Carson uses fear to rally

Published 2:11 pm Thursday, October 22, 2015

I found it quite ironic that Dr. Ben Carson made such disparaging comments about Muslims and Sharia Law during the same week that Pope Francis traveled to America to promote peace and love.

As a Christian man, I can boldly say that Carson’s comments were inappropriate, naïve and downright problematic. Some may wonder why I have chosen to tackle such a topic, but I am “my brother’s keeper,” regardless of their religious beliefs, race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability.

Carson’s comments made me think of a quote from Pastor Martin Niemoller. Niemoller never spoke out against Nazism during the Holocaust, until it hit home for him:

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“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Carson implies that because one is a practitioner of Islam, then he or she condones the doctrines of a few extremists. Just like Christians, the majority of Muslim Americans are law-abiding citizens.

It’s unfair for people like Carson to condemn all of Islam for the actions of a few.

Intellectuals around the country have been debating if we the people elected a citizen who happens to be Muslim as president of the United States, would they try to implement Sharia Law.

There’s a bit of misinformation about Shariah Law. First, it is a personal relationship between a Muslim and Allah (God) that is essentially a code of conduct.

Also, America cannot be governed under Sharia Law because the constitution governs us and Sharia Law obligates Muslims to be loyal to their nation much like Christians are compelled to “render to Caesar.”

It is deceitful to use misinformation and fear to rally a base. Remember, misinformed people misinform people.

Taikein Cooper is a native of Farmville and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he majored in public policy analysis. His email address is