Ben Carson: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper attempted to trap Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson into admitting that he was engaging in unfair discrimination against Muslims because of his views. Ben Carson said:
I would have problems with somebody who embraced all the doctrines associated with Islam. If they are not willing to reject Sharia and all the portions of it that are talked about in the Quran — if they are not willing to reject that, and subject that to American values and the Constitution, then of course, I would.
Tapper continued to press Dr. Carson:
Jake Tapper: “Because you seem to be singling out Muslims as individuals who automatically, as a knee-jerk, would put their religion ahead of the country and I think that offended a lot of people, including a lot of patriotic Muslims.”
Ben Carson: “I think the statement stands. Is it possible that maybe the media thinks that it’s the bigger deal than the American people do? Because American people, the majority of them, agree with, and they understand exactly what I’m saying.”
Dr. Carson explained that a person who embraces Sharia law would necessarily want to establish a “theocracy” in the United States.
And you cannot, unless you specifically deny that portion of Islam, be a Muslim in good standing. Now if that is the case, if you are not willing to reject that, then how in the world can you possibly be the President of the United States.
Tapper accused Carson of assuming that Muslim Americans put their beliefs ahead of the country.
Jake Tapper: “You’re an African-American. You know what it’s like for people to make false assumptions about you. And you seem to be doing the same thing with Muslims.”
Ben Carson: “In which way am I making a false assumption about them?”
Jake Tapper: “You’re assuming that Muslim-Americans put their religion ahead of the country.”
Ben Carson: “I’m assuming that if you accept all the tenets of Islam, that you would have a very difficult time abiding under the Constitution of the United States.”
Armstrong Williams (off-camera): “This interview is over.”
Jake Tapper: “OK.”
Armstrong Williams: “Thank you.”
Jake Tapper: “Thank you, Dr. Carson. I appreciate it.”
Ben Carson: “All right.”
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.