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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  September 21, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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particulars, yet the incentive for cooperation may be more tempting than ever, toms tom ackerman, al jazeera. >> go to our website if you want to look at the headlines or the stories behind them. >> the u.s. constitution doesn't say much about the qualifications to be president. you have to be 35 years old. and a natural born american. and that's about it. but privately, how many american voters would admit there's an understood second set of qualifications they carry around in their heads? do lots of americans think a woman, a jew or as republican candidate dr. brkz ha ben carsos
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suggested shouldn't be president? who fits in the oval office, it's the "inside story." ♪ >> welcome to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. when new york governor al smith ran for president in 1928, he was the first roman catholic nominee of a major party for the white house. he was trounced in a time when people were far more open about their prejudices and american protestants were very comfortable talking out loud about their dislike about catholics. it would have been 30 years later before another nominee, this time john f. kennedy won. there's only been one catholic
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since, john kerry, he lost. being nominated is a big idea, just ask president obama, ben carson, a seventh decade day adventist himself. al jazeera america's del walters reports. >> i would not advocate we put a muslim in charge of this nation. i absolutely would not agree with that. is. >> reporter: dr. ben carson says he doesn't think islam is with the constitution,. >> it depends on what that muslim is and what his policies were. >> his comments ignited a fire storm, care is calling for carson to withdraw from the race. >> we ask mr. ben carson to withdraw from the presidential race because he's unfit to lead. >> but carson isn't backing
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down. in an interview with the hill on sunday he said i do not believe sherea is consistent with the constitution of this country, referring to islamic law, what you do as a public official, that's inconsistent with our principles and our constitution. >> there is a problem in this country it's called muslims. we know our current president is one. >> donald trump was criticized for his handling of the comment. he was asked on cnn why he didn't do more to correct the man. >> we certainly do have a problem. we have radicals that are doing things. it wasn't people from sweden that blew up the world trade center. >> americans are showing little warmth for islam. in a recent pew poll, muslims came in last rating even lower than atheists. del walters, al jazeera, new
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york. >> joining me now in washington rabbi jack moline, the reverend bay area lynn, americans united for church and state and rawan s. moody, center for islamic studies. reverend, let me start with you. today carson spokesman doug watts says mr. carson has great respect for the muslim community but there's a huge gulf between the faith and practice of the muz lix faitmuslim faith and ou. what do you think of that statement? >> i think that statement is more outrageous than what dr. carson said that a muslim should not be a president. this is an insult to all muz throims say wmuslimsthat say wer
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do not believe on the values that this country was built on is not true not fair and a gross misrepresentation of the diverse community of american muslims that live in this country that pledge allegiance to this country that believe in the constitution and the values of this country and we don't see any contradiction at all between these values and the values of islam that preach justice and equality and fairntion t fairnee people. >> you've heard before it's certainly said in other countries of the globes where islam is the majority religion, often in muslim countries the head of state or government often performance a religious function and has a heavy state
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in the government. >> that's actually not true. the majority of muslims are secular and we've had some kind of separation of religion and state, in the history of islam for the last 14 centuries. it's not been the clergy that is been ruling in muslim state, with the exception of iran, close to 70 majority muslim countries, there is no muslim majorities where the clergy is ruling, there is a deal between thing clerics and the government, there hasn't been a religious establishment ruled in the case of islam, there has been de facto separation between church and state. but the question is are the religionreligious values that ae
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embedded, they have a part of this country as they do in every country. >> jack woline if i substituted you for are islam you would believe it wouldn't you? >> i would believe it but i wouldn't be any happier about it than i am about what dr. carson said. it's really alarming in this day and age, in any day and age to be honest with you, but particularly in an america that has been through so many changes and has come to appreciate the importance of diversity had a we have somebody who misunderstands the motto of the united states, e plu pluribus unim, out of they one, out of the few one. >> isn't dr. carson talking about the political reality if
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not a true reality? isn't in practical terms he right that in 2015 it is unlikely that a muslim could be president? >> i think he went further than that, saying a muslim should not be president of the united states. that runs afoul against the constitution, no religious test for president of the united states. i can't believe how dr. carson or many of the candidates in one major party in the country who seem to think if you are a christian you should assume that god's law is nor important than the utle constitution. united states constitution. that's what mike huckabee has already said and in fact ben carson himself said, when he decided to run for the presidency, he felt the fingers of god, i'm not sure what he meant but i think he meant god selected me to be president.
