So, Should A Muslim Ever Be President?

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September 29, 2015 by gregrabidoux2013

Muslim President

Muslim Free Zone?

This was the question posed to GOP Presidential candidate and one-time neurosurgeon, Ben Carson recently on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Mr. Carson, at least initially, responded with an emphatic  “NO.”

In fact, he went further.

NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Carson, “Do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?”

The good doctor replied, “I would not advocate that we ever put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

In the last several days (9/26-9/30) the Carson Campaign has been backpedaling from these initial comments due to a backlash from Muslim Americans, a few fellow GOP contenders (most notably Rand Paul) and media commentators.

Well, sort of backpedaling. Let’s say backpedaling with a big grin on their collective face.

Why?

Well, in my previous Blog I suggested that early primaries are more about courting the affections of Big Money than actually courting votes at this stage.

And Holy Greenbacks, Carson’s comments sure opened up the floodgates of Christian (I assume) money. According to his campaign manager, within 24 hours of his anti-Mulsim rhetoric they received $1 million in donations. And Ben “Money-Bags” Carson actually laughed this morning at a reporter’s question about his stance on this issue, saying as he has on other occasions, “The money’s coming in so fast we can hardly keep track of it.”

muslim president carson

Everyone can “Think Big” except, you know, for Muslims.

OK. One, he now knows what it’s like to be Trump. Two, probably not the image you want to convey to voters struggling to make their mortgage payment or to the ever watchful eyes of the FEC.

Still. A little exclusionary talk can go a long way to making your campaign team feel downright giddy. As one aide confided recently to the media, “This may have been the best thing that could have happened to us.”

Allahu Akbar (God is Great) Indeed.

But what about the answer and position that sparked the backlash and exploded the Carson “money bomb?”

Certainly, the Founders of this Nation made it clear that religious freedom, even the freedom to NOT believe should be protected and forever enshrined in our US Constitution via the First Amendment. Right alongside, actually even before, free speech. And that any “religious test” was to be forbidden as a prerequisite or qualification to become president.

But let’s not kid ourselves here. Protecting a right and forbidding a test both say what “can’t” happen. It can be silent on what should not happen.

And Americans at the moment, and ever since a fateful 11th Day of September in our history, are resoundingly not silent when it comes to their views on Muslims.

No, the vast majority of Americans say, (over 76% according to a recent poll) a Muslim should not become president.

GOP debate Trump

Muslims can all just FFFF Fade away.

What’s going on here? We, Americans, are usually and infamously short on memory and quick to forgive. So, why are we segregating Muslims everywhere for a tougher, arguably un-American treatment?

Well, for one, recent Gallup Polls also suggest that unlike any other religion or even race for that matter, Americans equate Muslims with extremism, terrorism and anti-American fervor.

Ah, yes, the Jihad, and “Death to American Infidels” I keep hearing about and seeing.

But the numbers, what do the numbers say, if, anything?

  • Well, there are an estimated 1.8 billion Muslims in the world and that number continues to rise each year.
  • There are currently 2.8 million Muslims in the US and that number is projected to grow to 7.2 million within 15 years
  • 100,000 Muslims immigrants enter the US legally each year, making that bloc the fastest growing legal immigrant population to the US
  • Muslims from the Middle East and particularly, Saudi Arabia, make up the fastest growing foreign student population coming to the US to study
  • 91.4% of all Muslim asylees to the US are under the poverty level and currently on food stamp programs

And then there are places like Dearborn, Michigan that cause many Americans a sleepless night.

An estimated 40,000 Muslims reside in Dearborn which has a population of about 100,00. A leaked government document recently suggests that they believe there are more folks on the federal terrorist watch list in Dearborn than in any other city in the country other than the Big Apple. And that it’s not some random coincidence.

muslim president dearborn

Terrorist Capital of the USA?

But perhaps, “BC 2015” (Ben Carson) said it best in his most recent “tweaked” comments about Muslims and the Oval Office. Yesterday, he claimed that he “didn’t care what someone’s religion is, it’s just that Muslim values are not American values.”

