Flanked by a chart showing a headstone of a Muslim-American member of the U.S. Army, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called out GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson by name Monday.
The Nevada Democrat said he had watched NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday and took notice of Carson’s comments.
“Shame on Dr. Carson. Shame on any person who spews such hateful rhetoric. In America today there are more than three million Muslims, they are part of the fabric of America,” Reid said. “They teach in our schools, they fight for our military, they serve in Congress.”
Carson had said he did not think Islam was consistent with holding political office under the U.S. Constitution.
“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said.
Reid went beyond Carson, taking the opportunity to broaden his criticism of the retired neurosurgeon to the rest of the Republican field.
“Sadly though, Dr. Carson’s remarks are just another example of a Republican candidate’s refusing to speak for three million Muslim-Americans. We saw it last week with Donald Trump as he refused to denounce bigotry at his own campaign rally. If these Republican candidates are incapable of going to bat for America’s Muslim community, then they shouldn’t be running for president of the United States. I call upon every Republican to denounce Dr. Carson’s disgusting remarks,” Reid said. “That shameful intolerance and bigotry have no place in America today. Sadly, it seems they have a lasting place in the Republican party.”
Reid made his comments while standing next to a large photo of the grave marker at Arlington National Cemetery for Army Cpl. Kareem Khan, who died while serving in Iraq in 2007. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell previously cited Khan’s service in rebuffing criticism of Muslim-Americans in public life.
“Republicans should open their eyes and take note of the contributions of our country’s Muslim community. Until they do that, none of them will be worthy of leading this nation,” Reid said in his remarks on the Senate floor.
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