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He May Be a Brain Surgeon, But Ben Carson Is no Expert on Islam

He May Be a Brain Surgeon, But Ben Carson Is no Expert on Islam

By on October 2, 2015 in islamophobia, politics

Ben Carson needs to stick with his day job. Medical doctors are a gift to humanity; and, I thank him for his service. I thank all doctors for their service which includes the 20,000 physicians that happen to be Muslim. That’s 10 percent of all U.S. physicians. I thank the curator of modern surgery, a 10th century Muslim physician named Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi.

Both my doctor and my children’s doctor are Muslim. That’s pretty much by happenstance. Those Muslim doctors serving humanity are all over the place — you trip over them at the hospital. It’s no wonder too since us Muslims have a spiritual drive to serve humanity since it’s the cornerstone of our faith.

I don’t thank Dr. Carson, however, for his warped analysis of Islam, Muslims and “sharia.” I don’t thank him for his unconstitutional comments that a Muslim should not be President. Are you kidding me? I am born in the United States. I’m Muslim. I have the right to run for President. (Move over Kanye!) My American Muslim children have the right to run for President someday. Give me a break.

Putting aside Carson’s blatant disregard for America’s tenets of religious freedom and the ideal that no religious test shall be placed upon a presidential candidate, let’s talk about some of the stuff that came out of his mouth recently about Islam and Muslims.

With all due respect, it’s sort of a scary feeling to hear Islamophobic drivel coming from the mouth of a brain surgeon. I mean … he performs operations on the human brain. That takes some serious knowledge, skill, practice and acumen. He definitely has the calming persona you might want your brain surgeon to have. But how can someone that operates on the human brain say things that sound, well … so stupid?

His problem with Muslims being president involve the following:

Sharia: I hear this word spoken out of the mouths of non-Muslims WAY more than I ever hear it coming from the mouths of actual Muslims. Do you want to know why? Because it’s become a word (much like the word “jihad,” which means inner struggle) that has taken on an islamophobic life of its own. It’s a word that is often exploited to invoke fear and divisiveness. Sharia means “law.” There is Christian sharia, Jewish sharia, Islamic sharia. Sharia under Islam protects an individual’s life, family and religious freedom. Newsflash: Sharia protects the religious freedom of all individuals — even non-Muslims. I know that’s not what your favorite, islamophobic newscaster or brain surgeon tells you — but this actual practicing Muslim is telling you this right here with my name stamped to it. (And don’t worry; I will not be sharing my thoughts on brain surgery. I don’t know jack about that subject matter!)

Islam is clear on its tenets of justice for all, living without hypocrisy and following the law of the land in which you live. It is un-Islamic to break the law of the country in which you live. If there is a law that goes against Islam, for example- alcohol being legal, you can abstain from alcohol on your own free will and not interfere with the alcohol industry, people that drink alcohol in society etc. Let’s take a look at the alcohol protests and marches in front of bars and lobbying against the alcohol industry that American Muslims have been doing in order to preserve sharia. Oh wait! Those things never happened! It would be un-Islamic.

I’ll be darned.

Let’s take the case of Kim Davis. She would make a very bad Muslim. (Sorry, Ms. Davis.) Kim Davis has applied Christian Sharia or Christian law to her secular job within American society by refusing to grant marriage licenses to same sex couples whilst it is now the law of the land. Refusing to issue these licenses would be sinful in Islam. When a practicing Muslim is obliged by law to uphold something that is contrary to Islamic teachings, they have to adhere to the minimum that the law requires. In this case, they would need to issue the licenses. Period. End of story. If this bothers their personal, spiritual consciousness, they can quit their job and find another one that is more befitting to their personal, moral and religious values. (Hint hint, Ms. Davis.)

Let’s take a look at all the hoopla, rallies and fundraisers put on by Muslim Americans defending Kim Davis for exercising her sharia. Oh wait! That’s right. Those weren’t Muslim Americans that took part in all that Kim Davis hoopla.

I’ll be darned.

Taqiyya: Lying is against Islam. Standing up for justice is obligatory. In other words, being a false witness or refusing to call out an injustice even if it’s against a relative or yourself, is a sin in Islam.

