Presidential candidate Ben Carson has doubled down on his discomfort with a hypothetical Muslim president of the United States. In an interview with CNN, he elaborated on his belief that tenets of Islam are incompatible with American values and that a Muslim candidate would have to renounce certain aspects of the religion.
On Sept. 20, Carson told MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” Chuck Todd flatly that he would not be in support a presidential candidate who identified as a Muslim.
“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said. “I absolutely would not agree with that.”
Carson has faced criticism for his comments, accused of using religion as the basis of a candidate’s viability for the presidency. He made no apologies at the time.
“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,” Carson says.
On Sept. 27, Carson elaborated on his opinion of Islam, saying that he “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 (have a problem).”
Carson then dismissed the controversy surrounding his comments, saying that the media is more troubled by his opinion than the American people. "Because American people, the majority of them, agree and they understand exactly what I am saying."
Carson agreed that “there are a lot of Muslims who are very patriotic. Good Americans and they gladly admit, at least privately, that they don't accept Sharia or the doctrines and they understand that Islam is a system of living and it includes the way that you relate to the government.”
CNN reporter Jake Tapper countered that Carson was “assuming that Muslim Americans put their religion ahead of the country.”
"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,” Carson responded.
The interview was cut off by Carson’s campaign business manager shortly after.