Ben Carson says 'no' to Syrian refugees in US

2015-10-02 21:15
Ben Carson announces his candidacy for president during an official announcement in Detroit. (Paul Sancya, AP)

Ben Carson announces his candidacy for president during an official announcement in Detroit. (Paul Sancya, AP)

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Des Moines - Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said the US should bar refugees from war-torn Syria because they were "infiltrated with Jihadists", who sought to harm America.

The comments on Friday came as Carson has taken an increasingly aggressive stance toward Muslims, and a day after national Republican poll leader Donald Trump pledged he would support deporting Syrian Muslims.

"To bring into this country groups infiltrated with Jihadists makes no sense," Carson told about 150 at the Des Moines Rotary Club's monthly morning breakfast meeting. "Why would you do something like that?"

Instead, Carson recommended that the US help settle Syrian refugees in the Middle East, in places such as Turkey. In Carson's view, the US could assist financially, but not open its doors.

Carson's comments echoed Trump, who said on Thursday: "If I win, they're going back," referring to Muslim Syrian refugees.

Carson has taken an increasingly skeptical view of Muslims in his public comments in recent days, as his political fortunes have improved. Carson now finds himself atop national Republican preference polls with Trump, and reported raising an impressive $20m for his campaign in the third quarter of the year.

Carson has also launched a petition challenging the tax exempt status of the largest Muslim advocacy group, part of an escalating rift with the US Muslim community.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations last month called for Carson to quit the presidential race after he said a Muslim should not serve as president.

He has since clarified his position, stating he wouldn't support a radical Muslim who did not support the Constitution. And in a Thursday radio interview, Carson said the same standard should apply to a Supreme Court justice.

Carson has repeatedly warned that officials needed to carefully screen for potential terrorist ties of Syrian refugees seeking to enter the United States, but went further on Friday.

Despite anxiousness among some Republicans about the appearance of intolerance in a party trying to reach more minority voters, Carson's team has said publicly that it worked to his advantage in segments of the Republican electorate.

Read more on:    republican party  |  ben carson  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

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