Muslim Group CAIR Slams Ben Carson as 'Unfit to Lead'

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks at a presidential forum sponsored by Heritage Action at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Sept. 18, 2015, in Greenville, S.C.PlayRichard Shiro/AP Photo
WATCH Muslim Group CAIR Slams Ben Carson as 'Unfit to Lead'

A prominent U.S. Islamic group this morning called for Ben Carson to withdraw from the 2016 presidential race after his weekend comment that he would not support a Muslim for president.

"Mr. Ben Carson is wrong today to assume and say that American Muslims should not be president of the U.S.," Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said at a news conference today.

"We ask Mr. Ben Carson to withdraw from the presidential race because he is unfit to lead because his views are in contradiction with the U.S. Constitution."

CAIR leaders, visibly outraged today, said they are inviting Carson to meet with them. Carson’s campaign said Sunday it has reached out to the group and is willing to have conversations with CAIR leaders.

The organization said today it looks forward to a meeting with him, but believes he should apologize to the Muslim community and the American people.

"We do not know how he can lead and take the highest position in this land," Awad said at CAIR's headquarters on Capitol Hill.

CAIR leaders also said they are providing copies of the Koran free of charge to the public, and also will be sending one to Carson, whose campaign said today he is not suggesting that a Muslim should be prevented from running for any office, including president.

Besides Carson's saying Sunday he would not support a Muslim as president, the GOP candidate also said Islam, as a religion, was inconsistent with the Constitution. Carson told NBC's "Meet the Press" he believed a president's faith should matter "depending on what that faith is."

"I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that," Carson said. "If it's [a president's faith] inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter."

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