Ben Carson’s comment that he would not support a Shariah-compliant Muslim for president because Islamic law is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution led to the former brain surgeon’s roasting among media talkers and politicians of all stripes.
He has been excoriated as “anti-Muslim,” “bigoted,” even “anti-American” and unfit for office.
“For any candidate to suggest that someone should not be elected president because of what he or she may believe is nothing short of religious bigotry,” said Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., one of two Muslim congressmen.
But what do American Muslims believe?
The Council on America-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, which has been most vocal in its calls for Carson’s withdrawal from the GOP presidential race, claims to speak for American Muslims. The organization has a long history of ties to terrorists, as documented by WND’s “Rogues gallery of terror-tied leaders,” but it is still treated by most U.S. media as the Muslim equivalent of the American Civil Liberties Union.
According to a local newspaper report, Omar Ahmad, a founder of CAIR, told a conference hall packed with California Muslims in July 1998 that Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.
The reporter paraphrased Ahmad saying, “The Quran … should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
When CAIR issued a statement in 2003 denying Ahmad made the remarks and claiming the paper had issued a retraction, WND News Editor Art Moore talked to the reporter and two of her editors and found that they stood by the story. Moore then spoke with CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, who repeated the claim that the paper had issued a retraction. When Moore informed Hooper that the reporter and the editors stood by the story, the CAIR communications director ended the call. But he called back a few minutes later saying he wanted to amend CAIR’s statement to say that the Muslim organization was seeking a retraction. Three years later, however, when the issue came up again, CAIR still had not contacted the paper.
On April 4, 1993, Hooper told a reporter for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.”
Hooper appeared on Michael Medved’s radio show in October 2003 and stated: “If Muslims ever become a majority in the United States, it would be safe to assume that they would want to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law, as most Muslims believe that God’s law is superior to man-made law.”
In May 2015, WND reported that an informal survey of Somali-American Muslims on the streets of Minneapolis showed widespread support for Islamic law as preferable to U.S. law.
Other CAIR leaders also “express their contempt for the United States,” reports Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes.
Ihsan Bagby of CAIR’s Washington office has said that Muslims “can never be full citizens of this country,” referring to the United States, “because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country,” Pipes reported in his 2006 article, “CAIR Islamists Fooling the Government.”
Pipes also noted that Parvez Ahmed, who followed Ahmad as CAIR chairman, touted the virtues of Islamic democracy in 2004 by portraying the Afghan constitutional process as superior to the U.S. Constitution. Ahmed was quoted in the Orlando Sentinel as saying:
“The new Afghan constitution shows that the constitution of a Muslim nation can be democratic and yet not contradict the essence of Islam. During my meeting with a high-ranking Afghan delegation during their recent visit to the United States, I was told that the Afghan constitutional convention included Hindu delegates despite Hindus accounting for only 1 percent of the population. Contrast this with our own constitutional convention that excluded women and blacks.”
51 percent of U.S. Muslims prefer Shariah
There are now an estimated 3 million Muslims residing in the United States as citizens or with permanent legal status, and more than 250,000 new Muslim residents enter the U.S. per year as refugees, on work visas and student-based visas, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
A poll commissioned in May 2015 by the Center for Security Policy showed that 51 percent of American Muslims preferred that they should have their own Shariah courts outside of the legal system ruled by the U.S. Constitution. And nearly a quarter believed the use of violent jihad was justified in establishing Shariah.
“That would translate into roughly 300,000 Muslims living in the United States who believe that Shariah is ‘The Muslim God Allah’s law that Muslims must follow and impose worldwide by Jihad,'” writes Frank Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy.
SPLC says ‘no worries’
Along with CAIR is another organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which makes great strides to assure the American people that Islamic law, or Shariah, is not something they should be concerned about.
In its online document titled “Teaching Tolerance: What is the Truth About American Muslims,” the SPLC says Shariah is essentially no different than any other religious code of conduct and compares it to Judaism and Christianity.
SPLC asks: “Do American Muslims want to replace the U.S. Constitution with Sharia?” And then provides the following answer:
“No. American Muslims overwhelmingly support the U.S. Constitution and do not seek to replace it with Sharia or Islamic law. The vast majority of American Muslims understand Sharia as a personal, religious obligation governing the practice of their faith, not as something American governments should enforce.”
The American Catholic magazine delved into the issue in 2010 when it asked, “Is Sharia compatible with the U.S. Constitution?”
“The simple answer is of course, ‘no,'” the magazine stated and then listed 13 reasons why.
Number 4 on the list stated: “Instead of precedents and codes, Sharia relies on medieval jurist’s manuals and collections of non-binding legal opinions, or fatwas, issued by religious scholars (ulama, particularly a mufti); these can be made binding for a particular case at the discretion of a judge.”
What do Muslim scholars say about ‘democracy’?
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Sunni Muslim cleric and head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, is quoted in “The Islamization of the West” by Patrick Sookhdeo, as saying:
“Islam entered Europe twice and left it. … Perhaps the next conquest, Allah willing, will be by means of preaching and ideology. The conquest need not necessarily be by the sword. … Perhaps we will conquer these lands without armies. We want an army of preachers and teachers who will present Islam in all languages and in all dialects.”
Well-known British Islamist Anjem Choudary spoke similarly in a February 2010 interview with Iran’s Press TV when he stated:
“Our objectives are to invite the societies in which we live to think about Islam as an alternative way of life … and ultimately, as well, to establish the Shariah on state level.”
William Wagner, writing for the Family Research Council, addressed the issue now magnified by Carson in his article, “Islam, Shariah Law, and the American Constitution.”
“With the patient planting of new enclaves, the process of establishing the parallel society and political system has begun. Those behind this process seem willing to master an understanding of the occupied country’s government and legal system, systematically dismantling it while building the framework for an Islamic theocracy as its replacement. Such a replacement, when complete, dogmatically declares a different kind of absolute than the self-evident Truths, which undergird the American Constitution.”