And that my friends may actually be getting us somewhere closer to the more naked and unrobed truth about Muslims and how many Americans see them. “They,” as my former neighbor used to say, “can get all clean shaven and wear as many polo shirts and jeans as they want…they will simply never be one of us.”

Now, knowing my former neighbor somewhat, I can safely assume he meant Americans over all and not necessarily his own “Git ‘er done” crowd. Cuz, I am hard pressed to imagine most Muslims rocking the sleeveless t-shirt with the “Obama This” sign, drinking from a Duck Dynasty beer mug and chomping down antacids at a local BBQ but I’ve been unforgivably wrong before.

Larry cable guy

Send all them Muslims back to Mexico or wherever they’re from.

Still, as much as I hate to admit it, my neighbor may have hit upon a truth. Different religions with different cultures and different wardrobes with clearly opposing views on things like the role of women in society don’t help bridge the divide. That, added to the fact that the large majority of Americans get their perception about Muslims from what they see on the news from groups like ISIS who quote from the Quran as they behead an American or western “infidel” while releasing videos that call for the destruction of America don’t help either.

Yet, when Mr. Carson laughs with glee as he and his campaign staff count and put rubber bands around their campaign dollars I can’t but help think of the thousands of Muslim Americans who live, work and pray here just like the vast majority of other Americans. And whom seem to want nothing more than a better life for their children in a safe, prosperous and peaceful nation. You know, just like you and I.

Still, there’s a world of difference between can and should, isn’t there?

bengal-tiger-why-matter_7341043

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117 thoughts on “So, Should A Muslim Ever Be President?

  1. Kelsey G says:

    This is a touchy subject in my opinion. Whenever the religion topic comes up it can bring so many view points of how things should be done, how they are, and what they believe. Though I am not knowledgeable about he Muslim religion I do know that we all have the freedom on religion in America. Limiting someone from a position from holding a particular position cannot be the American thing to do. With so much hatred and horrid happening around us I am sure if boost the amount of people who would agree with not having a Muslim in such a position but it does not mean that they would be the right thing to do.

  2. Kyle G says:

    This question is one that frankly is not easy to answer. While, as Americans, we grow up being urged to accept that “all men are created equal”, is that really the case. In God’s eyes, absolutely. However, not everyone believes in the same religious text and some no religion at all. Additionally, not everyone has the concept of what equality entails. In the news lately, we see consistent outbursts from what the media refers to as “peace-loving” Muslims, and they very well could love peace. There’s no way for us to prove them otherwise, but there is no way for them to back up their statements.
    What I do know is that there is an extremely large amount of oversensitive Americans right now and everyone feels the need to be PC- politically correct. Except in this case, Ben Carson did not leave what he said up for anyone’s interpretation. I won’t say a Muslim should never be President, because we do have a system of checks and balances. However, I will say that every different group should receive equal treatment. Right now Christians in America are upset over losing their rights to practice religious freedoms in many ways (prayer in school, playing certain songs in half-time shows- See Brandon HS, MS), yet Muslims are gaining more rights everyday seemingly. Another example is the Ten Commandment tablets being taken down, while a satanic statue is being erected. As I stated, if we are taking away rights from one group, we shouldn’t be giving them to other groups.

    • Callen M says:

      Kyle,
      You make some good points in your topic. Rights need to be fair across the board and taking some away from one group, but providing new ones to others is not right. America was founded on Christian principles, but as you said one of the great things about our country is that we have the freedom of religion. I do not think that one can simply say that a person shouldn’t be president because of their religion unless their personal religious beliefs are anti-american or inhumane. As a Christian myself I can honestly say there are some “Christians” that I wouldn’t want serving as president either. I think religion plays a major role in actions, but I think candidates should be looked at on an individual basis and not as a whole bassed on one characteristic.

  3. LMC says:

    I think it’s interesting that so many are playing the “Christian vs Muslim” card in their comments. If we’re going to go that route, many would say that most/many Christians do not support abortions. Or do not support gay/lesbian marriage. Or do not support sex outside of marriage or a couple living together before they are married. And yet these things are a part of our culture and generation – right or wrong.

