Our candidates opinions reflect our judgments

       The tragedy on Sept 11, 2001 permanently altered the American psyche, not unreasonably or surprisingly In the wake of this national tragedy, our society began trying to protect itself from more devastation. The residual fear, however, did not manifest itself in a reasonable way. Many of our citizens began pointing fingers at an entire religious group rather than the actual responsible parties. After 9/11, Islamophobia exploded.

       During the 2008 presidential elections, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was accused of being a Muslim. The implication was that this would make him unfit to serve as our president. More recently, three muslim University of North Carolina students were murdered in February and Ahmed Mohammed, a 14 year old Muslim from Irving, Texas was arrested for bringing a clock that allegedly resembled a bomb to his school.

       It is important to note that these events are not isolated. Islamophobia is not rare, but only the extreme instances ever get any attention. Look no further than to our presidential hopefuls for evidence of the undercurrent of Islamophobia in our society.

       “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Republican candidate Ben Carson said.

       His reasoning was that Islam would be inconsistent with the American constitution. After facing backlash from six of the other Republican candidates, he defended his comments to The Hill, saying that  our next president should be sworn in on a stack of bibles, not a Koran. The scary thing is that Carson is not the only Republican candidate who has made recent Islamophobic remarks.

       In a town hall meeting, a citizen said to Trump, “We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims….When can we get rid of them?”

       Trump said, “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things, and a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”

       Trump also implied that he subscribes to the conspiracy theory that President Obama is not an American citizen, and that he would consider deporting citizens based on the grounds of their religion.

       Trump and Carson’s comments reflect poorly on themselves and their character. But they are relevant to the rest of us as well. As the two front runners for the Republican presidential nomination, they represent the values of a large portion of American voters. Everything they say is what they think their constituents want to hear. So what do their comments say about our society?