Would a Muslim President Govern Any Differently from Obama?
Was Ben Carson right to rule out ever voting for a Muslim U.S. president? Ted Cruz’s rejoinder that the Constitution forbids a religious test for public office was correct but off point, as Jonah Goldberg pointed out: No one has a Constitutional right to our votes. If you think a Muslim president would be a bad idea, then you would be perfectly within your rights to vote accordingly. The interesting question is whether one would be rational to vote that way.
Certainly, if a candidate were a pious, orthodox Muslim we would be crazy to do otherwise. It’s hard to imagine, but let’s say that a Sharia-observant, devout Muslim were to enter the Democratic or Republican primaries this year. When asked about his political philosophy, he would explain with perfect candor that all legitimate law comes from the Quran and the authentic hadiths reflecting the teachings of Islam’s founder, Muhammad. The moral law is contained in the infallible and unchangeable tenets of Sharia. They apply to every country on earth for all time, and are subject neither to revision nor rational criticism. Furthermore, the example of the “prophet” Muhammad is definitive and perfect. He is the ultimate model of conduct, so if he engaged in a practice then it is good and we should imitate it. Muhammad consummated a marriage with a 9-year-old girl, so for pious political Muslims, that is the appropriate age of consent. Hence Iran, after its Islamic Revolution, wrote that age into its laws.