United States presidential aspirant and renowned retired multiple award-winning neurosurgeon, Ben Carson has opined that no Muslim should become the president of the nation.
Carson made his stance public on Sunday, September 20, 2015 during an interview with ‘Meet the Press’ organized by NBC.
When he was asked if it was paramount to consider a president’s religion, Carso replied: “I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the constitution, no problem.”
On whether he believes Islam is consistent with the US 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.”
Meanwhile, Carson said he believed incumbent President Barack Obama was born in the United States and is a Christian.
Carson had been the second among Republican presidential contenders in opinion polls but his position was taken over by Donald Trump after weeks.
As expected, his statement fueled some controversies which further generated backlash from some individuals.
One of the presidential candidates, Senator Bernie Sanders, said on the campaign trail in New Hampshire that he was “disappointed” in Carson, who is black.
“It took us too long to overcome the prejudice against electing a Catholic or an African-American president. People should be elected to office based on their ideas, not their religion or the color of their skin,” Sanders said.
While calling for an apology, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida, said it was “hard to understand what’s so difficult about supporting an American citizen’s right to run for president.
“Of course a Muslim, or any other American citizen, can run for president, end of story. To think otherwise is not only harmful to our political process, but it elevates and validates discrimination in this country.”