Carson: ‘Quite Willing’ To Support Muslim Who Puts Constitution Above Islam

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson said that while he stands by his comments regarding a Muslim president, he would be “quite willing” to support someone with “a Muslim background” if they put the Constitution above their religion.

In the interview broadcast on Monday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel, Carson said that he “absolutely” stands by his previous comments.

He continued, “what we have to do is, we have to recognize that this is America, and we have a Constitution, and we do not put people in — at the leadership of our country whose faith might interfere with them carrying out the duties of the Constitution. So, if, for instance, you believe in a theocracy, I don’t care if you’re a Christian, if you’re a Christian, and you’re running for president, and you want to make this into a theocracy, I’m not going to support you. I’m not going to advocate you being the president.”

Carson was then asked if he was thinking of “the way Muslim theocracies currently operate?”

He answered, “That’s correct. I mean, they currently do not tend to operate the same way that our system does. Now, if someone has a Muslim background, and they’re willing to reject those tenets, and to accept the way of life that we have, and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion, then, of course, they will be considered infidels and heretics [by some Muslims], but, at least I would then be quite willing to support them.”

Carson was then asked, “For example, if there was a moderate Muslim that denounced Shariah, that denounced radical Islamists, that denounced quotes in the Koran about killing the infidels, or not taking Christians and Jews for your friends, that denounced the controversial life of Mohammed, you would be open to that Muslim running for president?” Carson responded, “Of course.”

Carson concluded that it was “implied” that he was referring to radical Islamists who support forms of government practiced in the Middle East, “because I prefaced that by saying I don’t care what religion or faith someone belongs to if they’re willing to subjugate that to the American way, and to our Constitution, then I have no problem with it. That’s what I said before that.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett