I chose to include the above video because it includes the man's original statements as well as his later defense and affirmation of them. In summary, Dr Carson says that the Revealed Law is incompatible with the US Constitution and he would not advocate a Muslim becoming president of the United States (POTUS) unless he or she were to reject certain tenets of Islam and put the US Constitution above their religious beliefs. He also makes it clear that the latter point, i.e. putting the US Constitution above one's religious beliefs, would be a condition for any US president, including a Christian. He also admits and acknowledges that a Muslim would be accused of blasphemy for doing so.
Carson has been attacked from all corners. Daniel Hannan, whose writings I greatly admire, says that Carson is being political rather than theological and that there is nothing preventing a Muslim becoming POTUS, but he then mentions, more or less, the same conditions that Carson does:
Will Muslim-Americans be similarly assimilated? I'm optimistic. There are plenty of passages in the Old and New Testaments that can be read as incompatible with giving your first loyalty to a secular republic, but Jewish and Christian Americans, for the most part, have learned how to compartmentalize their beliefs.
This is nothing new, except maybe to Muslims living in these countries. This is the Anglosphere understanding, and it is especially strong in the United States. People of every religion are welcome but they must subjugate their beliefs to American and Anglosphere values, as enshrined in documents like the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Magna Carta and so forth. Beliefs will have to be compartmentalized. Again, How We Invented Freedom is a must-read.
The "no religious test" clause of the US Constitution is referred to again and again in refutation of Dr Carson, but the reason why there is no religious test is that it is presumed that the president's religious beliefs have already been subjugated.
In Islam we do have our own system of governance, based on ahl al-halli wa al-'aqd, who are the foremost scholars, followed by the qadis (judges), fuqaha (jurists) and muftis, i.e. those who answer questions. More details can be read in my forthcoming translation of Imam an-Nawawi's Adab al-Mufti wa al-Mustafti, which is to be published shortly. We should also remember that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, set up his own government in Madinah and this was the beginning of what is now known as Dar al-Islam. Our books of jurisprudence include chapters on governance, warfare, judicial procedures, punishments and penalties and so forth. There are even books like Imam al-Mawardi's Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah which are exclusively dedicated to such topics.
Once the above is understood, the issue of the Revealed Law being compatible with the US Constitution becomes secondary. As Hannan admits, Judaism and Christianity could also be seen as incompatible. Here, a Catholic priest clearly states that God's law trumps the law of the State, but what laws or legal system do they have that compares to ours? As Bishop Kalistos Ware points out, when the Ottomans took over the Greek Orthodox Church they made the church become a civil as well as religious institution:
For the Mohammedans drew no distinction between religion and politics: from their point of view, if Christianity was to be recognized as an independent religious faith, it was necessary for Christians to be organized as an independent political unit, an Empire within the Empire. The Orthodox Church therefore became a civil as well as a religious institution: it was turned into the Rum Millet, the "Roman nation."
The ecclesiastical structure was taken over in toto as an instrument of secular administration. The bishops became government officials, the Patriarch was not only the spiritual head of the Greek Orthodox Church, but the civil head of the Greek nation — the ethnarch or millet-bashi.
In other words, the Greek Orthodox Church simply didn't have the same legal institutions that the Muslims did and they therefore had to be established.
A final point: the constant comparison with Catholics. It should be borne in mind that the US Constitution is constantly violated, or "reinterpreted", by those in power but the principle that all religious beliefs should be subjugated to the values of the country persists. The Catholics are not a good example because of the reasons mentioned above: they have had to subjugate/compartmentalize their beliefs and they do not have the legal and governance institutions that we do. Judge Andrew Napolitano also shows here how the US government now treats religious groups within its borders:
To quote the judge, 'Health and Human Services Secretary, Catherine Sibelius, herself a Roman Catholic, issued regulations that require all employers in America to make contraceptive materials and devices available to their employees.' This obviously includes Catholic schools, universities, hospitals and so forth. Will it be a Muslim in the US government who will one day force all imams and masjids to conduct gay marriages?
In conclusion, and as mentioned in the last post, we can see where Islam in Europe and the Anglosphere is headed. With the exception of a few pockets here and there, it is rapidly being exposed as a fraud and farce. As Imam al-Bouti put it, may Allah have mercy on him, we were rejoicing at first, but now we are watching the Islamic presence in these countries being dissolved.
And with Allah is every success.
Muslims and Infrastructure
Muslims and Infrastructure