Blogger Tom Patterson: Why Carson is right about a Muslim president

I think one reason stands above the rest to justify Ben Carson’s controversial statement that he would not support a Muslim for president. Here it is: Islam teaches that the head of all government is Allah.

In other words, the government is the religion and the religion is the government. The concept of separation between church and state is meaningless because they are one and the same.
Americans (including me) have a hard time getting their arms around this. We think of religion as an ultimately private matter that government should ideally not impact at all. We also have a hard time understanding thought processes that regard freedom as decadent and at odds with the preferred notion of one’s life devoted to “submission” to the will of Allah. And of course we regard the precepts of Sharia law as barbaric and demeaning to the human spirit.

Some people argue that not all Muslims are the same and each should be judged individually. That clearly is true and consistent with American ideals. But the judgment being rendered is not personal.

It is simply to say that Islamic values are fundamentally incompatible with our liberal western traditions that we expect our leaders to uphold and defend. It would be like Catholics naming a Presbyterian to be the pope.

It’s not Islamophobia. It’s common sense.

Tom Patterson
Editor’s note: Mr. Patterson writes a blog on the Independent’s website at

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