    All the Muslims I am friends with (it’s not a lot, but I think it’s probably more than many Americans have in their daily lives) want the same things for their families that non-Muslims do – good education, healthcare, and a job. As I stated earlier, I do see a time in the future (perhaps the very far future) where a moderate Muslim could and should be elected because he/she is the right leader that our country needs at the time.

    I don’t believe there is a time in our country where a fundamentalist Christian should be elected – because he/she would not represent the broad middle majority of America. In the same way, a fundamentalist Muslim should not be elected either. But a moderate Muslim who stands on issues with the middle majority of America certainly should have that opportunity to lead the country.

    • julianwjr says:

      There is not now nor has there ever been such a thing as a “moderate” Muslim. One who appears as such to naive, PC, Western, infidel fools is either fooling the Koran’s dispensation and admonition to lie to infidels whenever and however it might be advantageous to do so in pursuit of world domination under Sharia law, or an apostate who has not yet been beheaded, drowned, or burned alive.

  4. James C says:

    This is an interesting article. Honestly, I did not know that this had occurred with in the debates. Church and state are supposed to be separate so in my mind it does not matter the candidates religion or lack there of. What really matters in an elected official is what there values are. I mean values as in political values and what goals they have for their office. Mostly, I mean how will their election impact my own personal life.

    As to why this occured, I only have to look to my facebook newsfeed recently to see a lot of individuals hating on Muslims these days. The actions of a few are dictating how people see an entire group of people. What the few did is wrong, but that does not make every single person remotely associated through whatever means an evil person too.

  5. autron76 says:

    This is an interesting topic and much needed topic.In my views about politics and religion, I firmly believe in the separation of church and state. I think that in many ways this is a great safeguard against all form of religious suppression. I do not think that we should look at another religion as a prerequisite to hold a elected office.I will state openly I do think that there could and should be an opportunity for any natural born American citizen to become President of the United States regardless of their religious beliefs or values.Also I do believe that no matter what religion the leaders that have been elected hold a respect for the values that underpin the laws should be respected also.I think in many aspect a sense of decency and common courtesy should be extended to others even if their religious beliefs conflicts with the current status compared to what their religious beliefs are. If the person elected does not agree with it then they should not be serving in office…

  6. Teddi Cunningham says:

    I don’t think people leave their religious values behind because they are elected to a political office. If the Muslim elected could serve our country and honor the religious values held by religious groups, I would not have a problem with a Muslim being president. However, I don’t think the American people are going to elect a Muslim to office in the near future. As the attacks continue I think the likelihood of electing a Muslim to office decreases more and more.

  7. Matt R says:

    This country was founded on freedom of religion. However, it seems that Muslims only want Islam to be that free religion. That’s why ISIS is trying to kill us all. That is why Obama is pandering to the Islamic community and trying to break down Christians with all his senseless actions. If you don’t believe me, consider what Obama said about the shooting of the Marines in Tennessee. He stated that the actions of one man cannot be enough to condemn a whole group of people. Yet, one white person shoots a black person that was trying to kill the white person first (which DID happen, and it was PROVEN), then Obama and the rest of his no-brained administration jump on the racist-white-majority bandwagon. This country is so screwed up with its priorities because of people like Obama and Al Sharpton. It seems like instead of trying to rally us together in the most important time, they seek to only continue to divide us as much as possible. Should we ever have a Muslim as president? I’m pretty sure we already do. But, that’s just my opinion. Should we ever have another one? Absolutely not. Why? Just look back on the last 8 years with the one we have now. It speaks for itself.

  8. Mary M. says:

    I think this is an incredibly difficult question. Before the terrorist attacks began in 2001, I think it might have been a possibility. As the attacks have progressed and intensified, and ISIS is now a household word, I believe it will probably be a very long time before people can move past their fear and anger to even consider electing a Muslim as president. Look how long it took just to have a Catholic president in the White House – John F. Kennedy was elected in 1961.

