The staggeringly hypocritical claim from the Christian right that Islam is not a religion but rather a political ideology is very commonly heard these days, but Ben Carson has a twist on this argument that makes it even more ridiculous. Here’s what he told an audience in Iowa last week:
During a speech at the University of Iowa, Carson said that the US needed to take ISIS more seriously. The first step? He implored the Iowans in the room to learn more about the origins of the religion, hinting that ISIS’ violence is an inevitable result of the founding of Islam. “What I would suggest is that everybody here—we’ve got a weekend coming up—take a few hours and read up on Islam,” Carson said. “Please do that. Read about Muhammad. Read about how he got his start in Mecca. Read about how he was seen by the people in Mecca—not very favorably, by the way. How his uncle, nevertheless, was an influential guy. Protected him. When his uncle died, he had to flee. He went north to Medina. That’s where he put together his armies, and they began to massacre anybody who didn’t believe the same way they did.”…Still a bit confused, I double checked to see if those lessons encapsulated the entire religion, or just ISIS. “It doesn’t encapsulate everything,” he replied. “It’s really not, once you read it, you won’t call it a religion, you’ll call it a life organization system.”
A “life organization system”? And other religions are not “life organization systems”? Can he really be that devoid of the ability to reason? And does he think that Christianity was not also spread with violence? Even by Ben Carson standards, this is mind-numbingly idiotic.