Ben Carson’s comments on not advocating a Muslim for president of the United States made it to the Senate floor yesterday as Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared no lawmaker who doesn’t recognize Muslim contributions is fit to be commander in chief.
Reid propped up a photo of the headstone of Kareem Khan of New Jersey, a Muslim who died at age 20 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Kareem’s rank was that of Specialist in the Stryker Brigade of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry division. By all accounts, he was a good soldier. He received a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and a medal for good conduct. Tragedy struck on August 6, 2007, as Kareem and three others were checking abandoned Iraqi houses for explosives, a hidden bomb exploded, killing all four soldiers. Like thousands of other soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, Kareem Khan sacrificed everything for his country. Kareem gave, as President Abraham Lincoln said, ‘the last full measure of devotion’ for the United States,” Reid said.
But Carson, the senator said, “denigrated Kareem Khan and all Muslim-Americans” by questioning their “devotion to the United States [and] integrity.”
“And then Ben Carson unilaterally disqualified every Muslim-America from becoming president of the United States,” Reid said. “Shame on him. Shame on any person who spews such vile, hateful rhetoric. The nearly three million Muslim in this country are part of the fabric of America. They teach in our schools, fight in our military, and serve in Congress.”
Those two congressional Muslims, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.), “have represented their districts and states with distinction.”
“Sadly, this is just another example of Republican candidates refusing to speak for three million Muslim Americans. We saw it last week with Donald Trump, as he refused to denounce bigotry at his own campaign rally,” Reid continued. “If these Republican candidates are incapable of going to bat for America’s Muslim community, then they shouldn’t run for president of the United States.”
“I call upon every Republican to denounce Ben Carson’s disgusting remarks. That shameful intolerance and bigotry should have no place in America today. Sadly, it seems to have a lasting place in the Republican Party. Republicans should open their eyes and take note of the contributions of our country’s Muslim community. Until they do, none of them will be worthy of leading this nation.”