  9. Laurie S. says:

    Personally, I do not believe the President should ever have to state their religion. There is separation of church and state and that is how the President should carry out his or her actions. If I was ever in a position to run for office I would not put my religion out there. I would constantly change it on social media and speak on many different levels at conferences. My personal religion should not have an affect on how I would run a country. As a country we should stop putting so much emphasis on whether someone is Black, Male, White, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Asian, Female, Republican, Wicca, Democrat, Pacific Islander, Independent and just base our votes on the fact that their policy lines up with what we feel we need in a President.

  10. Charles H says:

    While I am a Christian, I do not subscribe to the idea that we are a Christian State, and this is because we were not founded as a Christian State. We were founded under the ideal that, unlike every other society, religion is of one’s choosing, Therefore, I support our government’s stance on the separation of church and state. So the my answer….it shouldn’t matter if a person is Muslim. Just like it didn’t matter that Jefferson was a Deist or Kennedy was Catholic, neither belief structure overtly influenced their performance in office.

    I get it, the only thread of commonality between terrorists/ extremists across the board is the fact that they are Muslims. I just think it’s a slippery slope when we begin to judge and limit a person based on their religious belief when fundamentally, we are a country predicated on allowing for that freedom.

  11. LBJ says:

    American is a melting pot of cultures, religions, ideas, races, etc. I think that the media plays into how Americans view Muslims and this view is a negative one. There are many similarities between Christian and Muslim values however, American prefers to remain uneducated and believe the media who only focuses on the extremists. I don’t think it would make a difference if there was a Muslim President and it shouldn’t matter. As long as one has their own positive morals and values, whether that comes from their religion or not, they should be able to be president no matter what.

  12. Ethan says:

    In my opinion I don’t think a persons religious beliefs should make them a good or bad person. it should be how their ability to to the job at hand. So I do not really care about the religious beliefs of our president.

    • Ethan,
      I agree with you. Religion can either make of break you. Many politicians that have ran for president and have been president of this nation proclaim to have been Christian but the religion is not that makes them a bad leader it is the leader that makes them a bad leader. If one can really focus on the people needs and not what they want for this country that it does not necessarily need perhaps something can actually be done right.
      Religion has nothing to do with it.

  13. julianwjr says:

    This is not really so difficult a situation as you have all been “progressively” conditioned for years to believe it is.

    While it is most assuredly true that I have personally known or vicariously known of many American Christians who would be quite contented to see America become a Christian theocracy, Christianity’s supposedly “holy book” does not advocate theocracy. In fact, it does quite the opposite. Does “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. Render unto God that which is God’s” ring a bell?

    However, the Unholy Koran most assuredly mandates that there be no Earthly authority other than Islamic authority under Sharia law. The ultimate goal of Islam, even while the murderous, psychopathic, pedophile they call their “prophet” Muhammed was still alive and raping boys and killing “infidels,” subjugation and domination of the then known world was his stated goal even before it was committed to paper or sheepskin or whatever the original unholy book was written upon.

    That is why we can never have a Muslim president,or perhaps more accurately, another one.

    True Islam, not the peaceful, moderate, live-and-let-live lsam that exists only in the minds of Western, Liberal, PC, infidel fools, is utterly incompatible with liberty and democratic governance,per se, and the American version, in particular, no matter how much the best thing ever to happen to the late Neville Chamberlain – the consummate, duped, fool, John Kerry – would have you believe.

    Poor fool Kerry. Apparently, he believes to this very day that the true reason B. Hussein Obama backed the “Arab Spring” was to bring the blessings of American-style, representative democracy to the liberty-starved masses of Middle Eastern Muslims, yearning to join the 21st century. At least the Egyptian military had the good sense to realize what
    Morsi-enabling B. Hussein Obama was actually up to.

    Trump has it exactly right that we should stop allowing Muslims into the country NLT the morning of January 21st, 2017. Where he has it wrong is in his assertion that it will only be until we figure out what the Hell is going on. We know – or should know – precisely what is going on. The free, non-Islamic, “infidel” world is being slowly infiltrated by Muslims until they
    reach sufficient voting majorities to put all infidels to the ballot before putting them to the sword. World War III is well under way. Our next presidential election will be of existential consequence for the entire, free, “infidel” world.

