Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson is standing by his view that a Muslim should not be president of the United States, telling The Hill in an interview on Sunday that whoever takes the White House should be “sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Koran.”
Carson ignited a media firestorm in a Sunday morning interview with Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” in which he said he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”
“I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said.
In an interview with The Hill, Carson opened up about why he believes a Muslim would be unfit to serve as commander in chief.
“I do not believe Sharia is consistent with the Constitution of this country,” Carson said. “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 said that the only exception he’d make would be if the Muslim running for office “publicly rejected all the tenants of Sharia and lived a life consistent with that.”
“Then I wouldn’t have any problem,” he said.
However, on several occasions Carson mentioned “Taqiya,” a practice in Shia Islam in which a Muslim can mislead nonbelievers about the nature of their faith to avoid persecution.
“Taqiya is a component of Shia that allows, and even encourages you to lie to achieve your goals,” Carson said.
Pushing back at the media firestorm over his remarks, Carson sought to frame himself as one of the few candidates running for president willing to tell hard truths.
“We are a different kind of nation,” Carson said. “Part of why we rose so quickly is because we wouldn’t allow our values or principles to be supplanted because we were going to be politically correct… part of the problem today is that we’re so busy trying to be politically correct, that we lose all perspective.”