4 (or 5) American Muslims For Ben Carson to Interrogate

Ben Carson was pushed, and pushed, until his campaign manager, Armstrong Williams, would have no more of it. “This interview is over,” Williams announced, from off-camera. Jake Tapper, host of CNN’s State of the Union, had gone too far.

Though it’s Carson who’s gone too far.

As he told Tapper (before the interview was cut), if American Muslims “are not willing to reject Sharia and all the portions of it that are talked about in the Qur’an,” then, Carson said, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” A pronouncement as entertaining as it is grotesque.

Only entertaining, I might add, because Sharia is not “contained” in the Qur’an. The Qur’an is contained in the Sharia. But can we expect Carson to understand something before he issues a fatwa against it? Enter the grotesquery. Sure, Donald Trump has mocked women, maligned Mexicans and insulted many fellow Republicans. Ted Cruz has criticized gay rights activists. Scott Walker, unions. Jeb Bush, Asian Americans. It’s been a nasty campaign and it’s only just begun.

But so far, Carson and Carson alone pronounced on what a whole group of Americans aren’t qualified to do: Be President. (I suppose, since we American Muslims aren’t loyal Americans, Vice-President and, to be safe, Speaker of the House should be off the list, too.) Carson has since vacillated; sometimes he insists Muslims aren’t suitable for the highest office in the land, whereas at other times he swears he means only that Americans aren’t ready for a Muslim President.

Indeed. What greater mark of leadership is there than hiding behind prejudice?

I can think of at least one: Having the courage of your convictions. If Carson seriously thinks he’s qualified to sit down with Vladimir Putin to discuss the occupation of Ukraine, or Russian support for the brutal Assad regime, then certainly Carson won’t mind sitting across from some American Muslims and asking them to prove their loyalty. Given that we are several million, however, it wouldn’t make sense for him to interrogate every single one of us.

So I’ve suggested some names, if only to get him started. If Carson’s willing to address these five folks, three of whom are actually Muslim, and explain to them why their religion makes them unsuitable for the very office he seeks, then I will not start a campaign called “American Muslims for Ben Carson.”

No. 1: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem's fierce (and clearly un-American) skyhook.

Kareem’s fierce (and clearly un-American) skyhook.

Maybe Carson can tell the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, six-time champion and six-time MVP, longtime Los Angeles Laker, coach, author, public intellectual and national icon that he’s got to renounce his faith before he can serve his country.

Given Carson’s discomfort with evolutionary theory, I think it reasonable to also speculate on the true reasons for Kareem’s legendary height. Why would he be so tall, except to do jihad? Will Abdul-Jabbar Skyhook over the Constitution, and score two points for Sharia? Isn’t the Captain’s jersey number, 33, some kind of Islamic numerology? Damning questions for sure, and worse yet, so far unanswered.

No. 2: Muhammad Ali

aliSure he floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee, but where’s he stand on theocracy? Just find five minutes to sit down with the Greatest, and be honest, Ben Carson, about why. “Mr. Ali, I’d like to know if Americans can really trust you.” “Was The Thrilla in Manila Compliant With Sharia?” Just don’t call him Clay.


No. 3: Andre Carson

carsonAndre Carson (no relation, I presume?) and Keith Ellison are America’s two Muslim Congressmen—or at the least the only ones we know of. On the plus side, since Congress doesn’t do anything, we can be relatively certain that even if they mean us harm they can’t actually inflict any.



No. 4 and 5: Ed and Paula Kassig

peter-kassigI’m sending Carson to Peter Kassig’s parents, because he can’t ask Peter. And even if he could have, it would’ve been speculative.

Peter was born in 1988, so of course he would have been too young to qualify for President for the upcoming term. But maybe after Carson loses in 2016, and well after he’s forgotten by 2020, Peter Kassig could’ve run in 2024. And why not? He certainly had the credentials.

After high school, Peter became a U.S. Army Ranger, and was deployed to Iraq for several months with a special operations unit. Peter later returned to the Middle East as a medical relief worker. While delivering supplies to a town in Syria, however, he was abducted by ISIS. Peter’s journey to Islam began before his captivity, but he only formally embraced the faith while a hostage. Not that it mattered.

ISIS, unlike Ben Carson, treated the American Muslim as an American, which he most certainly was. Beheaded almost a year after his abduction, Peter’s funeral services were held in absentia in November 2014, in his native Indiana, and led by a Syrian imam. I’m sure the Kassigs will appreciate how Carson might think, given their son’s sacrifices for his country, he might not have been entirely American.

It’s easy to score points by speaking in generalities. But if Carson wants to be Commander-in-Chief, surely he can tell the parents of an American veteran how they feel about second-class citizenship. Because, if you get down to it, that’s what Carson’s proposing.


  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I think the point is he is from a minority religion with beliefs that seem strange to most of the country, so he wants to get out in front of the issue and make it clear there are good minority religions with strange beliefs, and bad minority religions with strange beliefs. Some people might not buy his argument, but it is a pretty good one for the Republican primary.

  • odeliyab@yahoo.com' Liya says:

    That’s like saying “if American Christians are not willing to reject Old Testament Laws and all the portions of it that are talked about in Bible would not advocate that we put a Chirstian in charge of this nation.”

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Most of American Christianity has rejected objectionable Bible passages about stoning people for breaking old testament rules. There are still some who advocate for Biblical stoning and we should probably say they are not qualified to be President. We need to make sure they keep those ideas locked up in their homeschools.

