Barely a week after a 14-year-old Muslim boy Ahmed Mohamed was arrested, taken away in handcuffs, and taken to a juvenile detention centre for bringing a homemade clock to school, a Republican presidential candidate has expressed displeasure at the possibility of having a Muslim as the US President.
Famous paediatric neurosurgeon and author, Dr Ben Carson who is a Republican presidential hopeful said he would only support for the presidency anyone practising a faith that is “consistent with the values and principles of this country.”
He said this on Sunday in an interview on an NBC programme Meet the Press hosted by Chuck Todd.
He further went ahead to explain his point, stating that he did not feel that Islam satisfies that condition.
“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” he said.
Carson was called for interview after a controversy broke out in the state of New Hampshire during a rally by leading Republican party candidate, Donald Trump when a heckler called President Barack Obama a Muslim.
A search through the constitution which Carson claimed to be defending however shows that religion is in fact not a parameter for judging a candidate vying for the position. Article VI of the US constitution states: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
In his response a Democrat, Keith Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress released a statement countering Carson’s views on Sunday.
He said: “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.
“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.”