Ben Carson on Muslims Email: Can a Muslim Be a Good American-Incorrect Attribution!
Summary of eRumor:
Ben Carson wrote an essay on Muslims titled “Can a Muslim Be a Good American?” in which he argues that it would be impossible for someone to be a good Muslim and a good American .
The Ben Carson on Muslims email has been circulating since at least 2001, well before Ben Carson entered politics or became a public personality, and the original author of the essay is unknown.
The earliest version of the so-called Ben Carson on Muslims essay we could find appeared at website that strives to provide “financial hope” to its members in late 2001. Even the earliest versions of the Ben Carson on Muslims essay don’t list an author. But this early version included a few introductory paragraphs that indicate the essay had been in circulation via email well before it was posted online in September 2001:
I started reading this with a negative thought, due to always liking to give EVERYONE a fair chance!! However it did make me wonder. America/Canada is NOT the same Country that it was when I was growing up. Back then you could trust people, and most folks were honest, honorable and told the truth. but now there are some really sick & evil people out there, and the biggest liars seem to be the politicians. I am thankful to live in a small town where everyone knows each other. (I got this from a friend who does live in a small town) I want my children to understand this regarding MUSLIMS.
Question: CAN MUSLIMS BE GOOD AMERICANS?
This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish. And send it on to everyone. Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities.
The essay continues to circulate via email, in social media circles and in discussion forums to this day. And, when Dr. Ben Carson was viewed as an early frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2015, people started falsely attributing the essay to Carson. That shift seems to have occurred after Carson said he didn’t think that a Muslim would make a good president (not American) in September 2015, CNN reports:
Ben Carson insisted Sunday that for a Muslim to become president of the United States, “you have to reject the tenets of Islam.”
“Yes, you have to,” the retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate said Sunday in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
His latest criticism of Islam came the week after he’d said he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”
“I would have problems with somebody who embraced all the doctrines associated with Islam,” Carson said. “If they are not willing to reject sharia and all the portions of it that are talked about in the Quran — if they are not willing to reject that, and subject that to American values and the Constitution, then of course, I would.”
He argued, though, that the controversy surrounding his comments last week has been overblown.
“Is it possible that maybe the media thinks it’s a bigger deal than the American people do?” Carson said. “Because American people, the majority of them, agree and they understand exactly what I am saying.”
Carson insisted Sunday that “of course Muslims can be patriots,” though his previous comments appeared to presume that Muslims are more devoted to their faith than the U.S. Constitution.
“I’ve worked with Muslims. I’ve trained Muslims. I’ve operated on Muslims. There are a lot of Muslims who are very patriotic. Good Americans and they gladly admit, at least privately, that they don’t accept sharia or the doctrines and they understand that Islam is a system of living and it includes the way that you relate to the government,” he said.
“And you cannot, unless you specifically, deny that portion of Islam be a Muslim in good standing. Now if that is the case, if you are not willing to reject that, then how in the world can you possibly be the president of the United States.”
Although Ben Carson defended his controversial statement that he would not support a Muslim president during the CNN interview — he appeared to contradict the premise of the Ben Carson on Muslims essay by saying “of course Muslims can be patriots.”
Because the Ben Carson on Muslims email was in circulation without a listed author for 14 years before it was attributed to Ben Carson, and because Ben Carson has publicly argued against the view that a Muslim cannot be a good American, we’re classifying this one as “incorrect attribution.”