The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2004 Holy Land Foundation terror-funding case, announced on Sunday the group will be calling on Dr. Ben Carson to drop out of the race for the Republican Party presidential nomination over Carson’s statement he would not support having a Muslim as U.S. president.
Carson made his statement in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning, explaining he does not believe the values of Islam are consistent with the Constitution of the United States.
CAIR made the announcement in a press release (excerpted below) sent out Sunday afternoon on PR Newswire.
“On Monday, September 21 (at 11 .am.), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will hold a news conference at its Capitol Hill headquarters to call on Republican candidate Ben Carson to withdraw from the presidential race for saying today that Islam is “inconsistent” with the Constitution and that a Muslim should not be elected president.
…””Mr. Carson clearly does not understand or care about the Constitution, which clearly states that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office,'” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We call on our nation’s political leaders – across the political spectrum – to repudiate these unconstitutional and un-American statements and for Mr. Carson to withdraw from the presidential race.”
“He said this incident demonstrates why the Constitution is needed to protect Americans of all faiths.”
CAIR’s call for Carson to withdraw from the GOP presidential race may violate the group’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status which bars such entities from making statements in support of or in opposition to political candidates.
“Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office…”
The link CAIR included at the bottom of its press release targeting Dr. Carson goes to www.cair.com. The donation page for www.cair.com states: “CAIR Foundation is a 501(c)(3) under federal tax guidelines. TAX ID: 77-0646756”
CAIR posted a video clip to YouTube of Carson’s remarks made on Meet the Press to host Chuck Todd on Sunday.
NBC posted a transcript of Meet The Press. Carson’s comments are below.
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.
CHUCK TODD: So you–
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.
CHUCK TODD: And I take it you believe the president was born in the United States and is a Christian?
DR. BEN CARSON: I believe that he is. I have no reason to doubt what he says.
CHUCK TODD: All right, Dr. Carson I will leave it there, I look forward to speaking with you again soon.
DR. BEN CARSON: All right, thank you very much.
UPDATE: Dr. Carson stood by his comments in an interview with The Hill published Sunday evening excerpted below.
““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.”