Dr. Ben Carson has the PC police on red alert. He dared to answer a set-up question with an honest answer. He stated that he would not support a candidate for the Presidency that was an adherent of Islam. Carson did not say radical Islam, which would have been helpful to the PC-addicted crowd. He tried to say that in his preface to the answer but those details were lost in the sound bite PC translation.
The question to Carson was not about a "moderate" Muslim, or one who in fact, would be viewed as an apostate by many Muslim clerics and Islamic believers. Of course, Carson would have been much "safer" if he had simply answered the question with the question: "What kind of a Muslim are you talking about?"
But as the medical professor is prone to do, Dr. Carson mistook media insincerity for a teachable moment and he opened a debate that drives the simple-minded PC crowd off the emotional cliff. He dared to open the door to a discussion about things that look the same but are, in fact, quite different. That kind of intellectual exercise is not the stuff of agenda-driven media moguls or their employees doing "gotcha" interviews on the Left or the Right.
To have an honest discussion about this question requires asking several more, including:
1) What is the definition of Sharia Law?
2) How does Islam differentiate between the role of religion and the state?
3) What does Islam teach about the worth of all individuals including women?
4) What does Islam teach about "love of neighbor" including respect for the right of conscience and religious liberty? and 5) What is the track record of Islam and civil liberties throughout history?
In the height of irony, CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) weighed in on Carson's remarks demanding that he withdraw immediately from the campaign. This prompts the logical question: If Islam was a faith that embraces tolerance, freedom of speech, the First Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and the US Constitution, then why should Carson be stripped of his right to pursue the Presidency? Why the instant demand that he be silenced?
CAIR claims to be the defining agency for Islam in the American marketplace. Their position is clear. If you disagree with us you should lose your right to pursue public office. So exactly where is Carson missing the point about the conflict between Islam and the liberties protected by the US Constitution?
Carson never said, nor do we propose, that a person of any faith or no faith should be banned from pursuing public office in America. According to the Constitution, there is to be no religious test for qualification for public office. The right of conscience is paramount in Western law and tradition. Carson questioned, as should any thinking person, whether Sharia law and the refusal by Islam to acknowledge the separation of religion and state is compatible with the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Remarkably, CAIR made Carson's point for him in short order.