Tuesday, at a campaign stop in Ohio, Ben Carson, Republican candidate for President tried to soften the tone he set on Sunday by stating that, “”I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” Carson has now backtracked by stating the usual “I was taken out of context.” On the question of supporting a Muslim president, Carson stated that, “I don’t care what a person’s religious beliefs are or what their religious heritage is. If they embrace American culture, if they embrace our constitution and are willing to place that above their religious beliefs, I have no problem with it.” Carson went on to explain that he wasn’t talking about Islam but radical beliefs that are held by Muslim extremists. This is the same man who replied to his critics on Facebook including fellow Republicans, by stating, “Republicans that take issue with my position are amazing,” and that “Under Islamic Law, homosexuals – men and women alike – must be killed. Women must be subservient. And people following other religions must be killed. I know that there are many peaceful Muslims who do not adhere to these beliefs. But until these tenants are fully renounced … I cannot advocate any Muslim candidate for President.” Yet, that was taken out of context.
Tuesday’s Carson was a more familiar politician. The one that speaks his mind but has then has a handler explain what he really meant. Then there is the back handed apology that satisfies no one but makes the media proud that they hounded one into submission. Carson had a moment of clarity that he then took back. Those attending his rally agreed with Carson’s original statement of the uncomfortableness of a Muslim being President. In a recent survey, Zogby Analytics, found that only favorability rate of just 27 percent regarding Muslim-Americans. Since 9/11 the onslaught of ISIS barbaric acts has only incensed Americans more. The rape, torture and murder of Christians, destruction of ancient artifacts and the removal of any other religion from the world has made Americans a bit jumpy. You then have a politician who shares the same fears and sensibilities in an off cuff remark and bam, he takes it all back.
The election of the next American President should be a battle of the titans and not one of apologists. As citizens voices are heard everyday calling for a change in how we do business as a country it is time for our candidates to realize that that have a reason to fear other obstacles not just fear itself. Carson and the others who want to sit in that Oval Office should take note, our fears are rooted in a very real problem.