  14. Savianna T says:

    I think its hypocritical for the U.S. to have such harsh views on Muslims. I can understand why but it does not make it right. We are always screaming free speech, free this, and free that, but we somehow think it’s ok to have certain people become an exception to that freedom. In my honest opinion, with the government we have and the way society is going none of us are really free. We are free enough to have the illusion of freedom but this isn’t freedom. We live by so many rules, guidelines, and social constraints. Many need to remember that before they decide to exclude others. It is a touchy subject. Nationality, race, sexuality, etc. will always be touchy and difficult to discuss no matter what the topic is. I wonder what the discussion would have been if it were talking about a homosexual man becoming president. The U.S. will always find something to make an issue out of. I can understand we have had many incidents with Muslims that can make people mistrust them but hopefully our government is able to decipher the bad from the good. I mean isn’t that where our tax money is going? Many are still Americans and U.S. citizens and the last time I checked the guidelines to become a president are not that strict. It’s sad that a Muslim probably wouldn’t get that many votes just because they are Muslim, but you never know. No one would have ever thought we would have a black president, now look! Only the future can tell.

  15. Tayo Sowemimo says:

    My take on the issue of a Muslim becoming an American president is that if the person is constitutionally qualified, nothing should stop him/her from running, I don’t believe the faith or religion should stand as an obstacle for such ambition. Having stated that, been constitutionally qualified to run is totally different from actually putting in place a great campaign organization and been able to convince majority of Americans to actually win. I think that is actually where the problem lies; the article pointed out reasons why most Americans remain unconvinced of Islam as a religion of peace, whenever a terrorist or suspected terrorist is arrested, why do we have about 9 out of 10 as a Muslim or a recent convert to the religion. My final conclusion is this, it took years for a person of color to be nominated by one of the major parties in the US (Barack Obama in 2008), and took more years for a person of the Mormon faith (Mitt Romney in 2012) to be nominated by another major party, I will argue, before an American Muslim can get close to the presidency, it’s probably going to take more than time, perhaps, the overall perception of the religion must be altered for the better, then we can assume majority of Americans will be comfortable enough to send a person of that faith to oval office and confident the nuclear codes indeed be safe.

  16. Welch says:

    Ben Carson stated originally that he thought a Muslim should never be president. He was very adamant about that. However, the Constitution was founded on freedoms, freedom of religion being one of the prominent values. If we cannot exclude someone from political office based on sex, race or socioeconomic status, we surely cannot exclude them based on religion. That does not mean that they will be elected. If the populous is distrustful of people of a certain religion, like Islam, the chances of them getting the popular vote is low. Right now people in America associate Islam with terrorists which is not the case for most Muslims. Just like there are Christian extremists there are also Muslim extremists, but those are the only ones you hear about. Carson’s later statement about Islamist having different values than Americans is apt. We are a country that believes in rights for everyone (again those freedoms that are protected by the Constitution) that the Muslim religion doesn’t necessarily reflect. So while I feel that we cannot prohibit a Muslim or a member of any other religion from being president, I also don’t think it is likely to occur in this day and age.

  17. jpmcvaney says:

    In all honesty, it should not matter what religion a President is for the sole reason that we have the notion of a separate church and state. So why is there really a debate of a religion based presidency because that truly is what seems to be the discussion. Many Americans are being rather hypocritical if we just pick and choose which amendment we protect and when we do so. Now, that is discussion. The reality is that Americans vote, so why would it matter about hypothetical ideas of who should/can and should not/cannot be President of the United States of America. Next, the question of gay or lesbian presidents sitting in office. Neither of these two questions are proper nor should it matter. If it bothers you in the end, then you vote against. But if the particular person is President then obviously America thinks otherwise.

    The topic places a twist in the discussion because if a Muslim is ELECTED, then obviously the American people think it is okay and he/she (although we know most Muslim women would not be running for office due to particular standing in the culture) has been deemed qualified and voted into Office of the President.

