A U.S. survey shows that 60 percent of Americans say they would vote for a qualified presidential candidate who happened to be a Muslim, a position at odds with that of one of the leading Republican contenders for the party's 2016 presidential nomination.
The Gallup Poll recorded the finding in June when it asked voters whether they could support a candidate who was Catholic, a Jew, a Mormon, an evangelical Christian, a Muslim or an atheist. The survey showed support ranging from 93 percent for a Catholic candidate to 58 percent for an atheist.
On Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said on NBC's "Meet the Press," "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.''
With the U.S. Constitution banning a religious test for holding public office, Carson's stance was quickly condemned. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said he was unfit to be president and called for him to quit the nominating contest.
On Tuesday, Carson blamed political correctness for the furor over his comment. He said that he would also oppose a Christian who wanted to establish a theocracy in the U.S. Theocracy is a form of government in which a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler.
Carson, a devout Christian, said his view was that anyone seeking the presidency ought to embrace the country's Constitution and American principles.