Trump, Carson embroil themselves in controversy over anti-Muslim comments

By Steven Viera || Senior Editor

Last Thursday, Sep. 16, Donald Trump permitted a questioner at a town hall event to make perjorative comments about Muslims and President Obama. Following that incident, Ben Carson, another Republican presidential hopeful, asserted his belief that a Muslim should not be President of the United States.

According to an article on ABC’s news website, Trump fielded a question at a town hall meeting who called Muslims a problem in America before insinuating that Obama is both foreign-born. Trump ignored these statements and answered the man’s eventual question about eradicating anti-American training camps, saying, “We’re going to be looking into a lot of
different things.”

Trump faced criticsm for his response by not standing up for Obama or Muslims in America and defended himself in a series of Tweets and statements at live events.

“Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time someone says something bad or controversial about him?” Trump tweeted. “I don’t think so!”

Trump, who continues to lead Republican polls, remarked that Obama would not defend him if he faced criticism and also noted that even if Trump were to have stood up to the questioner, then he would have faced controversy for interfering with the man’s first amendment rights.

“A no-win situation, do we agree?” Trump asked.

Notably, at an event the next night, Trump told a questioner that, if elected, he would include a Muslim in his cabinet.

Then, on Sunday, Sep. 20, Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, said he did not believe a Muslim should become President of the United States in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” he said. “I absolutely would not agree with that.”

Carson elaborated, stating that he believed Islam to be incompatible with the Constitution. He did note that Muslims can run for Congress without issue, depending upon their policies and
beliefs.

However, Carson did say that he believes Obama to be both American-born and a Christian — issues Trump fruitlessly raised during the 2012
Presidential Elections.

According to a poll conducted by CNN/ORC, following the most recent Republican debate, held on Wednesday, Sep. 16, Trump remains in first place. The poll also indicated that Carson, who has long held the second-place spot, slid into third as Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and another Republican hopeful, advanced into second place.

Senior Steven Viera is a Senior Editor. His email is sviera@fandm.edu.

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