  18. Jessica says:

    Who cares what someone’s religious beliefs are? We were founded on the separation between church and state and frankly someone’s beliefs should not factor in whether or not they can run our country. I think that we should have other faiths in the White House, we are very diverse country and representation would be ideal. Honestly, I’d rather see an atheist or agnostic in the White House than some of the republicans who use religion as a way to set the tone in government. As a not particularly religious person, it bothers me when “God” factors into politics. Religion has no place in our government.

  19. Zack Saunders says:

    Could a Muslim-American be president? Yes. The more pointed question underlying this issue, is should a Muslim-American be president? As you mentioned, the view of Muslims as extremists, terrorists, and anti-American is very prevalent right now in this country, especially given recent events. I think that this helps to explain the dramatic increase in Carson’s donations.
    As I imagine what a Muslim presidency would look like, I become more and more skeptical of its success. Our country has been undergoing a dramatic change (particularly in the past decade) that emphasizes tolerance and acceptance. But I do not believe that we are at a point in our history where the leader of our country could gain widespread support if he or she were Muslim. I believe that this situation would bring more conflict and division than any positive effect that it would have. It’s possible that one day soon, a Muslim-American president could be successful as POTUS, but that year is not 2016.

  20. tara c says:

    With all the things going on recently in the United States with all the new anti-GLBT it is very easy to see why so many people in the United States say that a Muslim should never be president. Everything lately has become about religion. In my own family I have seen a “devout Christian” who is supposed to cast no judgment turn on one of their own family members and they were raised together as sisters for 20 years because one came out as lesbian and now she is the worst person to ever live and will only be accepted by God and the other person if she changes her ways and lives only for God the rest of her life. This exact same person lived a life of sin for many years. States are now openly giving businesses the right to discriminate without punishment.
    We are such a judgmental and racist nation against just about every single thing in and out of the United States. If someone is not like you (gay, straight, black or white) or has a completely different religious belief then you they are going to burn in eternal Hell. I don’t think we should judge a presidential candidate on their religious beliefs, but their qualifications and determination to make the United States a great nation, but I do not think that someone who is “different” will never get the chance to be heard or president in this Nation. As a whole, we are a closed minded nation who screams for change but only if it’s the change that they want.

  21. T Leggett says:

    It’s all about perspectives. Just like not all black or white people are racists, not all Muslims are the “groups that you see on television like ISIS who quote from the Quran as they behead an American or western “infidel” while releasing videos that call for the destruction of America (Rabidoux, 2015),” either. 1789 saw our very first POTUS; slavery was abolished with the 13th amendment on December 6, 1865; Congress passed the 15th amendment in 1869, which gave African American Men the right to vote; Congress passed the 19th Amendment in 1919, which gave all American women the right to vote; and in 2009 the very first African American POTUS, Barrack Hussein Obama, II, became president. So for me, anything is possible in time!

  22. Elisa Etienne says:

    I think that the idea of someone of Islamic faith being president isn’t an idea that sits well with some people in the general public, initially, given the state and severity of terrorist attacks and the years. I think the biggest issue that Muslims face is the media- American media condemns a whole faith as opposed to holding the individual accountable. The media does not provide a basis for what true origins and beliefs of the Islamic faith are- the media neglects to emphasize that attacks are completed by radicals who are not actually following the beliefs of their faith.

    On the other hand we have Americans in our own country who blow up buildings, shoot up theaters and schools and we label them as mentally ill. In addition to that we don’t associate them with any other group- seemingly they are just an a sick individual who needed help… Pity Party…

    Will a Muslim ever be president, probably not anytime in the near future. The narrative will have to change to make this possible.

  23. A. Hughes says:

    Every Friday after my 8-5 work day I hop in my car and turn on NPR radio. By the time I’m home from my hour-drive I’m usually in tears. Why, you might ask. All Things Considered, it’s a program hosted by NPR. Over the past two months on Friday afternoon, not every Friday, heart wrenching stories are told of individual refugees fleeing their country and barbaric cultural rituals.

    My husband asks me why I continue to listen when it just makes me sad. I listen because of a couple reasons. Besides that I’ve reached that point in my life where I consider all music awful if made after the 90s (ha!), I listen to learn. The stories let me know what’s going on in the world and how other individuals are pushing on against the odds. Most of the time people from these stories are fairly beaten down and the odds are not in their favor, but, they continue on. It’s their only option to keep going, to take care for what family they have left, and to live free.

    Most of the time they are running from a lifestyle that’s being forced on them, lifestyles such as religion, war, or famine. So with that being said, I believe for the most part fleeing refugees (or muslims) come to America to live free and practice their religion of choice.

    Based on my values and beliefs, no matter the race, anyone can be the president. If said person meets requirements, is knowledgeable of the country and our global situation, and has the background to lead, so be it. Because let’s face it, if Trump can run, anyone can….

  24. valdostaphil says:

    Phil-Edwards-7400-Fall-2016-Blog-Post

    Just from reading the title of this blog post and none of its content, I can respond in two ways. (I actually read it, but I’m saying that I could’ve responded without having to).

    Should a Muslim ever be president of the United States? 1) Yes. Why shouldn’t they? And 2) I reject the question as moot and irrelevant, even though I’m sure some people think this is a relevant conversation to be having.

    We should have an everything President. An atheist president. An Asian-American president. A woman president. An atheist, vegan, Asian-America, female President. A transgender President. We should have evolved beyond this conversation by now. The personal, private lives of elected individuals *should* have nothing to do with their qualifications for elected office. However…will we ever have certain populations represented by the President? I don’t know, because ignorance is a tough thing to eradicate. But this shouldn’t even still be a point of debate or contentiousness. Presidents don’t have to look and sound like the racially and ethnically homogeneous electorates that send them to office. They just need to be qualified. That’s it.

    People in their teens and 20s right now who are given pause by this issue should immediately start adjusting to the fact that America will soon be less than 50% white and more than 50% “other” when the non-Caucasian population is grouped monolithically. Because it will most likely become the case that less than 1 in 2 presidents will be just like them in their lifetimes whether that means race, religion, or whatever.

    Diversity is a good thing. It makes us all stronger.

  25. gljackson33 says:

    I think that anyone that qualifies should run for president. It should not matter if you are black white woman or a man. But this country does have a history of being very bias towards minorities.

  26. M. Brown says:

    The discussion on whether a person of Islamic faith should ever be president, falls into the age-old practice of disparaging one group against another (especially for political gain). The premise of this question, that one’s religious beliefs could make them unqualified for government service, flies in the face of the core values of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. The founders believed that there should not be a religious test or a government sanctioned religion partially because those settlers who first came to the new world were fleeing religious persecution and thus placed a significant value on freedom of religion. However, our history in this regard does not paint the most tolerant picture. For example, many African American Christian denominations were founded because blacks were excluded from worshipping in white Christian churches. Not to mention, that the values of Christianity were hardly present in a document that treated a race of God’s children as subservient and the equivalent of three-fifths of a person. Catholics have often been viewed with suspicion and skepticism largely because of the denomination’s European roots and divergent theological beliefs and doctrinal practices. The question of whether this branch of Christianity was consistent with the constitution was raised during the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy. Moreover, the Judea-Christian heritage of many Americans has not only created an affinity for Judaism but also an aversion toward Islam. This, combined with America’s troubled racial / ethnical history, led to some to question whether President Obama was a Muslim, and subsequently to question whether a personal of Islamic faith should serve as president.

    America’s embrace of tolerance for individuals of different religions, races, ethnicities, nationalities, sexual orientations, economic classes, and other defining demographics, can be described as “two steps forward, one step backward”. We strive to be “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”, but our politics and our policies reveal that these ideals have yet to be achieved. During the 2008 presidential campaign, then Senator Barack Obama challenged the nation to continue the march toward “a more perfect union”, and to “find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well”. Despite America’s history, and even the current state of our politics, I’m still optimistic enough to believe that our union can be perfected and that we can live up to the high ideals upon which this nation was founded.

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