  • odeliyab@yahoo.com' Liya says:

    My point was – there is no reason to deny a Muslim( Christian, Quaker, Buddhist, etc) a chance for office because some parts if their religion- to which he might not even adhere to – are dangerous crap.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Yes, but the Muslim part might work in the Republican primary.

  • odeliyab@yahoo.com' Liya says:

    Sadly yes, I am sure you are correct

  • jimbentn@verizon.net' Jim 'Prup' Benton says:

    Carson’s ;nice, soft-spoken man’ image seems to persist, so he keeps being able to avoid the scrutiny he deserves — though hopefully his ‘the Holocaust might have been harder for Hitler if more Jews were armed’ comment will get people to give him a good like — and they will not like what they find. This is a man who recently had his name and testimonial splashed across the reprint of a book by W. Cleon Skousen.

    For those who don’t remember Skousen’s name, he’s one of the key sources for much of Glenn Beck’s paranoia, someone who was almost too right wing for the John Birch society — literally — and someone no Presidential candidate should even admit he’d heard of. (Even the National Review described him as a total crackpot, though in a more Buckleyesque phrasing.) Check out Skousen’s article on Wikipedia, as well as a MoJo piece. Not that this is Carson’s only insanity, believe me, If the choice were *shuddet* between The Donald and the Doctor, I’d be wearing an orange wig, he’s THAT bad.

  • dkeane123@comcast.net' DKeane123 says:


  • healersam@yahoo.com' sam says:

    Wow. It is unfortunate that you have no understanding of what Biblical passages are. They are the Word of God. I take it that you are not a Jew, Muslim or Christian if you believe in such a statement. NOTHING that comes from God is objectionable. Why do you speak about something you do not understand. If a person refers to anything that God states as objectionable to them, they themselves reject the Creator. I recommend that you be very careful when speaking about something as precious as God. May God help you understand His word so that you can make a choice to accept it or reject it.
    The wages of sin is death, and whether the price is paid by stoning or in the lake of fire, it will be paid. Repent and recognize God as the ONLY authority in this universe, or don’t, the choice is yours.

  • healersam@yahoo.com' sam says:

    No, once again your wrong. The point here is the separation of church and state. Dr. Carson is saying that anyone who would place their religion above the Constitution is not fit to be president because that fails the oath of the office of President. The person’s religion has nothing to do with the statement, it has to do with the purpose of defending this country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, I guess you never served in this great nation’s military, otherwise you would understand this. If a person has a greater allegiance to another entity, he or she cannot serve as president of this country according to the Oath that person must take. The problem is, if an American wishes to be President, he or she must be able to serve in the best interest of the country, not of his religion, this is not taught in Islam, but if a Muslim American can serve in office and not allow Islam to superseded his duty as president, then he or she could serve as president, otherwise he or she would be guilty of treason to the United States by failing to uphold the Constitution, as is his or her sworn duty.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    That might be it, but it just seemed a little like Carson was unnecessarily coming out kind of strong against Muslims. I was thinking this might be a reason why. Carson is from a minority Christian religion that has long been considered fringe. We know when Romney ran there was a kind of advertising campaign to mainline Mormonism and make it seem more normal, or American. Carson might be looking for a way to do something like that. If he can imply there are bad religions who shouldn’t be president, then people will get a feeling that he must be from one of the good religions, and we shouldn’t question his fringe religion because for purposes of the presidential campaign, it is being mainlined. That part makes sense but by attacking (or subtly kind of attacking) Islam it might backfire on him, especially considering his more crazy beliefs like the Devil teaching people evolution.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Accepting Bible passages as the word of God has a bad history because it has led to different denominations killing each other, among other dangerous things. When you look at the details, society would be better without the Bible.

  • john.harvey@verizon.net' SgtCedar says:

    Ben Carson’s statements about Islam prove that he is not qualified nor fit to be President. He does not understand nor support the Constitution. The American people do not need a former brain surgeon telling us whether we are ready for a Muslim President. When a Muslim runs for President the voters will tell him or her whether they are ready for a Muslim President. If a Muslim ran for President would I vote for him or her? If he or she is the most qualified candidate, yes. Would I vote for a bigot like Ben Carson? No.

  • john.harvey@verizon.net' SgtCedar says:

    I have a master’s degree in religion so I understand something about the Bible. How do you know every word in the Bible is “the Word of God”?

    Do you say that just because someone told you it is? If so, that person (not the Bible) is your ultimate authority. Did God personally tell you every word in the Bible is “the Word of God”? If that is the basis for what you wrote, no one else will accept your statement until God tells him or her that same thing.

  • john.harvey@verizon.net' SgtCedar says:

    For much of this country’s history many people would have said a Seventh Day Adventist could not be President. Once you start deciding who can and cannot be President it is a slippery slope.

  • john.harvey@verizon.net' SgtCedar says:

    I served 16 years in the United States military. I do understand what the oath taken by any person serving the people of the United States takes. I do not know if you are old enough to remember when John Kennedy was running for President. The same question was raised back in 1959-60. Would John Kennedy follow the Constitution or the Pope if there was a conflict.

    No one can decide in advance who is or is not qualified to be President (or serve in any other position of trust under the Constitution) in advance based on their religion. If a President disobeys the Constitution because of his or her religion the Constitution specifies the remedy, impeachment and removal from office if convicted in a trial by the United States Senate.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Wow. Then I guess Huckabee and all the other Republicons running on religion and their putting god as the highest authority (above the Constitution) aren’t fit to be POTUS, either. Religion is religion. Muslims worship the same god as Jews and Christians do, a point conveniently forgotten by most folks.

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