A major U.S. Islamic group is demanding Ben Carson drop out of the 2016 presidential race after the retired pediatric neurosurgeon said a Muslim should never become the nation's commander-in-chief.
"Mr. Ben Carson is wrong today to assume and say that American Muslims should not be president of the U.S.," said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), ABC News reports.
"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 have asked Carson, who is just behind billionaire developer Donald Trump in several GOP presidential polls, to meet with them. Carson's campaign says the physician is amenable to a sitdown.
Still, CAIR believes Carson must quickly apologize for slighting the Muslim community.
"We do not know how he can lead and take the highest position in this land," Awad said.
So far, Carson is not backing down from his position.
On Sunday's NBC program "Meet the Press," Carson said: "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that. If [a president's faith is] inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter."
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is at odds with Carson's view.
"You know, the Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office and I am a constitutionalist," the Texas Republican, who is challenging Carson in the presidential race, told Iowa Public Television in an interview airing this week, The Des Moines Register reports.
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