren’t related to religion and candidate Bernie Sanders said he was “disappointed” in Carson’s words.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has asked that Carson withdraw from the race because of the statement.
“It’s beyond the pale,” CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper told NBC.
Carson’s campaign spokesman said that Carson will reach out to the Muslim community but added that there is a “huge gulf between the faith and practice of the Muslim faith, and our Constitution and American values.”
Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of congress, issued a statement after Carson’s interview.
“For Ben Carson, Donald Trump, or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people,” he wrote. “It’s unimaginable that the leading GOP presidential candidates are resorting to fear mongering to benefit their campaigns, and every American should be disturbed that these national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry.”
Photo courtesy: flickr.com
Publication date: September 21, 2015