In an audio posted to YouTube on Saturday, conservative talk show host Mark Levin said that GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson is right about a Muslim president, citing a Daily Beast article written by Asra Nomani, a columnist who describes herself as a secular Muslim. Carson sparked outrage when he said that he could not advocate supporting a Muslim for president. He later clarified his comment somewhat, but has not backed off.
But, Nomani said, Carson has a point. “The sad truth,” she wrote, “is that too many Muslims want to mix mosque and state.” That assessment would seem to back up a recent poll conducted by the Center for Security Policy (CSP) that said a majority of Muslims in the United States want Islamic Sharia law over the Constitution. That same poll indicated that nearly a quarter support violence against infidels.
“Ben Carson’s blunt remarks about a Muslim president triggered much outrage, even after he partially walked them back,” she said. “But secular Muslims like me, who reject political Islam, understood what he meant: He doesn’t want a Muslim as president who doesn’t believe in the strict secular separation of mosque and state, so that the laws of the state aren’t at all touched by sharia, or Islamic law derived from the Quran and hadith, the sayings and traditions of prophet Muhammad. Neither do we. We really don’t want a first lady—or a president—in a burka, or face veil.”
Reading the article on-air, Levin described Nomani’s article as “remarkably good” before noting that the Daily Beast is generally quite liberal, but “has a few pretty good writers.” He went on to express hope that “pretend reporters” like Chuck Todd and others “are paying attention.”
In her article, Nomani warned that Americans are seeing an “erosion” of the boundaries between secular government and religious mandates by some Muslim scholars. She went on to say that some Muslims are “increasingly using America’s spirit of religious accommodation and cultural pluralism to challenge rules that most of the rest of America accepts.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, has led “many” of those incursions, she added. After Carson’s statements, CAIR demanded he quit his bid for the White House.
Carson, however, has rejected that call and it appears many voters are standing with him. A recent YouGov poll shows that a majority of Americans agree with Carson. They also do not believe he has anything to apologize for, despite calls from many on the left and some within the ranks of the GOP. Carson also came in second place behind Ted Cruz at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit straw poll.
The retired neurosurgeon, Nomani added, “wasn’t being hyperbolic in expressing concern” over an Islamic president. She cited a 2013 poll that said “an alarming percentage of Muslims worldwide, numbering 99 percent in Afghanistan and 45 percent in Russia, answered ‘favor’ when asked whether they favor or oppose making sharia the law of the land.”
Even though the survey wasn’t conducted in the West like the more recent CSP cited above, Nomani said “the results reveal cultural mindsets.” She also argued that it’s time to continue the “politically incorrect but critical conversation” Carson started with his candid remarks.
“The presidential candidate is talking against a backdrop of 9/11 and a reality in which political Islam expresses itself violently in the West and in Muslim countries from Iraq to Indonesia,” she said. “To me, not acknowledging this real issue among Muslims amounts to another Carson allegation, of Muslims practicing taqiyya, or deception.”
She also dismissed a UK Guardian headline that called his comments “anti-Muslim.” Instead, she called them a “realistic mirror on the challenges Muslims today face with the notion of strict secularism.”
Carson, Levin added, was not only courageous for making the statements, he was brilliant for doing so. A portion of Levin’s program can be heard in the video above and the full segment can be heard at Levin’s website.