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there are three other members of the republican party who also communicated with us, god told them directly or indirectly, they would be president. obviously at a minimum they can't all be right. >> or god wanted a good republican field in the presidency contest. gentlemen stay with us. many don'tfully belong in the american mainstream? today it's muslims but this is hardly the first time that a distinct group of americans has been judged unfit for justice. service to a republic with a secular constitution, who fits in the american office, it's tonight's "inside story."
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>> there's a line of police advancing toward the crowd here. >> ferguson: city under siege.
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>> it isn't easy to talk openly on this base. >> and america's war workers. >> it's human trafficking. >> watch these and other episodes online now at >> we have a problem in this cub, it's called muslims. we know our current president is one. we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. that's my question. when can we get rid of them? >> you're watching "inside story," i'm ray suarez. who fits in the oval office this time on the program. this:00 last week a member of the audience at a donald trump rally hinted there were secret muslim training camps in the united states. the real estate developer,
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turned presidential candidate, told the man he'd be looking into it. if a muslim could be president ben carson said he didn't think so, a congressman dr. carson allowed. carson is hardly alobe in that assessment. a repeat gallup poll indicated that nearly 40% of americans would not vote for an otherwise qualified muslim candidate. the difference between democrats and republicans an enormous 28% gap. rabbi jack moline, muslim massmoudi is all with me,. >> i think we liver in a time when so much is changing, that
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people want something that is familiar, they think they remember the way things used to be, been told they remember what things used to be and they want an anchor in turbulent assess. when they'rseas. they are designed to tie us forward, not get us stuck in the pras. i think past. >> harry lynn, sometimes candidates have had to go to the people and say yes i'm a member of this religion but here's what it means and its hierarchy won't be giving me orders. i mean this yes, it's shocking on one level to hear it said so blatantly but on the other it's a deep part of our history seasonality it? >> it is. in 1960, john kennedy running
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for the office of presidency of the united states he had to go down in 1960 to houston, texas to speak to a group of baptist ministers because they were concerned he would take his orders from rome. he said i believe in an america where the separation of church and state is absolute and then he went on to explain that. now, in these political times it would be unthinkable for candidates of any political party to say the same thing. i have that written on a tee shirt and you offer cover up who said it. and then people come up and say, who said that? john kennedy said that. no, but it's a heartwarming and powerful little piece of news footage to watch even did. when people are asked about religion they can do anything they want, talk about john kennedy when he was talking about separation of church and
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state, but then i don't discuss religion in a campaign season because i think it's inappropriate. those are really good answers. the bad answer is, when i say my favorite book is the bible. everybody say that, both hillary clinton and donald trump say the bible is their favorite book. if you press them a little bit, all of a sudden they get confused if you remember in the last several election cycles howard dean once said when he said, what is your favorite book in the new testament, he said job, and he said well, one of those gospels, does not show him to be bible-literate. >> rahman masmoudi, a lot are photographed going to or coming from church. it is very well understood you have to talk about that a little when you're in campaign season. would a muslim have to do almost
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the opposite, minimize that? avoid talking about it? or make a very clear delineation between the life he lives 9:00 to 5:00 monday through friday and his private devotions? >> well, i think the reality, ray, is that we are living in very difficult and turbulent times with what's going on in the middle east and syria and iraq, with the rise of extremism and terrorism in the name of islam, it hats really hurt the image of islam in this country and around the world. this is a reality. the problem is there is a big phenomenon of islamophobia growing in this country and there's misunderstanding, total misunderstanding of islam and what islam teep teaches because people unfortunately judge islam by what they see on tv the
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crimes committed by these people and that's all they know. most americans have never been overseas, been to a muslim country, met a muslim in their life. they see this violence on tv and think it represents islam. the violence has been completely contradictory to islam, completely denounced by all muslims, most of the victims of these violent groups are muslims themselves and we are completely against it. it has thog to do with islam, that these groups are because of political problems national problems ethnic problems they use religion to justify their crimes. so i think we american muslims in particular you know, have a very difficult, are in a difficult position and we have a difficult task, to explain islam and to distance ourselves and to explain that those extremists have nothing to so with the true
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islam and with the true teachings of our religion. >> when we pick it up, i want to pick it up right there. in the years following september 11th the implication that the current president barack obama was raised as a muslim or is a muslim took on almost a radioactive charge requiring push back definition. is the immediate insinuation that a muslim in america is suspect has divided loyalties eventually goin going to be takn care of by time? we'll explore that next, who fits in the oval office, it's tonight's "inside story."
