Carson's Islamophobia shows Republican hypocrisy
Republican presidential candidate and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson announced last Sunday that he does not believe a Muslim should be President. He announced that he "would absolutely not agree with that."
This comes on the coattails of other anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments by Donald Trump, and it is partly responsible for inciting and continuing — with renewed fervor — the national conversation about racism, church and state, and foreign policy in the Middle East.
In August, Carson was asked whether the Bible or the Constitution had a greater place in government. He responded that it was "not a simple question" and that it depended on which section of the Bible or of the Constitution. Both comments — regarding biblical versus constitutional importance and Muslim presidential candidates — caused Carson's polling numbers to soar.
As he seeks the highest office in the country, it is important to be aware of the way Carson views religion and public life. Carson has simultaneously disavowed a Muslim individual's ability to serve a democratic nation, and diminished the value of the Constitution as supreme ruling doctrine of the United States. He is quickly altering the way a president should influence and serve the people.
Over the course of American history, many have come to this country for the freedom it offers: freedom of the press, free speech, and most pertinently, freedom of religion. Restricting who can serve America, and arguing that a certain religious text has more value — or even the same value — as texts protecting and nurturing citizens' freedom, is contrary to the foundational principles of the nation.
Carson has introduced a radical and irrational transformation of government, and his questioning of Muslims' rights and abilities to run a just society exemplifies the Islamophobia that runs rampant in this country. Citizens must acknowledge and call out politicians who make a point of dismantling the freedom and unity that the country represents. The fact that Carson's remarks have had an unfortunately positive impact on his campaign should not be taken lightly. Citizens should take it upon themselves to prevent ignorance and hatred from holding such a prominent place in public life.