Ben Carson said in a televised press conference from the Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville, Ohio, on Tuesday Sharia law is “completely antithetical” to America’s constitutional system, and those who have criticized him for expressing this view several times the past few days need to clean out their ears and drop the politically correct outrage.
“It seems to be hard for people to actually hear English and understand [what I said],” Carson said. “I said I would support anyone who would place the Constitution above their belief … [but] Shariah law is completely antithetical to Americans.”
Predictably perhaps, Carson faced a slew of questions from reporters about comments he first made over the weekend during a television interview, when he said he did not think a Muslim should be president of the United States. He dug down on those comments in subsequent interviews, saying clearly: “I do not believe Shariah is consistent with the Constitution of this country. Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution,” as WND reported.
From Ohio, he clarified once again: Yes, I still hold that view. He also slammed what he called the politically correct culture as fueling the furor over his views.
“We need to stop trying to fit everything into a P.C. model,” Carson said. “The P.C. culture says whenever you’re asked a question you have to answer it in a certain way [otherwise] it’s attack, attack attack.”
The attacks themselves then serve to silence others’ views, and force them to adopt the politically correct mantra, he said.
“When the situation arises and we have somebody in that situation, let’s talk about it then, OK?” Carson told reporters in Ohio.
“Why get off into theoretical situations? No point in doing that,” the retired neurosurgeon said, asking why the media isn’t more interested in “the important issues that are going on,” like the American education system or refugees from Syria.
Carson also said his views of a Shariah-compliant Muslim serving as U.S. president have been accepted by his own Muslim-American friends.
“I’ve heard from a lot of Muslim-Americans just within the last few hours [who] say, ‘We know you. We understand exactly what you’re talking about,'” he said.
Carson said America doesn’t need – and shouldn’t have – a theocracy, and the First Amendment’s religious freedom clause is alive and well. But at the same time, he said Shariah law is inconsistent with the Constitution, and a Muslim president who puts faith first would do real harm to America’s republic. He also pointed out that while America is not grounded in a government that mandates a certain religion over another, the simple historical fact is: our country was built on Judeo-Christian principles.
“There’s no question our Constitution and our traditions have a Judeo-Christian base,” he said, “and I don’t think there’s any reason we should deny that.”
His comments came on the heels of an interview fellow presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina gave to Jimmy Fallon on the “Tonight Show,” when she was asked: what do you think of Carson’s comments?
“Well I think that’s wrong,” she said of his comments, the Daily Beast reported. “It says in our Constitution that religion cannot be a test for office. It’s also true that this country is founded on the principle that we judge each individual, and that anyone of any faith is welcome here.”
She also said “people of faith make better leaders,” and she “would be fine” with a Muslim as president.