The Dumbest Controversy Ever? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Dumbest Controversy Ever?

“Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

That’s a quote not from Mullah Omar or Osama bin Laden, or Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani. It’s a quote from someone slightly less well-known — Omar Ahmad, the founder of the Council for American Islamic Relations, the Hamas-affiliated Muslim Brotherhood front group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the famous Holy Land foundation terror financing trial.

The minions following in Ahmad’s footsteps at CAIR, including its current president Ibrahim Hooper, have said similar things. Hooper’s spin on the statement softened it by saying that he wanted to bring about Islamic dominance in the United States through “education.”

CAIR’s actual members number not in the millions or hundreds of thousands but hundreds. Their relevance to much of anything where American politics is concerned is limited, though their role in the burgeoning Ben Carson vs. The Muslims media kerfuffle is central.

That’s because Hooper and CAIR’s executive director Nihad Awad called Monday for Carson to drop out of the 2016 presidential race for having answered one of the most worthless trap questions ever asked. Over the weekend Carson was asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd (a Democrat operative, let’s not kid ourselves, married to a Democrat operative) a couple of questions which touched off a red-hot-but-dopey-as-hell food fight within the presidential race and the media covering it.

A transcript…

CHUCK TODD: Let me wrap this up by finally dealing with what’s been going on, Donald Trump, and a deal with a questioner that claimed that the president was Muslim. Let me ask you the question this way: Should a President’s faith matter? Should your faith matter to voters?

DR. BEN CARSON: Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the constitution, no problem.

CHUCK TODD: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution?

DR. BEN CARSON: No, I don’t, I do not.


DR. BEN CARSON: I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.

CHUCK TODD: And would you ever consider voting for a Muslim for Congress?

DR. BEN CARSON: Congress is a different story, but it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just as it depends on what anybody else says, you know. And, you know, if there’s somebody who’s of any faith, but they say things, and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed, and bring peace and harmony, then I’m with them.

This is hardly earth-shaking stuff, with the only true criticism possible of Carson is that he didn’t initially say the word “Sharia” when he talked about Islam. A Muslim who believes in Sharia, Carson is now absolutely correct in saying, is someone who cannot uphold the U.S. Constitution or fulfill an oath of office to do so — because Sharia and the U.S. Constitution are fundamentally incompatible. Very little of the American Bill of Rights, much less the emanations and penumbras coming from it which have established the current constitutional environment in this country, would survive in Sharia America.

Carson made that clear in a follow-up to his answer to Todd:

“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 [sic] 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.

As you might imagine, the outrage engine is running at full blast after all this, and just like in most instances where the outrage engine runs on full blast what’s being screamed is unmitigated stupidity. Others here at The American Spectator have given the kerfuffle its due, but let’s go back to CAIR and its attacks on Carson.

Carson wasn’t asked whether he would do away with Article 6. He was asked whether he thinks it would be a good idea to elect a Muslim president. He said no, because of the implications of Sharia and the incompatibilities with our system.

Ben Carson is entitled to that belief, and he is neither insane nor alone in holding it. His position is entirely mainstream. He might not have been politically wise to actually answer the question, but his reasons for doing so are good ones; Ben Carson is an honest and forthright man who gives honest and forthright answers to questions even when they’re not asked by an honest and forthright interviewer. He may want to become less honest and forthright and more protective of his campaign when being interviewed by Democrat operatives like Chuck Todd disguised as journalists, but if he does he will be less interesting as a candidate. The criticism of Carson isn’t hurting him one bit this week, and it shouldn’t — most Republican voters rightfully despise the left-wing media’s attempts to distort the GOP race with gotcha questions and implausible hypotheticals like avowed Muslim presidential candidates.

But CAIR invoked Article 6 and the prohibition of religious tests to demand that Carson be disqualified for not applying it to his own personal electoral preference, an absurdity of insulting proportions, and asserted its commitment to “democracy” by purporting to confiscate his liberty to run for office. As Paul Mirengoff noted, that stupid response proved Carson’s point about the incompatibility of political Islam and our constitution with stunning clarity.

Whoever gets the GOP nomination and wins the 2016 election ought to make it a priority to come after CAIR with everything the Department of Justice has in its arsenal. The only reason CAIR is still considered an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial is that Eric Holder declined to seek their indictment. The United Arab Emirates has designated CAIR as a terror organization, interestingly enough, and their footprints are almost always nearby when one of these peculiar events, like the Flying Imams a few years ago or this strange instance with the high-school freshman and his faux invention of a clock that looked like a bomb last week. Enough already.

CAIR is to radical Islam what the German-American Bund was to the Nazi Party, and it’s time to follow the previous example in our treatment of this nest of vipers.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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