O you who believe, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. Surah Al-Ahzab 33:70

 O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or your parents and relatives.

Surah An-Nisa 4:135

From the article,  “Are Muslims allowed to lie for Islamic causes? Taqiyya explained.”By Abu Amina Elias:

According to Lane’s Lexicon, Taqiyya comes from the root word meaning “to be cautious, to guard.” When a Muslim’s life is being threatened, it is permissible to deny Allah and His Messenger if that will save his life. Such permission was necessary at the time when Muslims were being persecuted and killed simply for being Muslim.


I’ve never been in the situation where I had to practice taqiyya in my lifetime. But my friend has. My friend was a Bosnian refugee in the 1990s fleeing the war. When she managed to make it to the border of another European country (which will remain unnamed, but it rhymes with Proatia) for safe haven, the border guards questioned her Muslim sounding name. They essentially told her they wouldn’t allow Muslims into the country. She is a spiritual person and most definitely a Muslim, but she implied to the border guard that she was Christian so that he would permit her into the land for her own life and safety. She recited a Christian prayer. Once she did that, the Guard told her, “Welcome to country-that-rhymes-with-Proatia!”

That is taqiyya. You have some bigot jerk who is putting your life at risk for the sheer fact that you are Muslim. Does it make sense to act all Rambo against another human being when your life is at stake? Or does it makes sense to do what you have to do to safely get out of a life-threatening situation to protect yourself and then reaffirm your faith with God, silently, in your heart? I love this about Islam. It is logical. It values life.

Only if your life is in assured danger is taqiyya even permissible. Any other reason is un-Islamic, no matter what your favorite Islamophobic brain surgeon might tell you.

Rejecting our Islamic tenets: Ben Carson says that if I want to run for President of the United States, I must renounce my Islamic tenets. No, Dr. Carson. Big fat no. I do not have to renounce my Islamic tenets in order to run for President of the United States; and, I never will. Islam, more than any other faith, defends the adherence of the U.S. constitution by making it compulsory for me to honor and defend the law of the land in which I live. I’m so proud of that. This is why I have chosen Islam as my faith. It is conducive to any place I decide to live on this planet earth.

Ben Carson states that it makes perfect sense to reject a Muslim president for the reasons he states because the majority of American people agree with him. Really? Muslims don’t agree with him. Christians, Jews, Atheists that understand our constitution do not agree with him. If there are people that agree that he should place a religious test on the presidential candidacy, then those are people that are pretty scary. Those are people I do not want in my inner circle or in my public circle for that matter.

Islam defends the constitution of the United States. Just ask any Muslim service person that has put on an American uniform defending our values. Or walk the grounds at Arlington cemetery where you will find the graves of Muslim soldiers that died while serving like Army Captain Humayun Khan who died saving the lives of his comrades from a car bomb in Iraq; or Army Specialist Rasheed Sahib and Army Specialist Omead Razani who were killed in Iraq; or Marine Staff Sargeant Kendall Damon Waters-Bey who was killed in a helicopter crash on duty in Iraq. Go to other military cemeteries in the United States and you will find the graves of other Muslim American soldiers like: Hassein Ahmed (Army, WWII); Ibrahim Muhammad (Navy, WWII); Mahir Hasan (Army, Korea) and Abul Fateh Umar Khan (Air Force, Korea.)

These Muslim men died defending the United States yet, according to Ben Carson, they should not have ever been permitted to run for President. Three-thousand five hundred American Muslims were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in fact. And thousands of American Muslims serve in the military today as well as in government positions. There are two Muslim Congressmen: Keith Ellison and Andre Carson who vote in favor of same sex marriage and forward anti-discrimination LGBT causes. This indicates that they are representing their constituency which is compulsory on them as Muslims serving in the United States government. We need more Ellisons and Carsons. (Andre that is.)

Being a brain surgeon or inheriting boat loads of money or having a really huge ego and really bad hair do not automatically make you a viable candidate for the highest office of our land and pretty much the world. Though these days, it seems so.

If I could meet Ben Carson today, I would tell him this: I don’t go around telling the world how to perform brain surgery; you shouldn’t go around telling the world what Islam is or what it isn’t. And you should stick with your day job.

The original article was first published on Huffington Post Politics.


About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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