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Hardly anti-Muslim
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Hardly anti-Muslim

I am appalled by the disingenuousness of the editorial titled, “Failing the test” (Sept. 24).

The editorial, quoting Carson’s reply to a question posed on Meet the Press, leaves the impression that Carson is anti-Muslim, but does not make mention of his explanation to Bill O’Reilly several days later. Carson said that first, every Muslim country adheres to the Koran and sharia law, which is counter to our constitution’s tenets. Further, he said he would question any Muslim candidate for the presidency whether he or she subscribes to sharia or upholds the Constitution. (I add that any president takes an oath to uphold the Constitution.) If that candidate would say he or she does not  subscribe to sharia and does respect the Constitution, Carson would consider that candidate’s qualifications — as he would any candidate’s — in determining whether he’d vote for him or her.

His reply demonstrates that he is not anti-Muslim; it’s anti-anybody who rejects the Constitution; therefore, to paint Carson as being religiously prejudiced is disingenuous.

Regarding Donald Trump’s response to a questioner who said Muslims are a “problem” for the United States, and that President Obama is a Muslim and not an American, Trump more or less ignored  that person’s question; he was not compelled to respond.

Finally, do you have documentation illustrating Trump’s support of the “canard that Obama is a secretly practicing Muslim”?

I suggest you be more careful before painting people with bogus irreligious brushes.

Milton Turoff
West Orange

Editor’s note: We are thrilled that Ben Carson clarified what he meant when he told a reporter that, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” We imagine that if had been talking about Jews instead of Muslims, however, few of us would be quick to forgive, even if he told Bill O’Reilly that he was only referring to Jews who put the Halacha above the Constitution. Such  loyalty tests have dogged Jews and Catholics since the 19th century, and candidates for president should know better than to inflict them on another diverse American religious group. As for Trump, he  did not merely ignore the questioner who talked about the Muslim “problem” and the president’s religious identity, but replied, “A lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and a lot of different things.” In 2011, Trump also appeared on O’Reilly’s show and said this about his obsession with Obama’s birth  certificate: “He may have one but there’s something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim.” Such dog whistles may be one reason why, according to a recent CNN/ORC poll, 54 percent of Trump supporters believe Obama is a Muslim.

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