2016 Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said on Sunday’s episode of ABC’s The Week that he does not feel that religion should be considered a type of probable cause for investigating U.S. Syrian refugees, but that he would be willing to listen to arguments by those who feel that it should.
During the interview, ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz challenged Carson to defend his recent controversial comments suggesting that he would be opposed to supporting a Muslim American for president.
Carson modified his position and clarified that “anybody, it doesn’t matter what their religious background, if they accept American values and principles and are willing to subjugate their religious beliefs to our Constitution, I have no problem with them.”
Raddatz then asked Carson whether he believes that all Muslims support the imposition of Sharia law.
Carson replied, “What we should be talking about is Islam and the tenets of Islam and where do they come from? They come from Sharia. They come from the Quran. They come from, you know, the life works and examples of Muhammad. They come from the fatwas, which is the writings of scholars. You know, and if you go back and you look at — what I would like for somebody to show me is an approved Islamic text that opposes Sharia.”
He continued, “If you can show me that, I will begin to alter my thinking on this, but, right now, when you have something that is against the rights of women, against the rights of gays, subjugates other religions and a host of things that are not compatible with our Constitution, why in fact would you take that chance?”
Proposing a hypothetical scenario for consideration, Raddatz asked, “I want to turn to the migrant crisis. You told me a few weeks ago that bringing in people from the Middle East right now carries extra danger and we can not put our people at risk because we are trying to be politically correct. Let’s imagine some of those refugees get into the United States. For authorities to track emails, cell phone calls, they usually need to have probable cause. Do you think in some instances religion should be enough for probable cause?”
Carson responded, “I personally don’t feel that way, but I would certainly be willing to listen to somebody who had evidence to the contrary. I think that’s one of the problems, we get to our little corners, and we don’t want to listen to anybody anymore.”
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