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>> welcome back to "inside story," i'm ray suarez. political analysts often talk about the public's comfort level with one candidate or another. does that comfort level extend to americans of all religious faiths or even no religious faith? apologpolling on the question wd indicate it doesn't. while 82% of americans with no religious face-to-face said they would vote for a muslim, only 42% of christians say they would, only 45% of republicans say they would vote for an otherwise mu qualified muslim
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candidate. assimilation and the passage of time changed all that, will it do the same for muslims? rabbi jack moline, barry lynn and masmoudi are still with me. >> one of things about millennials would vote very different on what their parents or grandparents did on these core issues. they are far more likely to know a muz limit a gay person far more open minded about things like marriage queament even equn choose with whom you are going to exercise that right. on all these measures millennials are much more
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supportive of what we would call a traditional separation between church and state, far more likely to know people not just like themselves, don't think and talk like them. cathemselves. only 21% of millennials voted in the mid term elections just two years ago. >> rawan masmoudi, will you sometime down the road see a presidential candidate that takes people as they come? >> i do, i do. i think america is still one of the most tolerant country in the world because we all come from different backgrounds, we all come from different religions and nationalities. it is a country of immigrants, this is what the country was built on, equality rule of law justice. i think america is getting more
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diverse and more tolerant, there is an extremist fringe that is against this that wants to hold on to old values or old principles or even hatred. but i think they're an extremist and theyay be loud now in the primaries when each party is trying to select their own candidate. but in my opinion somebody who made the statement that dr. carson made yesterday or the day before, is no way will they become a president. >> will the time line, rabbi moline be different because of the anxieties, twin anxiety of immigration and terrorism that is with us from 2001, will it be different from eventually electing a herbert layman or a barack obama, in a way yet we can't figure out down the road? >> i think we're seeing people
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of all persuasions. i think we have people who are tied to the past and afraid of the future. i think the millennials who are moving into the position of responsibility and eventually majority in this country will change that. i don't think the time line will be different because of world affairs, i think people think act voat vote locally. less and less objective. >> doesn't that intend in a certain extent on things that we cabinet know yet, whether things calm down in north africa, if an eventually muslim candidate has a great grandparent or a grandparent that comes from one of these countries that is still
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a source of frustration for the united states. >> i agree, what happens happening in the middle east and north africa have an influence of how america views islam and muslims. that's why we have to do a better job as muslim-americans to explain what islam really teaches and to separate the problems of the middle east or the problems of any particular country or region from what the religion teaches. >> but it sounds like you're optimistic? >> i'm very optimistic. >> and you? >> i'm optimistic also. at the local level when people get to know people of different religious prownd backgrounds oro backgrounds, it makes more difference than anything happening on the world stage because frankly people don't care much about that. >> barry lynn, executive director, rawan masmoudi and ron
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moline. i'll be back on a final thought on religion, politics and the presidency, stay with us it's the "inside story."
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>> he was so ahead of his time. >> father junipero serra was so devastating to native american cultures. >> we have suffered greatly, what kind of saint would allow that? >> and you're gonna let the pope know? >> absolutely. >> where we are standing right now will be the panama canal. >> this will be flooded. >> we have upgraded for bigger ships. >> now we go for weeks without water. >> techknow's team of experts
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show you how the miracles of science... >> this is what innovation looks like. >> can affect and surprise us. >> i feel like we're making an impact. >> awesome! >> techknow - where technology meets humanity. ♪ ♪ >> canada, the united kingdom, israel, germany, japan. many countries of different religious histories, different religious majorities differ from the united states in one important way. the head of state and the head of government are two different people. so while one person has to jump into the mud wrestling match of politics day after day, another person altogether can get to cut ribbons shake hands and generally symbolize the country.
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the president in the u.s. is the ultimate symbol of authority and a billboard for the country. look at the unease that grated america's first black first family right along the jubilation and joy on part of other americans. for a lot of people in this country state dinners presided over buy black president and first lady or that post vacation walk from marine 1 to the white house with the dog and the cute daughters, represented how much the country has changed and was changing and i don't mean that in a good way. along with majority-minority america in the 20 ps and those with no religions faith there is an inauguration day looming in the future with the oath of office taken on something other than a bible. we won't just mention it and move on. it will be seen by some as a loss. another defeat in a long string of losses, of primacy of the old
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america and the old americans. i'm ray suarez and that's the "inside story." this is al jazeera america. live from new york city, i'm richelle carey. tony harris is on assignment. calls to quit. a muslim group says ben carson should drop out of the republican race for president. willing to change. the pope's message for cubans, during his historic visit. damage control, the executives try to put the breaks on the


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