Posted by Zia Shah
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
September 22, 2015
Ben Carson, a Republican party President hopeful, back tracked his remarks some, later on yesterday and said that he will not want a Muslim, who favors Shariah Law over US Constitution, to be the President of the country.
Ben Carson said Monday he could indeed support a Muslim for President — despite words to the contrary on Sunday — should they pledge fealty to the Constitution.
My attention to this issue was first drawn by Dr. Falak Rahman, by posting the following article in the Muslim Times: Ben Carson says no Muslim should ever become US President.
Carson, under fire for seeming to suggest that he couldn’t support anyone who subscribes to Islam to lead the White House, issued a caveat to that position on Monday evening. In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, the Republican presidential candidate said there are some Muslims who could be president if they effectively renounced their faith.
“If someone has a Muslim background and they’re willing to reject those tenets and to accept the way of life that we have and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion … I would then be quite willing to support them,” he said.
Denouncing Islam or Shariah Law is not necessary because many of the portions of our Constitution may be derived from it, or at least have considerable overlap. Only upholding the Constitution above personal commitment to any other law, principles or biases, when they conflict with the Constitution, is necessary to be a good President.
With these modifications, he is perhaps right as the President is supposed to uphold the Constitution and should believe in Separation of Church-Mosque and State.
John F Kennedy was once criticized for his Catholicism and had to clearly say that he would put US Constitution above his religious commitment in personal life.
If we develop a universal litmus test for President hopefuls that they have to uphold the Constitution above their religious convictions, then we can apply this to not only the Muslims, but, also the right wing Christian candidates like Governor Huckabee or any zealot Hindus or Jews.
I would very much hope that Ben Carson would not like to define all Muslims by the worst examples among them; after all he would have seen over the years, how stereotyping in a negative way, hurts people of color in our country, in so many different fashions.
If not he, one can be certain that most African-Americans would see the link between discrimination arising out of racism and Islamophobia and realize that these prejudices are so similar in many ways.