Contender for the US Republican presidential nomination Ben Carson made the politically incorrect statement some days’ ago that Islam was inconsistent with the American Constitution and, ‘controversially’, that he wouldn’t support a Muslim becoming president. Oh, verily, did the progressives bring down their scorn upon him. If they were not such a bunch of atheists they would have willed God to strike him down. But the operative word Dr Carson used was ‘Muslim’. I will explain.
Take so-called ‘Christians’ who don’t believe that Christ was divine, was crucified and physically rose from the dead on the third day. There are, in fact, such ‘Christians’. John Shelby Spong, the retired American Episcopal bishop, is a prime and prominent example. He’s an outlier, but others head in his direction.
John Shepherd, the then-Dean of St George’s Anglican Cathedral in Perth, made the physical Resurrection an optional extra in his Easter message in 2008:
Well, what I do believe is that, to be a Christian, to be a member of the Christian Church, it is not necessary to believe that the Resurrection of Jesus was an extraordinary physical event which restored to life Jesus’ original, earthly body. The resurrection of Jesus need not be understood as a restored physical reality, but as a new spiritual reality.
Even an Archbishop of Canterbury appeared to doubt the faith. In a millennium message in 1999, George Carey, the then-Archbishop of Canterbury, said this: “I can tell you frankly that while we can be absolutely sure that Jesus lived and that he was certainly crucified on the Cross, we cannot with the same certainty say that we know He was raised by God from the dead.”
I suppose if you can be a ‘Christian’ and doubt the physical Resurrection you can be a ‘Muslim’ and disavow sharia law. I think Dr Carson had in mind the genuine article, the fair-dinkum, the bona fide, the authentic Muslim. He probably thinks, as do I, that self-identification as a Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist, or whatever faith you care to mention, doesn’t cut the mustard in itself. The question is whether you accept the tenets of the faith in question. That makes you what you are. The claim alone is empty.
If the minister in my church were to doubt the physical Resurrection I would walk out. Quite simply, I want to attend a Christian church not some imagined concoction of a trendy heretic. Somehow, I doubt that such a problem would ever be faced by Muslims attending their mosques.
I seriously doubt you would ever find an imam who would be inclined to place Allah’s law beneath the American Constitution. They may be followers of a false, violent and vengeful prophet but they are made of stern stuff when it comes to their faith.
So Dr Carson was exactly on the money with his comment. A Muslim could not, never mind should not, become an American president because he or she would have to pledge their allegiance to the American Constitution and put it above sharia law. That is not possible. Let me repeat that in case you might think there is an escape clause. It is not possible.
It would, however, be possible for a self-described ‘devout Muslim’ like Dr M Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. The ‘M’ stands for Mohamed by the way. Ah well, never mind, he can’t help his name. He served 11 years as a medical officer in the US Navy. He appears to be an all-round good guy. That’s certainly my impression having seen and heard him numbers of times.
Dr Jasser rejects what he calls political Islam, by which he means the conflation of mosque and state. From what I have seen of Jasser, I doubt Carson would have any trouble if he, or someone like him, were to put himself forward for the US presidency. But that is because Jasser is simply not a Muslim.
I saw a debate hosted on Fox News between ratbag, radical UK imam Anjem Choudary and Jasser. Choudary’s most telling retort was to simply say that Jasser is not a Muslim. And he is right.
Self-identification doesn’t do it. Jasser is as much a Muslim as Spong is a Christian. In fact, they have their own faiths. Their views are perfectly compatible with holding high political office, but not at all compatible with holding ecclesiastical office in the religious movements to which they mistakenly believe they belong.
There is however a stark difference at play. Christianity separates church from state by the very words of Christ. Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Islam offers no such accommodation. Christians, therefore, can be president. Muslims cannot.
Leave the morally outraged leftists aside. They are a species apart; beyond the reason of sound minds. Those of sound mind better start getting it. Islam is not just another religion. It is a supremacist ideology offering Muslims an eventual and inevitable Allah-given hegemony over unbelievers. It suppresses other religions whenever and wherever it predominates. It is intolerant and, therefore, is inconsistent with a tolerant society and, of course, with the American Constitution.
The fact that a large body of American citizens disqualify themselves from high political office by virtue of their theocratic worldview might prompt some — politically incorrect people (like me) — to ask what the heck they are doing in the Land of the Free in the first place. How did it happen? Ask the political elite. The same question should be asked of the elite in Europe, in the UK, in Australia. What a fine mess!